September 19, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man

By Andrew at 12:57 PM

Although this movie has been out for some time, “The Amazing Spider-Man” was a movie that I enjoyed watching enough that I thought I would write a review. It was not the greatest movie ever made, nor was it my favorite movie of the summer. But it was a fun film, and one that I would recommend seeing once if you enjoy superhero movies.
To begin with, the title itself somewhat challenged my enjoyment of the movie. It irks me to have the title of a movie or a product tell me that it is “amazing” or “outstanding” or “magical.” I appreciate discovering such complexity for myself, and deciding if it is worthy of those terms as a description, rather than immediately presenting it as a title. To be fair, it was named after a comic book series that predated the movie, so the title was definitely appropriate in this case.
I enjoyed the visuals of the movie, particularly the science and gadgetry involved in several of the plot elements. As others have mentioned, it was rather rewarding to see how Peter Parker developed his costume and equipment over time. Also, I thought it was great to see him as the quiet kid who loves science, somewhat more apparently than in the other recent Spider-Man movies.
I did not appreciate the first-person camera moves as he swung over the rooftops, an element which I observed and cringed at as far back as the trailers. The effects, however, were fairly well done, and did not detract from the experience. The main villain was a bit laughable I guess in hindsight, but that was not too distracting during the movie itself.
The most disappointing aspect of the movie to me came at the end of the movie. Without giving too much away, Spider-Man essentially made a promise and broke it within five minutes, rationalising it by saying that promises were meant to be broken. To me, part of the appeal of superheroes is their unwavering stance for morality and their continuing quest for justice. True, they are not perfect, and such imperfection is usually what makes for a good storyline, but it usually occurs in the middle of a story so they can be redeemed by the end. There was no such opportunity in this movie.
Despite its shortcomings, “The Amazing Spider-Man” was a fun movie to watch, and it puts a new spin on the very recent film franchise. The new movie has a slightly more realistic feel to it, especially with regard to relationships and personal interactions, but it would be very difficult to say which iteration I prefer more. I did appreciate the hints at a back story for Peter’s parents, but I would love to see that subplot fleshed out even more. We will see if we learn more about his parents in a sequel!
It was the Spider-Man movies that helped start the current superhero film movement, and it is somewhat disappointing that the characters are already being recycled. There are so many different heros out there that could be explored, but Hollywood feels the need to reinvent explored territory. At least the current iteration of Spider-Man was a worthwhile endeavor, one that can be enjoyed alongside the previous version.

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