Now if you know me even casually you know I have no love for the film The Amazing Spiderman. I have been fairly vocal on the films flaws and pacing, the plot holes and more. Which is why I took a trip to the local Redbox and rent the bluray, just to give the film a second chance as it were. The following is my opinion after watching the film again.
First let me say there was no epiphany, no moment of clarity in which I saw the great film that so many others saw. What I did see was an OK comic book film with a lot of problems. The biggest of all was the films lead actor, Andrew Garfield, but I will touch on that in a bit. I will start with the story, which seemed rushed in some parts and dragged in others. Most adults in the 21st century know the Spiderman origin story. Young uber-nerd Peter Parker gets bit by a radioactive spider and gains the powers of said spider. Then taking a feather from Batman’s, hat he loses a parent figure, his Uncle Ben, and takes it on himself to avenge his death. This film gets it right for the most part, radioactivity is replaced with genetic manipulation(the same as Sam Raimi’s film), but there is some downright horrible story changes as to why Uncle Ben is killed. Bluntly put Peter’s uncle is killed because Peter didn’t have enough milk money. It is what follows that bothers me. Peter is never really fleshed out as a science phenom. It is quietly addressed that he attends Midtown Science High but he is never shown as an overly intelligent student. In fact he is shown as a skinny jean wearing, emo skater loner. Which is why when he solves a problem that trained geneticists have been working on for years in a matter of hours, it seems beyond implausible. I realize that it was a way to keep the story moving but a little character development would have made it more believable.
Again as in Sam Raimi’s film we are expected to swallow the fact that a high school student can produce an obviously manufactured costume in his bed room. Again it is something we can look past. Now we have a suited up Spidey who is hunting down the man who killed his uncle. He begins stalking criminals who fit the profile, but none of them turn out to be the man he is looking for. He attracts the attention of the NYPD who put out an APB on his webslinging butt. This is all fine until…Professor Conners uses a serum that out came about thanks to Peters amazing skills and becomes the Lizard. The Lizard, a passable but no where near perfect CGI monster who looks like he walked out of the 80’s crapfest that was Super Mario Bros. the movie. It is here where Peter just gives up his manhunt, as if it never happened to chase down the Lizard, because as he puts it in the film “I created him.” What? I am sorry this again seems forced and unnatural, and to me just screams of bad story telling. If you add in the fact that there are characters we are introduced to that are one dimensional, a weak love story with two actors that have NO chemistry and all of the action taking place in obvious CG cityscapes at night, you have a mediocre film in the same category as Superman Returns and Green Lantern.
Now on to the main reason this film just doesn’t work for me, Andrew Garfield. When I first heard of his casting in the role I thought ok he looks the part, well have to see. Well looking the part is one thing and having the right persona is another. Again I refer back to Sam Raimi’s film and Toby Macquire’s Peter Parker. Macquire played the nerdy unsure, intelligent Parker extremely well. He had the quirky nature I feel is necessary in the role. Now on to Garfield. His take on the role turned Peter Parker into a smirking idiot. Every other shot was him acting cutesy. I hope there was a large supply of chapstick on set because he bit and chewed his lip so much it caused mine to chap. Peter was shall I say pretty sure of himself when it came to women it seemed because although we saw a bit of awkwardness for a brief moment as soon as he is alone with Gwen Stacy he becomes Tim Meadows Ladies Man. Ok I will admit his wise cracking Spidey was a bit better than Macquires, it still doesn’t negate all his other short comings.
So my opinion hasn’t changed much. I still don’t like this movie. It’s not as bad as I remember but it still is pretty bad.