Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man

Right, I was supposed to catch the sneak preview of the Amazing Spider-man on the 25th of June but because I had to fly overseas to suddenly meet a client, I wasn't able to and only just managed to watch it. 

So how is it? Well, in some ways it's better than the previous trilogy and in some ways, it's not as good. I hesitate to use the word worse because it's not a bad film in any way, just that some things felt lacking in the film.

Now first of all, we all know the story of Peter Parker. Genius kid, etc etc, social outcast, etc etc, great tragedy etc etc, with great power comes great responsibility etc etc. Except this film deviates from the first few films slightly in the fact it starts when he's a teenager. And more importantly, it features Gwen Stacy. Most non-comic book fans will be going "Who?" at this point and wondering where's Mary Jane -_-. 

Regarding the leads, I'll say that Andrew Garfield makes a better Peter Parker than Tobey but that may just have been because he was written better. I found Tobey-Spiderman to be incredibly whiny and without much of the trademark humor of comic Spider-man. Andrew-Spiderman however manages to hit it on several points, most notably the scene in the trailer where he mocks the robber, "small knives, how did you know my one weakness??" Of course, my favourite candidate for Spider-man is STILL Topher Grace. The reason why he was cast as Venom and not Spider-man still eludes me. 

Being set in the teenage years, the romance is painfully awkward. With particular emphasis on the painful and awkward. Several exchanges between the two romantic leads end up consisting of "So you maybe want something at some time?" and so on.

Plus I have no idea why, but Spider-man keeps taking off his goddamn mask for no reason. After fighting off the Lizard, he takes off his mask while running through his high school. Never mind that it's deserted at the moment, there are probably security cameras in the school and there's also the fact that most of the high school population is STILL standing right outside the school. Almost anyone could see him. Seriously, he even makes mention of the fact he has a mask for secrecy in the movie but he keeps taking it off.  Why?? For a superhero, Spider-man makes a lot of mistakes regarding his secret identity. Helping people without using gloves to hide his fingerprints at first, taking off his masks etc. You might say "Hey, he's just a kid, he doesn't know all this stuff". I assure you, he's not just a kid. He's a teenage nerd, and ANY teenage nerd has spent some time fantasising about what they would do if they ever got super powers, their costumes and their secret identities. 

Another thing I didn't like was how I felt the role of the police in the show was a bit forced in certain directions to plot requirements. Seriously, you have the Lizard and Spider-man running around town. The Lizard you know has threatened people and released a biological agent in the city, Spider-man otoh  however has saved people. And who do they go chase? Spider-man. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!?! Sure, the captain says "he's nothing more than a masked vigilante" but compare that to the guy who's a fucking 10ft tall humanoid terrorist lizard who kills people -_- I know which would be my priority. And even after realising that hey Spider-man is a good guy and he needs to get to Oscorp tower, they don't even OFFER him a lift on the helicopter so he can get there faster. Even after shooting him in the leg...

However, that directly segues into the Civilian power moment of the show. There's a saying in Ancient China that roughly goes 'the Emperor is the people, the people are the Emperor'. It's the same thing for heroes. The heroes save the people and the people save the heroes. It's always an inspiring moment when it happens. Although it's somewhat marred by the fact that the police do nothing in this situation despite being there and being so hilariously incompetent. 

I do like the fight scenes however and the choice of Villain, despite the fact that most people don't usually think of the Lizard being one of Spider-mans  A-list villains. But in this movie, he was pretty scary as a villain and the fight scenes were pretty interesting, especially the way Spider-man used his webs to help assist in his movement. Usually you just see him use them to web up the villain to hamper him but in the new film, you see him use them to slide himself out of harms way or to add momentum to a crucial dodge. Of course, the motion choreography is pretty decent, with a LOT of Spider-mans stock poses being shown in the film. For those who are wondering "Spider-man has stock poses?", he does. 

I'm not sure if the film was trying to parallel the first film or not, but just as in the first film, Peter Parker decides not to get too close to the love of his life because he thinks his life is too dangerous. Except in this film, Gwen Stacy knows why Peter Parker is keeping his distance from her and seems to be resigned and accepting of it, despite being hurt. Seriously women, WILL NONE of you stand up and fight for your own feelings? What I wouldn't have given for Gwen to have slapped Peter right after she figured out his reasons, then hugged him and said "Dammit to hell, I love you and I'm not going away. Deal with it". But no, it's like they can't make their own decisions regarding their love lifes. However, in the end, it's implied that they do get back together again. So I guess in the sequel to this, Gwen isn't going to be dating someone else. Maybe...

Overall, movie was decent. Humor was good but script could use some more fine-tuning.