Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man

If there is anyone reading this that doesn't love Peter Parker, please just go ahead and click away from this blog post. There is no way that I can share my feelings about Spider-Man with someone who doesn't care, so just go on....... Now, for those that remain, my expectations for The Amazing Spider-Man were extremely, extremely high! While I do love the Spider-Man character, I was not a huge fan of the three Tobey Maguire Spider-Man films. All three films had so many dorky, unrealistic moments that I just didn't care for them, and, yes, I do realize that the whole idea is unrealistic. But, after The Dark Knight and The Avengers set the expectations so, so high for pretty much every comic book movie to come, I really thought that this film HAD to be more real and raw in order to survive the evolution of comic book films.

The plot was a bit more realistic than the previous three films, but it still wasn't good enough. The trailer really sold the plot as revolving around Peter's past and his relationship with his family. However, this was not THAT big of a storyline. While it did help tie the plot together, he never really found any answers or gained any confidence concerning his family. This wasn't a big issue plot-wise, but it did dissapoint my expectations a bit. The biggest problem that I had with the film as a whole was the fact that Peter (played by Andrew Garfield) wasn't quite dorky enough. Normally this would be a character issue, but I believe that the plot hurt his ability to grasp that dorkiness. His relationship with Gwen Stacy (played by Emma Stone) was way too easy. He barely had to try to get her to like him. While I'm not a comic book expert, the Peter Parker I know struggles with an extreme case of dorkiness, and the lack of that dorkiness pissed me off!

As I said, Garfield's turn as Spider-Man was dissapointing, but it was the fault of the writing. Garfield himself was actually perfect for the character. He played my favorite character in The Social Network and didn't let me down in his second major role. On the other hand, Emma Stone is not my favorite actress. She is usually just so-so (save The Help), and she was so-so in this film as well. Stacy and Parker were obviously the two major characters, and neither of them really stood out. Nevertheless, I have seen worse, so I give them the benefit of the doubt.

Negatives: Richard and Mary Parker (played by Campbell Scott and Embeth Davidtz) were undoubtedly the most dissapointing characters. I really wanted Peter's parents to be important in this film, and, as I said, they just weren't. Also, Chris Zylka's Flash Thompson was a bit of a let down. Peter's lack of dorkiness really took away from Flash's ability to be an effective character.

Positives: As expected, Ben Parker (and all his freakin awesome wisdom) was easily the best of all characters. Martin Sheen's turn as Peter's uncle was very successful, which greatly excited me. To my surprise, Denis Leary's turn as Captain Stacy was also very successful. I thought his character might be a little awkward and sappy, but he turned out to be great.

I want to apologize for harping on the lack of Peter Parker's dorkiness so much in this review. However, it is the one thing that really ruined the whole film for me. The problem is that I can't think of a way for them to better portray him without taking away from more realistic approach to the story. Peter Parker's character is a nerd and always will be. The times, however, have greatly changed. So many nerdy things have become the norm now (Thanks, Hipsters!), which makes it harder to portray nerds as awkward or unfortunate people. Therefore, I am blaming my problems with The Amazing Spider-Man on.......... HIPSTERS!!! If you are a hipster, then thanks a lot for ruining Spider-Man (just kidding). I give The Amazing Spider-Man 2.98 out of 5 stars.

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