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REVIEW: The Un-Amazing Spider-Man

Right from the very moment it was announced. I knew I was never going to like the Amazing Spider-Man. I had hated Spider-Man 3. It stands as one of two films that I have walked out of a cinema from (the other being X-Men 3: The Last Stand). Most of all, the reason why I disliked the Amazing Spider-Man had come from the behaviour of Sony. After Spider-Man 3, the rights to the Spider-Man franchise were going to fall back to the original holders of Marvel Studios. This would have meant that Marvel would be free to introduce a Spider-Man movie that could be connected to the ever-growing and ever popular Avengers series. Unfortunately Sony had come along and had decided to produce a Spider-Man film which would allow them to hold onto the film rights.
So here we had a film that was not being released with the interest of the Spider-Man fans or any serious attempt. It had been released purely so Sony could hold onto the film rights and as such, make them loads of money. The Amazing Spider-Man would face stiff competition as well. It would come out after the Whedon helmed Avengers behemoth and the Nolan Dark Knight Rises juggernaut.
I knew there was a good chance that I was going to end up hating it. But I still felt like I should at least see it and try to enjoy it. I couldn’t simply ignore or label the film without having seen it. Now first of all, if you have not seen the previous spider-man films or read the comic books upon which they are based. Then it’s very likely that you’ll enjoy it.
However, the film is nothing more than a horrid mess. Upon viewing, it reminded me a lot of Superman Returns. It too was a film that tried to show a familiar character in a new light. But in both occasions they commit the worst crime of all with a comic book movie. They ignore the source material completely. While watching the Amazing Spider-Man i was frequently reminded of the scene in South Park where Stan, Kenny, Kyle and the kids watch the latest Indiana Jones film. All throughout it felt like the film’s director Marc Webb had decided to personally go to my collection of Spider-Man comic books and then shit upon each of them.
So let’s go over what I consider the main points of why I hated this film.

  • The Special Effects: The Lizard was never threatening nor believable. He was badly designed and in all of his appearances, he was a bad cheap CG model. The 90’s cartoon version of the Lizard was better designed than the film version. Rhys Ifans was never threatening either. He’s better playing the bumbling hapless idiot than a villain.
  • Andrew Garfield: I honestly didn’t believe anyone could portray Peter Parker worse than Tobey Maguire did in Spider-Man 3. Garfield was a poor Peter Parker where more attention seemed to be placed on his Edward Cullen haircut style than on any kind of acting ability. In fact the only decent actors in the film was Martin Sheen and Emma Stone. Everyone else seemed like they were more interested in collecting their payslip than any actual attempt to act.
  • The Music Video Director: Before The Amazing Spider-Man, the films director Marc Webb had only made one film before and that was 500 days of Summer. Webb has previously only made a career out of making Music Videos. This shows in the Amazing Spider-Man. The entire film feels like nothing more than a long music video. this makes me wonder just why Sony would give a film project to someone so inexperienced with movie making. This film needed a better director and the fact that this film falls apart so badly only leads me to believe that they should have gone to a more experienced director.
  • Unnecessary Reboot: Spiderman didn’t need a reboot. The film covers ground that had already been well covered in the previous Spider-Man movies. I don’t see why they should have spent so much time in a film towards a storyline that everyone knows. Everyone knows that Uncle Ben is going to die, Peter is going to learn the meaning of the whole Power and Responsibility speech and that he’ll be bitten by a spider. So rather than go over new ground and follow a decent plot. Webb decides to take everyone by the hand, treat them like a 2-year-old and guide them through a unnecessary reboot.
  • The End Credits Scene: This screamed to me “LOOK AT ME, WE’RE LIKE THE AVENGERS!” I won’t give away plot details but it so badly screams sequel but even worse, by this point. I couldn’t even care less about the sequel. At least with the End Credits scenes in the Avengers movies, you’re left wanting more. All I wanted with The Amazing Spider-Man was to get out of the cinema and demand my money back.
  • The Nolan Effect: By now, everyone knows that Christopher Nolan’s Batman series has set the standard when it comes to comic book movies. He doesn’t necessary follow the comic story-lines but he does stick to the mythology of Batman. Throughout The Amazing Spider-Man it feels like Sony said to Marc Webb “we want a Spiderman begins film”

The producers of the Amazing Spider-Man have recently stated that they view the Amazing Spider-Man as the first film in a three act origin trilogy. The first thing that comes to mind is the fact that they are trying to rip off what Nolan has achieved with Batman. I would go as far as saying that the Amazing Spider-Man plagiarised Batman Begins and Warner Bros. should seriously consider legal action.
So my verdict on this film – Avoid it, Avoid it like the fucking plague. If you’re planning on seeing this film. Ignore it, save your money. Wait and go to see The Dark Knight Rises instead. You’ll enjoy that film more and you’ll deprive Sony & Webb of your money for making a film that is anything but amazing.

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  1. July 21, 2012 at 5:46 am

    I’ve already ranted about the mistakes this movie has made on my own blog… http://igp-scifi.com/2012/07/the-amazing-spider-man-review/ However, I just began re-watching Batman Begins, and, you’re absolutely right about it being a ripoff. I can’t believe how similar it is, particularly the lizard’s evil plan…

    • July 21, 2012 at 10:45 am

      Great review. You actually picked up a few pointers that I had forgotten about and you’re absolutely right. If someone see’s Spider-Man without any knowledge of the comic books, they will for the most part enjoy the film. But if someone walks into it with at least a moderate knowledge of the books, they will only see glaring plot holes and discontinuities. Well done and thanks for commenting.

  1. July 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm

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