June 30, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man

There were the doubts about how someone known primarily for 500 Days Of Summer could possibly pull off a seemingly ambitious superhero blockbuster flick like The Amazing Spider-Man.

I had the same doubts at first but were quickly dispelled by those small promotional clips taken from the movie they released gradually up until the opening date. Most notable of them was the clip  where Spider-Man was trolling a carjacker. So far so good. At least they got the trash-talker aspect and sense of humor of the character right. Whenever Tobey Maguire tried those one-liners off the Sam Raimi version, it came off being delivered by a nerd trying so hard to be cool. Granted that Peter Parker was a real nerd, he was one without any of those cliched social handicaps filmmakers try so hard to hammer down the heads of the audiences to the point of actually preaching how great it is to be one. He's a nerd, but not of the Big Bang Theory-variety. With over a truckload of re-invention and reboots ranging from comic books, TV shows, the occasional direct to video B-movie treatments to Sam Raimi's version, the last thing the world needs is another 'reboot' of an established franchise.

But the movie is everything the first three were not: It's better.

Rabid comic-book purists will no doubt complain again about the entire re-invention of the Peter Parker backstory and how un-Norman Rockwell-esque the treatment of the hero's relationship was to his aunt and uncle up to the inclusion of a conspiracy theory regarding his parents' disappearance, but it's all irrelevant yapping at this point. 

Webb and his pool of writers created a fresh and grittier take on the evolution of the iconic web-slinger. There's a certain realistic feel to it that's apparent and devoid of any excessive melodrama or long speeches on nobility. And Parker naturally gets back at the bullies who made his life miserable and exacts a level of enjoyment for his small revenge; as any normal person who suddenly discovered the power to fight back, would do. 

But the two lead actors [Andrew Garfield/Emma Stone] were perfect for the parts they played. Specially Stone, who did not come off as the token hysterical neurotic female lead with a sense of entitlement despite knowing her partner's nocturnal activities and responsibilities.

The fight sequences with the Lizard, which most people actually go for in movies like this were excellent. And the Spider-Man contortions made famous in the comics when he was web-slinging was given due recognition specially in the ending. It also showcased Peter Parker's scientific wizardy and his creation of the web-shooters. Without a doubt this Spider-Man is better compared to the one-dimensional version Raimi introduced. Webb and the others hit all the right note with this first installment, and a possible inclusion to The Avengers.

And basing from the extra footage at the end credits [as with all Marvel movies], looks like The Green Goblin is up next. I hope they still get Willem Dafoe for it. 

Minus that horrendous helmet, this time.

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