Ah, the new Spiderman. The Amazing Spiderman. A reboot? Remake? Re-imagining?
I have to start out by saying that I loved the original Spiderman and I found myself thinking, why in the world would they have to restart a very successful series? Why? I mean it’s one thing to reboot something like Mission:Impossible, a TV series from the 60’s but Spiderman? Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst did a fine job. They had chemistry. There was a good villain, some nifty quotes (“with great power comes great responsibility,”) and it had, well, heart.
So how could the coked-up nutbags in hollywood possibly think they could make a better movie?
And they didn’t. Make a better movie, that is.
Oh, it’s not a bad movie. Andrew Garfield is fantastic as an angst ridden teenager, doing something I don’t do well. Emotion. He adds a lot more depth to the role than young Mr. McGuire did. He is likable, vulnerable, kinda geeky and yet, very much the hero. Playing off against him is the lovely Emma Stone who, despite having googly-green-eyes and a smile that looks like she’s still wearing braces, once again shines as a sassier and smarter love interest.
But they aren’t enough to make it a great movie. The villain is boring and the beast he turns into, well, is boring, too. Even the CGI is a bit off. In this day and age, it has to be PERFECT! Worse, the plot is plodding and predictable and except for the little kids watching the show, I’m pretty sure anyone knew what was going to happen and how it would end. That’s not good.
Nor are there any great moments in the film. One of the best is the ubiquitous Stan Lee insertion as a librarian who listens to classical music on his headphones while villain and hero battle it out behind him. Funny as hell. But that’s about it.
However, the biggest surprise and the biggest waste (at least for me) was Denis Leary as the police chief (or whatever he was.) One of the greatest comedians, he’ usually just one sip of coffee away from a complete explosion. I waited for the entire movie for him to slip into character. But no, they neutered him. He was as bland a white rice and as funny as, well, white rice.
He could have been an asshole.
So, should you see it? Sure, why not. Andrew Garfield makes it worthwhile. Emma Stone makes it worthwhile. But there are better movies out there.