Movie Review by Jack Silbert
Many griped that it was too soon to do another Spider-Man movie series. That didn’t bother me too much. I’m enough of a dork that if they rebooted the Spidey franchise every week, I’d be at the theater, 3-D glasses in hand.
Ah, but there was something I forgot about superhero reboots: They have to tell the origin story again. And origin stories are, on the whole, horribly boring and very time consuming. Here, it’s more than an hour before we actually see Spider-Man. Did they forget the title of the movie? We paid to see our beloved Webslinger. Andrew Garfield is a decent actor but trust me, no one is thinking, “Oh, let’s go see the new Andrew Garfield movie. And let’s pay the 3-D surcharge, because that will enhance the subtleties of his performance.”
Also, they monkeyed with the origin story. Now, that can be acceptable if you improve, streamline, or add logic to the origin. But Webhead’s origin was rock-solid. Nerd is bitten by radioactive spider, gets cool powers but also a swelled head, his new hubris leads to the death of Uncle Ben (not the boxed rice guy), and we all learn an important lesson: “With great power there must also come great responsibility.” But here they decide to tell us about Peter Parker’s mysterious parents (Campbell Scott absolutely slumming with cheap-looking grey hair), get the Lizard involved, and generally confuse things. Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben, thrilled to be raising Peter Parker instead of Charlie Sheen, delivers an incredibly convoluted version of the “power = responsibility” speech. If it ain’t broke, fellas ….
|Stone and Garfield|
|Leary (So are we!)|
But don’t we all deserve a little bit better? Director Marc Webb (yes, get over it, his name is Webb) doesn’t seem to have a great feel for the material. I know, you’re shocked, the guy who directed (500) Days of Summer wasn’t a natural for a superhero movie? (At least he puts together another decent soundtrack.) Sam Raimi, who directed the previous Spider-Man trilogy, filled those films with a sense of fun that is almost absent from this. Raimi also made New York look more like New York; I was very surprised to see this was partially filmed in New York. And I like to think Raimi would’ve vetoed a ridiculous scene late in the movie that I can only imagine was bankrolled by the Crane Operators Guild.
In fact, do the kids a favor, just rent the Raimi Spider-Man movies. Or go see The Avengers again. You’ll be safe; they covered the origin stories in those 46 prequels.