So I finally saw 'The Amazing Spider-Man' on Wednesday, almost a month after it's release. Guess it took me so long because I was not overly excited about this film. Although the Sam Raimi films had their flaws, overall I was happy with what he was doing and I felt he would do better with Spider-man 4 after the disaster that was Spider-man 3. I definitely was not ready for a reboot 5 years after S3, but I found time this week to give the film a watch and I liked it. Is it better than the 2002 Spider-Man film... yes and no. There were pro's and con's to both films, so I decided to break them both down and compare.
'Spiderman' (2002) Pro's:
- Great story. You saw Peter as a high school kid all the way to him working at the Dailey Bugle. As far as origins go Raimi kept this very close to the source material including Peter 'wrestling' for money and his not stopping the robber that shot his Uncle. But instead of Gwen Stacey they had Mary Jane Watson as Peter's high school sweetheart. James Franco was great as Harry Osborn.
- Everyone was (almost) perfectly cast including Willam Defoe as Norman Osborn and Tobey Maguire was great as Peter and Spider-man. JK Simmons stole the role of J.Jonah Jameson, not sure who can beat his performance in this new 'Trilogy' as JJ was not in 'Amazing'.
- Having Norman Osborn/ The Green Goblin as the villain was great. Very cool to have their origins linked. Defoe was great playing a tortured man suffering from a multi-personality. I especially liked the scenes where he was talking into a mirror or talking at the mask.
- CGI was great. At times it may have seemed too 'cartoony' but I liked it and felt it fit well in this comic book inspired movie.
'Amazing Spiderman' (2012) Pro's:
- Great story. He remains in high school for this film so you don't get to see the Daily Bugle. Gwen is in this film and his love interest and her father NYPD Captain Stacey is in it too.
- This film had the (almost) perfect Spider-man cast thus far. As much as I liked Maguire as Peter I feel that Andrew Garfield was much better in the role. Emma Stone (oh Emma Stone... sweetness...) she nailed the role of Gwen. She is an amazing actress who was absolutely awesome in the role. So much so it makes me sad to know the tragic fate of Gwen Stacey in the comic book... NOOOOOO!!!! I am a huge fan of Denis Leary and having him play Captain Stacey was very cool. He fit perfectly in the role. Martin Sheen and Sally Field were perfect in the roles of Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Even the guy who played Flash Thompson was good.
- CGI and special effects were good overall.
'Spiderman' (2002) Con's:
- Kirsten Dunst was poorly cast as MJ, but would have made a great Gwen Stacey, although not as good as Emma Stone. Dunst is blond, Gwen is blonde. Dunst has the 'girl next door' vibe about her, which Gwen was. Dunst just couldn't pull off the red head look. Also, at the risk of sounding insensitive, in the comic book MJ is the most beautiful woman in the world. She is a world famous actress and model, an absolute bombshell, which Dunst is not, sorry.
- As much as I loved the Green Goblin his costume looked ridiculous. He really looked like he belonged on 'Mighty Morphin Power Rangers'. Really not frightening at all.
'Amazing Spiderman' (2012) Con's:
- I wanted to see more Spidey than they provided. With the story they went back to the origin and I think it wasn't really needed, especially with only 10 years since the last time the origin was told on film. I realize this is a different franchise and they want to build a foundation here, but wasting time on an origin most people know already is wasting time.
- Norman Osborn seems to be the man pulling the strings here yet he remains unseen, kind of like the Emperor on the first Star Wars film. I wanted to see this guy. Also who was that guy in the credits scene who was talking to Conners? Electro maybe? He seemed to speak for Osborn but was not Osborn. At least I hope it wasn't Osborn.
- Despite 'Spider-man 3' being less than stellar I enjoyed Sam Raimi's take on the wall crawler. Had he stayed with the series I'm sure he would have taken us to some very cool places. I had hopes that by film 6 we would see 'The Sinister Six' take on Spider-man, but now with this reboot we are starting from scratch. Also apparently this new film series will be a 'Trilogy' which makes it less likely that the S6 will appear, and many other villains and supporting characters will fall through the cracks. I want them to build up to the Sinister Six the same way Marvel Studios built up to 'The Avengers'.
- With the first 3 Raimi films we saw Doc Ock, Green Goblin, Venom, Sandman... will we see new versions of these characters in future 'Amazing' sequels or will they be lost. Alfred Molina was superb as Doc Ock, it's gonna suck to see that role recast.
- The Lizard is the big bad for this film? As far as Spider-man rogues go he is not one I really cared to ever see on the big screen. The CGI for the Lizard was not the best and he looked more like the Hulk than the Lizard from the comic books. And Rhys Ifans really did not add anything to the film as a villain, not in the same way Willam Defoe did 10 years ago. I would rather have seen The Scorpion, Mysterio or the Rhino in this film.
Not sure which origin film is better, both had their strengths and weaknesses. But Spider-Man (2002) may have the edge over the new film as I would give that 10 year old film a rating of 4 stars out of 5. 'Amazing' just had a few too many more cons working against it than the 2002 flick.
Overall despite everything going against it I would give the 'Amazing Spider-Man' film 3.5 stars out of 5. It was good, but not great and still definitely worth seeing.
Till next time Spider-Friends!