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Unnecessary Reboot of Spidey's origin
This could have been so much better... if only they'd taken a page out of The Incredible Hulk's book and skipped retelling the Origin Story. But they didn't, and that shows.

Fans who saw this film without having seen the first one probably have a better opinion of it, I don't know; but, having seen both movies, I can't help but think that Sam Raimi told his story much, much better. Maybe because Raimi had more pre-established characters (Harry, Norman, Jonah, Robertson, Betty Brant) or because Osborn was a much more fleshed-out villain (by IMO a much better actor) with more screentime, but whatever the reason, Webb's tale limps a bit, whereas Raimi had the action flowing smoothly from scene-to-scene. Some might argue Garfield pulls off a better Peter than Maguire did, but Webb can't get out of Raimi's influence as he follows almost exactly the same story for the first half; when we're Just Here For Godzilla. Bring on the action already!

Unfortunately, when the spectacle finally arrives, it's too little, too late. We don't even see Pete in costume until the end of the first half; the phrase "Spiderman" doesn't pop up until even later than that, and he only web-swings at the climax scene. Hell, spider-sense didn't even show up at all. Toby's Peter was doing much bigger stunts way earlier and way better.

It was a good film, and it stands on its own; it just wasn't great; and it doesn't hold up to the original. Lousy 3D, and a not-upto-par Aunt May. Hate the costume, too. What was wrong with the classic?

Some good things I'd like to mention, though:

A) Peter/Gwen: Believable romance, good chemistry between the actors, great performance by Emma Stone.

B) More "spider" in spiderman: Pete makes a web to feel for vibrations (which real spiders use to locate trapped prey) in the sewers; he spins the lizard into a web-cocoon, and moves more like a spider.

C) Banter: One thing this movie did better: Spidey is the wise-cracking, deadpan-snarking snide hero from the comics.

D) Web-swinging: Obviously better with the newer visual effects. Pity there was so little of it.

E) Capt. Stacy: "He's not alone!" Badass. Bonus Points for actually reloading the gun after the right number of shots.

Overall 6/10.
Just one thing I'd like to point out is that spider sense did show up. Multiple times, in fact; it just wasn't explicitly called spider sense. Whenever there was a brief flash before some sort of attack, that was Peter sensing the attack. It's most obvious in the subway scene, since it happens with basically every person that tries to attack him.

And I didn't mind the retelling of the origin story, largely because I felt Webb did it so much better than Raimi. I felt much more for Uncle Ben because we saw so much more of him, and it showed more of Peter's character prior to his death, especially the traits that allowed him to let the thief get away.
comment #15282 MFM 8th Jul 12
I agree with almost every word of this review, except I'd give it a higher final mark, because the things it did well, it did really well. And while the classic costume looked cooler, the new one looks more like something a teenage boy might save up enough money and hack together in his room, which is a plus for me.

Also, it was far from unnecessary. Spider-Man 3 resolved everything (Harry's grudge, Uncle Ben's murder, the romance), and the proposed plot of Spider-Man 4 would probably have pissed a lot of people off.

Can't wait for the sequels, which will no doubt improve.
comment #15283 Jobbeybob 8th Jul 12
Well it's even more necessary than that because Sony needed to make a film this year or lose the rights to it and Raimi and the other actors would have made things expensive and possibly delayed things too much :D

But the reviewer said he felt like it didn't need to be an origin story and if he's talking about that, then yeah, we all know who Spiderman is, it would have been fun if they'd just jumped straight into a story and we picked up the differences on the way. On the other hand, a lot of people reckon this was the better version of Spidermans beginning because it looked a lot closer
comment #15285 Tomwithnonumbers 8th Jul 12
I think it benefited from still having the origin story. We needed to acquaint ourself with Andy Garfield's interpretation, and it'd be harder to build up sympathy for him without the contrast of his pre-Spider-Man life.
comment #15286 Tuckerscreator 8th Jul 12
i think Spiderman's origin is a lot more important to the character than say the hulk, as we need to know a bit more about his life as peter parker to see why this new ability is helpful.
comment #15287 RobbieRotten 8th Jul 12
@MFM: That's true, I remember that; but it didn't leave as much of an impression, whereas in the original it's visually explored; we see time slowing, Parker developing a hyper-awareness about everything around him (which was exactly how JMS Spiderman once described spider sense) and feel the incoming punch. Garfield just looked like he'd become an Instant Expert in Spider-Kung-Fu.

And yes, when I said "unnecessary" I was talking about the re-origin, not the film itself. There could have been enough Peter Parker time even after Ben's death, especially Because Ben's Death is such a big event in his life, he's basically a Posthumous Character in every Spidey story.
comment #15290 Darkmane 8th Jul 12
Oh, and one thing that's still cooking my noodle like crazy: was that chick with the glasses Jessica Jones?
comment #15291 Darkmane 8th Jul 12
If you mean that only the re-origin is unnecessary, not the film itself, then the title of this review should say that, since currently it says the opposite.
comment #15292 Tuckerscreator 9th Jul 12
But not all people are Just Here For Godzilla. I like DC's Elseworlds and a big part of the fun is always getting to see how the stuff is mixed up for the Alternate Universe retelling.

The deeper or longer character arc for Spider-Man justified a reboot route for me also. Here he evolves as a hero. When Maguire stepped into the (actual) suit he was fully formed. Understandable since the first movie was more of a "Greatest Hits" kind of thing, while this was more akin to Batman Year One. It covered less of Peter's life, but in more (and new) detail.
comment #15299 Estvyk 10th Jul 12
The stuff about starting out as an avenger like Batman but evolving more into a protector like Superman could not have been handled with a montage.
comment #15300 Estvyk 10th Jul 12
I mostly agree with this review. I wouldn't exactly call Raimi's Spider Man "good", but it is essentially better than Webb's take in every conceivable way. Raimi's directing was so much more efficient, and colourful, and closer to the tone I imagined appropriate for [i]Spider Man[/i]. This felt like it wanted to be a bit darker and grittier, or at least, a more grounded telling of the tale, and all it did was confuse the tone and place the emphasis in he wrong places. We don't watch Spider Man for prolongued romance, or out of place speeches.

Hell, I'd say that even Maguire did a better job. He looked like a nerd, and his switch to superhero felt natural. This new guy looked like a Calvin Klein model from the get go, trash talking bullies, skateboarding and waxing his hair. He didn't change a damn after he got his powers. And he somehow cries even more often than Toby Maguire.
comment #15324 maninahat 11th Jul 12
I agree with the other people in the comments about the reboot, I didn't understand when they said that they needed to show the differences, couldn't they have done that in a straight up? But just saw it and wow yeah, they needed to do it like that, I didn't realise they were going to do so much character stuff
comment #15328 Tomwithnonumbers 11th Jul 12
I like this better-grounded, more-modern take on Spider-man. Raimi's films were a bit too campy. Maguire was a decent Peter Parker but a terrible Spider-man (if only they had gone with Topher Grace instead.) Webb's narrative is more character-driven and has better action, but it'd be irresponsible not to credit Raimi's trilogy with some of what he was able to do; because of how recent the Raimi movies are, cinema-Spiderman is still in the public conscious enough that Webb didn't have to go back and do the Tropes Checklist that more or less comprised Raimi's first Spiderman movie.
comment #15377 ceen 14th Jul 12
This could have been so much better... if only they'd taken a page out of The Incredible Hulk's book and skipped retelling the Origin Story. But they didn't, and that shows.

That right there sums up everything I feel about this film, so this review I agree with completely. It would've been a decent movie if it had focused solely on the Captain Stacy/Lizard/Oscorp/Peter's parents angle and had left the origin story behind. That would've also left more time for development of characters who needed more, like Flash Thompson, Gwen Stacy, and especially Dr. Conners.

I agree with lots of other stuff in this review. I wasn't the biggest fan of what they did with Cap Stacy's character here, but Dennis Leary sold it. You also should've mentioned Martin Sheen: he was arguably even better than Cliff Robertson was as Uncle Ben.

I like this better-grounded, more-modern take on Spider-man. Raimi's films were a bit too campy.

Well, that was the death of cinema...
comment #15473 ManwiththePlan 21st Jul 12
Look there was a reason why The Avengers is loved by everyone and Transformers hated by equally many and that's because it's more fun to have fun when you're interested in the people involved and the context.

Campy doesn't mean a non-serious film, it means a film which doesn't even really take it self seriously. The Avengers wasn't an all out serious affair, but there was not an inch of camp in it, because in what it's doing it gives the characters time and weight.

Camp isn't unenjoyable, it can be really fun, but the type of fun you get from camp comes from the whole affair and the tone, it's not about the people in it or the components, because it deliberately treats those as light and inconsequential, instead you enjoy the whole spectacle and the way it can poke fun at itself.

The reason it feels (at least to me) that Spiderman is so much better when it's not quite so camp. is that Spiderman is about a character, in fact it's about Spiderman (hence the title :D ) and in the Raimi films we had films that were light on his character and could be a bit disbelieving about the world too. It was fun but the camp led to a turn your brain off affair because if spiderman's character isn't given importance and the film seems to be saying that some of it's elements and even if it's villain *coughGoblincough* aren't meant to be taken serious in parts, then what is there for us to enjoy and have fun with?

The best completely awesome parts of Spiderman were Doc Ock, the train stuff and Aunt May stuff and none of that was camp at all. The only real element that was camp and people enjoyed was Jameson and to be honest, he was missed in this film and I'd love to see him come back, but Jamesson is like the supporting characters in a Jane Austen novel, camp and one-dimensional so you can enjoy that and not get bogged down, whilst you still have something interesting and a little bit more complicated in the main show. TAS didn't have that and I hope it will in the future, but we've lost the sideshow and gained the main attraction
comment #15485 Tomwithnonumbers 22nd Jul 12
^ If Camp means that the film doesn't really take itself seriously, then the Raimi trilogy does not qualify. You just admitted that there were moments of those films that were completely awesome and serious. And dramatic too. Spidey's origin, Peter's struggles in Spider-Man 2, the Aunt May stuff, Sandman and his daughter, Harry's death...how was all that not taken seriously? If it was all true camp, those moments would come off as silly too. I think people are just so used to Raimi as the director of the Evil Dead movies that they accuse him of creating camp even when it's not there. And again I say, if the Raimi movies were camp, then so were the original Spider-Man stories by the character's own creators.

Also, "The Avengers" had a post credits scene with the heroes, in costume, all eating at a wrecked bar. How is that not "campy", as you call it?
comment #16065 ManwiththePlan 10th Sep 12
I call BS. I'm sorry, but this film isn't as bad as many of you state. The campiness has already been done, and yes, some of you don't seem to understand that a new origin was needed. It needed something fresh to help establish a new route for the character. Trying something new instead of the same stale thing.

Because in this movie, characters actually feel like characters. I actually see and understand them as real people. I was actually surprised and entertained that things didn't happen like I was expecting them too.
comment #16085 qtjinla15 11th Sep 12
I think campy is being mixed up with goofy here. Campy is a deliberate attempt to make a somewhat cheesy movie. Goofy is when you make a somehwat cheesy movie by accident. I wouldn't call the Raimi movies campy, even though their tone tends to be quite light and colourful. What they are, are pretty god damn goofy. That scene with the freakin' New Yorkers on the bridge, or when the goblin saunters around like he and Peter are best buds - those are goofy scenes right there.

The darker and more serious Webb version is also pretty goofy at times. Turn-everyone-into-lizard gas? Goofy. Crane operators coming in to save the day? My god.
comment #16089 maninahat 11th Sep 12
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