I was not really looking forward to seeing this new “reboot” of Spiderman, but the kids wanted to check it out so off we went. Boy was I not pleasantly surprised with this re-hash of Sam Raimi ‘s version of Spidey’s origin story! Let’s get some good things out of the way. I liked Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone as Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy. They play those roles as very likable teens even if the romance feels a bit weird as if it is not properly scripted. Maybe that’s Webb’s (an Indie film director normally) intention, but here it just felt uncomfortable and odd. A tighter script could’ve probably fixed that. The special effects and Spider-Man CGI is well done overall as well. That’s pretty much it for what was ok about this film.
What I did not like? It felt like a watered down version of Riami’s first movie. Why spend the time on similar plot points that were done much better previously like the jocks picking on the geek at school, the long lead up to uncle Ben’s death scene, New Yorkers helping the hero, a villain that is not “so bad”…. BTW, that was a very dumb thing uncle Ben did that no reasonable adult would do. He basically jumped towards a guy with a gun for no apparent reason. That whole New York people helping Spider-Man sequence was amazingly cheesy and made no sense. The plot as a whole seems like a hack job and entire plot points seem to be glossed over or removed. I was under the impression that this will tell us stuff about Peter Parker and Spider-Man that we never knew like info about his genetics and parents. That’s hinted at and then just dropped. Oh! except for the stinger during the post credits where we get a tease for the inevitable sequel. I really can go on and on (what about the media perception of Spider-Man, what about that interesting bad dude who works for Osborne and just gets dropped out of the picture, Gwen formulating an antidote on the fly! …) but I don’t feel like wasting much more space on this.
I almost completely forgot about the villain, the fearsome Lizard, but he really is forgettable. He is not interesting in the slightest and you get no good idea what his motivations are or of his connection to Parker. Well, he wants to turn everyone to a lizard. Wow, what a brilliant plan that goes nowhere. This film had great potential with an excellent leading man, but it missed the mark almost completely and I have the feeling the studio just chopped the crap out of it.