“The Amazing Spider-Man” Rebooted and Darker, Spider-Man Lands in Gotham
How much more Spider-Man can there be? The adolescent super hero has comic books (for 50 years next month), a cartoon and his own Broadway musical (complete with injured actors). Plus, we just had a series of “Spider-Man” movies starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst: “Spider-Man” (2002), “Spider-Man 2” (2004) and “Spider-Man 3” (2007).
I saw the first two Maguire Spider-Mans (or should I say “Spider-Men”?) and liked them. Now we have a new movie called “The Amazing Spider-Man,” in 3D no less. I know he’s a super hero and everything, but does Spidey ever get tired? Will he ever take a vacation? Plus, since our web shooting super hero is all about stopping crime, how about zapping two of his webs around the Regal multiplex at Union Square (850 Broadway) and the AMC Loews Kips Bay (570 Second Avenue) which are charging a premium of $4.50 to view his exploits in 3D? This comes out to $18.00 for an adult ticket! Talk about crooks! No, I did not shell out the exorbitant premium to see Spider-Man do his thing in three dimensions. Two were more than enough.
The set up, in brief, is that Peter Parker, a high school kid, becomes super hero Spider-Man after being bitten by some sort of souped up spider in a lab. There is actually a lot more to it. “The Amazing Spider-Man” is a story about identity and alternate identities, feelings of rejection and inadequacy. Spider-Man is an super hero based on adolescent angst.
Apparently I am not allowed to call this new “Spider-Man” a remake. It is a reboot. In other words Marvel comics and Stan Lee, Spider-Man’s creator, have decided to go back to square one and start the story all over again. From what I understand, from comic book fans, this is frequently done in the comic book world. However, along the way the powers that be seem to have lost the fun.
This new Spider-Man is very dark. I’m not even sure who the audience is for “The Amazing Spider-Man.” I cannot imagine taking younger kids to see it, never mind the fact that it comes in at a whopping 136 minutes. On the other hand, it is well made and has a top notch cast. Andrew Garfield, who I just saw on Broadway in the amazing revival of “Death of a Salesman,” makes for a very good angst ridden Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Emma Stone makes for a fine love interest as Gwen Stacy. Martin Sheen and Sally Field are fine as Parker’s uncle and aunt.
The whole thing just needed a lighter touch. As I watched this new Spider-Man, I kept comparing it to the two out of three Maguire “Spider-Man” movies that I did see and found that, while they veered a bit on the dark side, they also retained much of the comic book fun.
The Amazing Spider-Man, director Marc Webb, 2012
Columbia Pictures, 136 minutes, PG-13
Posted on July 11, 2012, in New and tagged Andrew Garfield, Death of a Salesman, Emma Stone, Kirsten Dunst, Martin Sheen, Peter Parker, Sally Field, Stan Lee, The Amazing Spider-Man, Toby Maguire. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.