Film: Spider-man reinvents too soon

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July 7th, 2012

Omaha, NE – Is new Spider-Man movie amazing? From the Movieha podcast, Ryan Syrek and Matt Lockwood take a look at The Amazing Spider-Man.

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Andrew Garfield plays Spider-Man in the new film by Marc Webb.

Ryan: I forget, how did Spider-man get his powers again? Did he recite a secret freemason oath while simultaneously rubbing his stomach and patting his head, or was that Batman?

Matt: On the one hand, I don’t blame Hollywood for assuming a country that seems to have the collective attention span of…(snaps fingers) Ryan pay attention, we’re recording.

Ryan: Sorry, I saw something shiny.

Matt: But if there’s one thing we have committed to memory, it’s the origins of superheroes. That’s why The Amazing Spider-Man feels so strange.

Ryan: Well, it’s one of the reasons. A mere decade after Sam Raimi’s first spider-flick debuted, actor Andrew Garfield takes over the role of Peter Parker and we get another origin story for the webhead, this time with copious amounts of weepy-eyed angst and enough furrowed-brow harumphing to exhaust any non-teenager.

Matt: We’re not going to bore you with the details of the origin again.

Ryan: He gets bit by a spider.

Matt: I guess that’s really it, huh? Man, why do we keep having to tell that like it’s complicated? Emma Stone plays the love interest this time out. She’s the gorgeous and clever Gwen Stacy, the type of gal made to be a first love. After he gets bit, Pete decides to be a superhero, despite the fact that neither his Aunt May, played by Sally Field, nor his Uncle Ben, played by Martin Sheen, actually reminds him that with great power comes great responsibility. This causes strife in the Stacy household, as Gwen’s dad is the chief of police and head Spidey hater and her boyfriend is the tights-wearing vigilante.

Ryan: Further complicating things is the brilliant scientist Curt Conners, playd by Rhys Ifans, who injects himself with nebulous “genetic material” and turns into a giant reptile hellbent on turning EVERYONE into a giant reptile. From there, there’s lots of action, if you consider two computer generated things knocking into one another action.

Matt: Although there are some great moments and both Garfield and Stone seem well cast, the movie is just missing something. It feels scattered, as the plot offered in the trailers, Peter’s missing parents have a secret that will be revealed, barely appears. It’s as though they were editing this soulless blockbuster right up until the 11th hour, when they just made a guess and ran with it.

Ryan: Stripping Spider-Man of the phrase ‘With great power comes great responsibility’ is like simultaneously tugging on Superman’s cape while spitting into the wind, pulling the mask off the old Lone Ranger, and giving Jim the finger. You don’t do it. It’s inherent to who he is as an inspiration character. Spider-Man is supposed to be inspirational, vibrant, and fun. He is the anti-Batman in some regards, so modeling this after the dark knight, was not good thinking.

Matt: Throw in a lame, second-rate villain and a second-time director who has no business running a film of this scale, and the result is a muddled mess that shouldn’t dare to call itself amazing.

Ryan: Spider-Man has always been dear to me, his sense of right and wrong and defense of the little guy helped shape me as a person. So it pains me to see him reduced to Twilight-esque brooding. Here’s hoping that the next entry in this series gets it right and, we have something great to swing about.

Editorial note: The Movieha podcast is produced in partnership with The Reader and is available at thereader.com.

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