Some might question the need for this movie, but the basic problem, according to what I’ve been told, was that:
- Sam Raimi and Tobey McGuire were tired of the franchise and wanted way too much money to continue.
- Sony needs to make a Spider-Man movie every so often to keep the license.
- Continuing within the existing framework would have contractually required Sam’s involvement, since he set everything up.
Hence the reboot.
At any rate, I found this to be a decent movie. I’m not sure I went into it with high expectations, but I was interested in the darker tone of the movie. Cliche, but true.
The movie redoes the origin story. It didn’t bother me, but it probably will annoy some people. The teen romance angle and witty dating banter gets a little more airtime in this movie. I enjoyed the action more in places, and less in others. In particular, the practical stunts look good, but also often fail to communicate the real “superhero” like jumps and moves that should be possible. Spider-Man gets injured a lot, and that isn’t really consistent with his “pre-cognition” powers. I guess this is done for the sake of movie drama, but I’d like to see the fights be a little more intelligent and consistent with the comic.
The Lizard was not a particularly compelling villain, nor were his motivations interesting. He’s sort of a bad guy for no reason at all. They should have done more with the character. It would have helped.
Garfield was a great choice for this movie, and he and Emma Stone have believable chemistry. Garfield gets across some of that high school angst with a serious tone and not the comical one that Tobey McGuire was laden with. It works.
There are some strong parallels with the first Spider-Man movie (2002). Both villains inject themselves with green liquid to turn into super villains. Both involve a refusal to perform human testing of highly experimental procedures. Both have a “New Yorkers helping out Spider-Man in his time of need” event. I would have preferred that the plots diverge more widely. A reboot needs to distinguish itself from its predecessor.
The movie strongly foreshadows that this trilogy is going to end up with the famous death of Gwen Stacy. It would be a more complex and interesting twist if that’s where it all ends up.
I still miss the old MTV Spider-Man series. It had a great trance musical theme, dark overtones (students and people suffering serious consequences from villains left and right), all oddly but well mixed with serious college issues (stalking, hazing, dating, general life etc). Enjoyed that more than all the movies.