Tuesday Jul 03 2012
"The Amazing Spider-Man" doesn't live up to its storied reputation
By: Frank Miller Special to The News Messenger
?The Amazing Spider-Man? Directed by Marc Webb Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans Rating: Two out of five stars ?The Amazing Spider-Man? doesn?t live up to its storied reputation By Frank Miller Special to The News Messenger A mere decade after his first appearance in theaters, Marvel?s web-slinging superhero is getting the reboot treatment with all new actors and creative talent in the latest film, ?The Amazing Spider-Man.? In doing so, director Marc Webb is telling the origin story all over again and taking Peter Parker back to his high school days. This wouldn?t be such a terrible decision if they found a new twist that justified starting over instead of serializing the character ala James Bond. Unfortunately, the changed elements of Spider-Man?s beginnings don?t add anything to the character and much of the film?s runtime is spent rehashing well-known tropes instead of focusing on the overarching plot. The film centers on Peter?s search for answers regarding his long-lost parents. His inquisitiveness leads him to cross paths with his father?s former partner, Dr. Curt Connors. Connors, who is missing his right arm, is experimenting with cross-species genetics to re-grow his appendage with reptile DNA. His experiments go terribly wrong and turn the good doctor into the Lizard, a giant scaly monster who is bent on destruction. Garfield is a charismatic screen presence and makes for a cocky-yet-charming Spider-Man but his Peter Parker is more brooding than nerdy. That robs the character of his comic book essence. He shines in scenes with the equally brilliant Emma Stone, playing love interest Gwen Stacy, and the film is better for their chemistry alone. There are disparate elements that work but the film can?t overcome its wild shifts in tone, bafflingly stupid plot points and poor development of character relationships. For as much grief that director Sam Raimi got for the maligned ?Spider-Man 3,? he still managed to nail the characters and understood the tone of the comics. ?The Amazing Spider-Man? doesn?t do anything better than Raimi?s first two Spider-Man films. While not an utter failure, it?s still a disappointing return for one of Marvel?s most beloved characters. Frank Miller is a Sacramento writer.