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Marc Webb’s ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ hit theaters July 3, 2012, hoping to reboot the smart-mouthed web-slinger in more modern times. It features a shiny, slick new type of hero and takes a darker perspective on Peter Parker’s life. While the film certainly is not bad by any stretch, there are some issues with the directions it decided to take. Here are the most pressing issues we noted in no particular order. Massive spoilers ahead for the movie so please proceed with caution.
10. Spider-Man’s jokes were not very good. One of the biggest complaints about Sam Raimi’s ‘Spider-Man’, mostly from comic book nerds, is that he was not very funny. Spidey is known for cracking jokes and being really good at one liners. It is one of his most distinct character traits because, while Peter Parker is a mild-mannered guy, Spider-Man is sarcastic and mocks his adversaries.
Marc Webb’s Spider-Man attempted to replicate this behavior, but the humor did not live up to promise. Many of the jokes were ruined because they were shown in the trailers, and the others fell flat due to long, awkward pauses. He offers a few zingers to the Lizard throughout the course of their fights, but most are easily forgotten.
9. Difficulty connecting with the characters on a personal level. Parker’s origin story is a compelling one and it is also wrapped in mystery, which the movie emphasizes to a large degree. The mysterious disappearance of Peter’s parents torments him for much of his life and, while it is easy to sympathize with him, you never get a chance to root for him. This is due to Andrew Garfield’s portrayal of the character. He plays Parker as very awkward, which makes sense, but he tends to overdo it with that lopsided grin and stammering dialogue.
It got to the point where I mentally reenacting a running gag from the RiffTrax of the ‘Twilight’ films, where Kevin, Mike, and Bill would say, “Line?” whenever there was a huge awkward pause between Bella and Edward. Peter’s painful awkwardness and angst left me feeling distant rather than connected to him.
8. Illogical decisions from normally intelligent people. There are several moments where characters do something stupid to increase the drama. For instance, Peter notices that the Daily Bugle is offering a reward for photos of the Lizard, so he decides to patrol the sewers and straps his camera to a wall.
This is pretty smart. What is not smart is that Peter does not remove his name from the back of the camera while masquerading as a masked vigilante that the police want to apprehend. Why in blue blazes didn’t he scratch his name off of a camera he was using while fighting crime? That is inexcusably stupid and as predicted, the Lizard finds the camera and figures out his secret.
7. The end credits scene. The attentive eye will have recognized the bad guy teased at the end of ‘The Avengers’ (2012). But this end credits scene was infuriating because it was impossible to see Dr. Connors’ visitor. Nothing. No face, no distinctive clothing, no distinctive voice, and no lead up to help piece together who he was or who he was working for. We assume the intention was to get the audience frothing with theories about who he could be, but I felt ripped off because there was no buildup to this mystery man and there were no clues. The scene added nothing to set up a sequel and that is the most disappointing thing of all.
6. Peter Parker’s lack of concern for his mother. Unfortunately, this problem is not limited to ‘the Amazing Spider-Man’. There are a lot of male heroes who tend to focus on the loss of their fathers instead of both parents. This is understandable because boys tend to look up to their fathers, but it was still annoying that Peter did not mention anything about his mother. It felt like she did not matter, despite the fact that she was probably just as loving and nurturing as his father. It would have been nice to see him appreciate her even though she did not work with Dr. Connors.
Stay tuned for Part 2!
Image Courtesy of The Amazing Spider-Man