Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Amazing Spider-man

by Reymundo Salao

The Amazing Spider-man is designed to be a reboot of the Spider-man franchise, to erase off and disregard the previous one. This should have been probably be expected to be a better take on the Spider-man franchise. Unfortunately, it's barely good, just a tiny bit above satisfactory. No; it's not a bad movie... It was just not good enough.

The movie has a vast playing field for nitpickers picking on little negative details of the movie; such as the lack of real motivation on the villain's part, or something as insignificant as Peter's distracting hair looking like a birdnest helmet. But aside from nitpicks, the film has several serious flaws.
The movie starts out great. I could see how it endeavors to create this serious storyline that delves into the angst of Peter Parker, into the history of his father, and into his relationship with Gwen Stacy. But the movie later drags in a very slow pace. It was just not practical enough in wasting time over scenes and subplots that are neither entertaining, nor valuable to the main plot of the movie. It was as if director Marc Webb was given a long, dense story... but then they did not even make an effort to shorten for the sake of cinematic brevity.

It opens several plot points and goes nowhere with them. And those unresolved plot points are sloppily left hanging, making the movie look unfinished despite its really long running time. It's a movie that needs a sequel, because plot-wise, it could not stand on its own feet. Most of the really good series/franchise movies may have hanging storylines too, but their writers and directors know how to give them a chapter closure. Take a look at The Matrix part 1, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (part 1), Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope (The first movie & the first chapter of the original trilogy), and the first Harry Potter movie. In those movies, not all the questions are answered, not all the mysteries are solved; but by the end of the movie, there is a satisfying sense of closure. 

With a concept such as the Spider-man, you have the advantage of tapping a wide number of audience demographic. Children would naturally love the superhero aspect, teens would identify with the angst and the love story aspect, and adults would appreciate the storyline, the sci-fi aspect, or merely the fun adventure expected from a Spider-man movie. Unfortunately, this movie seems to satisfy just that one demographic, the teens, and disregards the rest.

It takes a long time to get to the action, then by the time it gets there, before you'd think the pace would shift, it reverts back to teen soap opera drag every time he removes his mask. The more serious subplots such as what really happened to his parents, or the real issue about Oscorp is really treated as a backstory. 

If I was to calculate and gauge the movie's audience reaction, it would probably be like this: If you were a kid under 10, you might find the movie boring, if you were over 20, it might feel satisfactory, and if you were over 30, it kinda gets annoying. It's the teenagers who would relate and adore this movie.

The movie has a really slow pace that drags along the teen aspect; teen angst and teen love story. I could be more forgiving if it was a good teen story. But then, they paint Peter Parker with some sort of an unlikeable asshole factor. His road to "becoming' Spider-man was not very inventive either. It was very "80's superhero movie" even in the scene where the citizens working in construction give Spider-man a hand, it was perplexingly cheesy.

I was really hoping that my initial impressions of the movie were proven wrong. All in all; The Amazing Spider-man is not much of anything; barely good but not amazing. It's supposed to be the other way around; a superhero movie packaged in teen flick marketing. But with how this movie looks like, it really was a teen flick packaged in superhero marketing.

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