Watched Jul 06, 2012
Marcin Wichary’s review:
The best joke I heard was “I’m going to see the new Spider-Man movie tomorrow. Hope they don’t reboot it before then.” Yes, everyone’s reaction was probably the same: didn’t they just restart it only like a decade ago?
But so what? What if we abolished sequels and allowed only reboots? Design flourishes under constraint, as they say. There’s quite a lot of it here – the basic tenets of Spider-Man’s origin story are cast in stone, and some of the conventions including New York as a setting, and Stan Lee’s cameos, are likewise sacrosanct. But like a good cook, you can still mix and match all this into a seemingly infinite number of great-tasting permutations. Not to mention we all live in a world Heraclitus would get quite a kick out of: CGI effects, our approach to superhero stories, how we interact with technology, the ways of storytelling and movie-watching, and of course fashion – all of those things are evolving and changing ever so rapidly.
Yes, I was skeptical too. But as I watched the movie, I was constantly surprised at how creative this incarnation of Spider-Man’s origin story was, how nicely it differentiated itself from the predecessors, and still, how well all of it gelled together. Andrew Garfield’s performance is fantastic, the pacing’s spot-on, New York City feels as romantic and patriotic as you want it in a superhero movie, there’s a lot of twists and new takes on the familiar story that don’t feel at all gratuitous, and on top of that also a few moments of genuinely powerful movie-making. And, admirably, The amazing Spider-Man doesn’t desperately try to best its predecessor and some elements from the previous stories are simply gone. (Most noticeably, Peter Parker no longer moonlights at a newspaper because bringing back obsolete technology is a job for The Rewindo, a superhero that has yet to be invented.)
Speaking of which – Spider-Man turns fifty next month, but you wouldn’t know it. This was great fun, and I would love to be this shape when I’m his age. Preferably, though, without any cross-species genetics.