The Amazing Spider-Man

I watched this on a plane at what was around 3AM since I couldn't sleep. Sadly, it didn't cause me to sleep because I was appalled at the lack of anything resembling trying to make this interesting. Mainly, the writers seem to have ideas for scenes (Uncle Ben is shot; Peter gets bitten) but the way they get characters into scenes never make logical nor psychological sense. Also I'm not sure that Garfield and Stone have good chemistry as much as they kind of look like deer in headlights that smile at each other because there is never any reason why these two should be attracted to each other. Garfield is constantly a jerk, but he's a moody jerk with feelings about his parents, which makes his abhorrent behavior justified, and that is fine but he never once gets his comeuppance, especially in the ridiculously stupid ending with Gwen. Also, I happened to re-read Vadim's piece on 21 Jump Street just before viewing, which examines how that film used/subverted high school cliches in a modern age - this felt terribly outdated in terms of bullies/jocks/etc, only appealing to a base line of what high school might be (for really wanting to place Peter in high school, is there even a single classroom scene?). It looks absolutely grotesque on screen as well - the CGI is too jarringly CGI, and lacks any physical consequences in a way my other plane film, Riddick, paid special attention to. It's all kind of wacky and thrown together without any care for physical spaces - a lot of movement but none of it feels like movement if that makes sense. Points to Rhys Ifan's somewhat interesting villain, sadly turned into a cliche-spinning CGI monster that made anything interesting about him immediately dull.

I happened to listen to a recent podcast on the sequel, and someone defended this over Raimi's, lambasting the original director for taking great moments from the comics but using different characters, which is apparently sacrilegious. Meanwhile, Webb might create those great moments, but his construction of them within a filmic narrative is paper thin. Commentary like this is why comic boy fandom gets such a bad rap.

I also forgot to mention there is a training montage set to Coldplay's "Lost Highway," which is the least training-fueling song ever produced.

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