I saw the new Amazing Spider-Man film in 3D.Here was my attitude going into the movie:
I don't have a huge motivation to see this in the theatre, I could wait until it's out on NetFlix or somewhere else. I do like the main actor Andrew more than Toby, but I can't imagine the story is different enough. Hopefully I will be proven wrong.
Well, I'd say it was worth the trip.
To me it felt less campy, almost realistic (if you ignore some of the over-the-top only-CG sections) and a bit raw.
I like that Peter's not perfect, he's human (for the most part). He's awkward at times, injured, struggling to control his abilities, learning on his own, creating his suit, causes his uncle to be shot and cannot save him, seeks revenge against a bully and his uncle's killer. He brings some nostalgia to me as a hoodie-wearing chain-riding and skating kid. And of course I'm glad he's not a wrestler in it but I like the reference to creating his mask.
We see his parents with a better backstory (apparently to be continuted in later films).
I really liked the few funny scenes like the smart-talking spidey "i'm scared of knives" (reminding me of the animated TV series a little) and the Stan Lee's cameo in the library. Oh and the accidental beat-down in the subway "sorry sorry".
I also didn't like the number of people that saw his abilities as Peter: kids at high school playing basketball, people on the subway, police and public out in the street. Maybe it goes to show how inexperienced and vulnerable he is starting out.
I'm not a big fan of the lizard, definitely low in my rank of enemies, but it ended up being a great start to a series of films. I had completely forgotten about Dr Connors appearing in the earlier Spider-Man 2/3 films (not as the Lizard but as a professor/physicist).
The film did have me wondering about how Spider-Man and the Lizard were transformed.
For Spider-Man, did the spider bite transfer part of the spider DNA with the serum to allow merging across species/materials (assuming spiders were spliced with a strong material).
But Peter's appearance does not change to look like a spider (as happens to the Lizard). He gains speed, strength, senses, climbing ability. Is this from such a small exposure allowing a partial transformation with possibly multiple bites from the spider required?
Since the Lizards transformation is different, I assume the formula/serum used is also different. Was the formula from Peter's father wrong? If so why? Did Peter's write it down wrong (he did just memorized it)? Or had his father left it flawed in-case found? It's interesting since both point to Peter being flawed (not remembering correctly or being in over his head).
In comparing this film to comics/animated TV:
- Core theme of Spider-Man is the same as the comic: relatable teen with no mentor, learning for self.
- Peter bit by modified spider (not sure if radioactive as in comic).
- Spider-Man shooting web from devices is same as comic (but unlike earlier films).
- Peter does not catch his uncle's killer (not yet atleast), unlike the comic (and earlier film).
- Peter's parents backstory is different from comic (meeting and death, and probably also working for CIA)
- Peter meets Gwen in college in the comic (some also have this in high school).
- Gwen's dad is a cop and does have a fight with Peter, but he instead dies from Dr Octapus in the comic.
- Gwen is an intern with Dr Connors similar to the animated TV.
- Lizards backstory is different from comic (lost arm in army and works from home in Florida) but similar in animated TV (lost arm from accident, working for Oscorp).
- Lizard also wants to turn NY into lizard-people in animated TV.
There are many different comics and TV shows, so there is sure to be a combination of these that can match the movie.
So why was this film needed?
Apparently there were stories missed in the earlier films that can now be explored.
An obvious opportunity is a tie in to the Avengers, such as Dr Connors working for SHIELD or a Captain America connection with the Red Skull and Peter's parents (similar to the comics, although probably not since the film appears to blame Oscorp).
I missed the ending providing a sneak peak ahead into the next film, but hopefully we find out the truth about his parents.