Remember the golden age of the cinema, back when filmmakers would wait a good thirty years before remaking a movie? Well, I recently learned that a remake is different than a reboot, and apparently The Amazing Spiderman represents the latter. Ohh! So this is how Hollywood justifies spitting out the same superhero movies every sixteen months or so!
Anyway, in this “reboot,” a marginally less awkward Peter Parker goes through the motions of the traditional Spiderman plot; after the shady death of his parents when he is four, young Peter is raised by his kindhearted Uncle Ben and Aunt May. However, this time Peter learns that his scientist father was involved in some cutting edge cross-species experimentation prior to his death in an attempt to make humans less vulnerable through exploiting the regenerative capabilities of certain animal species. This revelation leads Peter to seek out his daddy’s old partner in crime, Dr. Curt Connors – a one-armed British scientist whose interest in limb regrowth is less than shocking. Whilst snooping around the high tech facility where Captain Hook works, Peter is – GASP – bitten by some sort of genetically enhanced super spider! Who saw that coming? Thus, we are treated to a beautiful montage of Peter accepting and embracing his spidey senses, featuring the melodic stylings of Coldplay. Actually, I think they may have used some stock footage from the Tobey Maguire film and just green-screened in Mr. Garfield – some of those scenes looked awfully familiar…
In fact, a large portion of the film is simply regurgitated from 2002’s Spiderman, of course, with the addition of some “rebooted” elements. For instance, we are introduced to a really uncomfortable, traumatizing-in-appearance lizard-man villain. And of course, there is the notable absence of Parker’s notorious crush, Mary Jane. Instead, Peter’s new love interest, Gwen Stacy, is the police captain’s daughter, which certainly complicates the dating situation. Moreover, the fact that Peter’s father was a scientist allows for more of a backstory regarding the mysterious deaths of Peter’s parents, while permitting many of the fantastical elements to seem more justifiable – all through the magic of science!
Garfield himself is 100% preferable as Peter Parker, as he simultaneously conveys adolescent gawkiness and superhero potential (it was always very difficult to envision Tobey Maguire as a masked vigilante). As for Emma Stone, her platinum blonde hair is so unflattering that I was completely distracted from any acting that she might have done. Maybe when they reboot this Spiderman in a few years, they’ll let her go back to her natural color.
In spite of running over two hours long, The Amazing Spiderman is fast-paced and – for the most part – enjoyable. If you are a superhero fan, you’ll be better equipped than I to overlook the cheesy explanations and the campy one-liners. But be warned, you probably will not be able to overlook Emma Stone’s hair.