When I heard they were making another Spider-Man origin story I groaned. I’m just not into origin story movies. Or maybe we’re just getting too many of them at once, like vampire and zombie movies. I needed a breather. I don’t mind superhero films, I just don’t want to see these characters’ life stories repeated ad nauseam. These stories are pretty much our country’s mythology. Does anyone really not know where these characters came from? Anyone who doesn’t know by now won’t be found watching a movie like this anyway, so what’s the point?
And do we really need a complete reboot every ten years? They don’t even do it that often in comic books.
It looks so shitty, doesn’t it?!
So I had no desire to see The Amazing Spider-Man because A) Spider-Man 3 sucked the biggest balls ever B) it essentially told the same story as the 2002 version with Tobey Maguire, right? Well, I don’t want to say I was pleasantly surprised. That doesn’t even begin to describe what I felt. I was knocked out of my seat.
Here’s the deal: Mary Jane’s nowhere in this movie. Proper fans will know about Gwen Stacy, who was hastily squeezed into the last entry despite the fact the women in Parker’s life (Felicia Hardy’s Black Cat is my favorite, and I can only hope they introduce her properly someday) are kind of a big deal to the mythology. She’s Peter Parker’s first love and this time she’s played by Emma Stone, an actress I already admired, but she might be better than ever here.
Peter Parker is played by… I don’t know this guy’s name. I don’t feel like Googling it. It doesn’t matter because you’ve never heard of him anyway. That’s cool. I like fresh faces in big films. Sure, this movie plays it safe, but not nearly as safe as most of these flicks. Think about it: this is a billion dollar franchise and yet you’ve never seen the guy who plays the main character. How often does that happen?
Skipping past the origin, because you know it anyway: Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) is murdered by a street thug Parker should have stopped. Night after night, Parker patrols the dark alleys for his uncle’s killer. He decides to wear a costume inspired by a luchador after a lowlife warns him, “I know your face!” Oh, and Parker’s genius is on full display here: he rigs a pair of custom-made bracelets to spit webs from his wrists. All this stuff is purchased online, which really means the cops could have caught Parker early in the first act, but this is a fantasy movie. Just let it slide.
Let it slide because this is a good fantasy movie. Really good. This one’s better than any of the movies that tie into Avengers. Dare I say it? It’s better than The Avengers itself. Hell, I liked it better than Christopher Nolan’s latest Batman movie. (Crap, I forgot to even mention that… I saw that recently, too. I guess I should make a post about it.)
Anyway, this is that rare summer film that’s worth the ticket price. This is why I wade through action movies, most of which suck, time and time again. Movies like this recharge me, make me excited about movies the way I used to be when I was a kid. Just because it’s about a guy who dresses in spandex and fights crime at night doesn’t mean it has to be stupid.
Romance? Got it. Action? Plenty. A great bad guy? Well… two out of three isn’t bad. I wouldn’t go so far as to say there’s anything new in this movie, but the way it goes about it is magical. I’m a tough egg to crack, so if you get me absolutely believing the silly far-fetched shit in your movie (and this one has lots of it—which isn’t a critique) I’m all in. It’s as close to perfect as these movies get.
Catch it on DVD on November 9th. Tell me what you thought about it in the comments.