Tuesday, February 7, 2012

'The Amazing Spiderman' preview: redemption?

The full-length trailer was released for the new Spiderman reboot recently, and the question that has plagued it since it was a rumor remains: will this reboot redeem the jazz-dancing, emo-haired, cookie-demanding Peter Parker of Sam Raimi's infamous take?

Let's rundown the previous incarnation, then take a look at the new version:


The original Sam Raimi Spiderman (2002) was an instant hit. A blockbuster unlike any other, breaking records while people of all ages flocked in for the first Hollywood-quality take. The feel was what you'd expect from Raimi: all the style of Michael Bay, substituting mindless explosions with stark, vibrant images.

Spiderman definately warranted a sequel and the one that was produced is one of the rare movies that surpasses it's predecessor. Spiderman 2 delved deeper into Peter Parker's struggle as a young adult; the pursuit of big dreams, the priority of those you love, and facing up to your heroes. The sequel definately set up the Spiderman franchise as the film to beat in the superhero genre (pre-"Dark Knight").

Then, there was Spiderman 3. This time, Raimi went bold with three villains and a needlessly heavy soap opera script including memory loss, love triangles and long lost murderers. But all of that fades to the background when the symbiote suit turns mild-mannered Peter Parker into hipster-dousche Peter Parker.

When it came to the issue of Parker's identity crisis leading to the creation of his moral counterweight, Venom, Raimi took depth out back and shot it. Five times.

The New (And Amazing) Spiderman:

For four years, "Spiderman" has hung in limbo, only rumored to be circulating as a reboot to correct the wrongs that had been done. Well, today's the day to discover that good times may be back.

While Andrew Garfield has had some minor success in the past, he really came to light in "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," made famous as Heath Ledger's final movie. Garfield made an impact as the simple, unrequited lover of the lusted-after Valentina. From there, he had a breakout role in "The Social Network," playing opposite Jesse Eisenberg in the brilliant David Fincher flick.

It only seems right to have him as Peter Parker; a lanky kid, maybe a little akward and out of his element, but still a bit of mysterious edge. Right away, you know it's going to be a much more realistic movie.

As far as other cast members go, I'd say it's hit and miss. The one that hits me as an AWESOME choice is Denis Leary as George Stacy. Maybe a bit of a type cast, but who better to chace after a super nerd than a talented bully?

Some other notables, of course, are Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy, Parker's love interest), Martin Sheen (Ben Parker, Peter's grandfather) and Rhys Ifans (as Dr. Connors/The Lizard).

Overall, on paper the movie looks like it's going to be what the first batch of films should have been: a bit more of a moody take on a loner who takes the law into his own hands.


Does it take a few notes off "The Dark Knight," aiming for a grungier cityscape? Maybe. but this is the Peter Parker that should exist. He's not a mousy guy (a la Tobey Maguire), he's just a lonely kid. But, as you can see, he's got the wise cracks down, he's got the attitude of Spiderman, and it's going to be fun.

If you ask this lowly superhero nerd, "The Amazing Spiderman" pays back all debts in full.

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