After many COUGH not many enough COUGH long years we finally get that “Spiderman” reboot that we didn’t really ask for or want. Admittedly, the four-minute trailer really gave us the impression that this movie, while a tad unwelcome, would at least be well made. All of that aside the real question is was the final result good and worth the short wait?
The story of Peter Parker’s path to becoming Spiderman is one we all know and saw a few years back. We know the steps we have to take to get there. The radioactive spider has to bite him and the death of his Uncle Ben acts as a catalyst. We’ve seen it before and this film gives us pretty much the same we’ve seen before. This time around you have Kurt Connors and his eventual alter ego The Lizard to deal with.
Honestly, the script is the weakest part of this film. There are cheap plot devices that are so obviously plot devices we never see the people who embody them once they’ve served their purpose. Nels Van Adder (Irrfan Khan) is one such character. He shuts down a project that is finally showing success for no real reason other than to get Connors to act irrationally. Woopty-do. The way The Lizard’s behavior is written is almost hooky at times.
The performances here are pretty solid the whole way through. The film has a great cast and there are times I almost thought Andrew Garfield is a tad too good to be in a Spiderman film, not that I’m diminishing any of the other actors involved, but he stood out more. Andrew Garfield provides us with a new layer of awkwardness from Peter Parker and captures Spiderman’s sense of humor a bit better than Tobey Maguire. As I have felt in most movies I’ve seen her in, I just don’t get why people think Emma Stone is all that great. She does a good job here, but not anything a number of other actresses could have done and possibly better. Stan Lee cameos… Sigh…
The direction (Marc Webb) of this film is a mixed bag of trying really hard to keep the movie grounded and then in the next scene trying to make it as comic booky of a movie as possible. I think both sides of that work fine, but when crammed into the same film it feels a little jarring. There are certain scenes that are either mediocre because of shot selection to unintentionally silly.
The movie is good and worth seeing, but with a little work it could have been a great film. Then again are we really open to a great new Spiderman film so soon after the last trilogy?
Final note, I LOLed when I read that this “Spiderman” film was directed by a guy with the last name Webb.
Directed by: Marc Webb
Written by: James Vanderbilt
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, C. Thomas Howell, Denis Leary, Julianne Nicholson, Campbell Scott, Irrfan Khan