05 July 2012

Amazing Spiderman 2012

I think there’s a really anti-reboot/remake sentiment in the general public. It’s like having new revisions somehow diminishes the originals. I don’t mind remakes at all. It’s another chance at making a story great. If it ends up being bad, I could just ignore it.   I don’t remember much from the Sam Raimi Spiderman films. I’ve watched the first two movies maybe twice, and the third once in the theatre. They were decent films for sure. I just remember a generally good vibe from those movies. I think the third had some problems which could have been fixed.

By now, I’ve probably seen the origin story for Peter Parker half a dozen times. He’s a photographer/high schooler nerd who gets bit by a special (radioactive, sometimes genetically modified) spider. He abuses his powers at first, until through inaction, he caused the death of his Uncle Ben. He then figures out to use his powers responsibly to do some actual heroics.

I think this version of the retelling the best I’ve seen. It shows a version of Peter Parker who isn't above lying to various people to get what he wants.

My problem with the movie is that so much of it was unrealistic. I’m willing to allow the idea that a spider bite can give super powers, or that a man can inject reptile DNA and regrow his arm. That comes with the price of admission.

What I don’t find realistic is Oscorp. They supposedly have twenty (non summer) intern positions available for highschool students. That’s a bit strange, I suppose. I guess if they were students with a lot of potential, Oscorp would want to ‘lock’ them in. Fine. (I loved the idea that there’s a place in fiction with hundreds of bustling scientists in the background doing SCIENCE acitivies!) The problem is that Oscorp has worst security in the world. Peter was able to sneak into a place filled with GM spiders. It was just a single layer of door passcodes. I think most computer OS require you to type your password for every significant change. What they should have done to get Peter his power was to have the interns shown a new batch of genetically modified spiders. The spiders could have been demonstrating hostile behaviors forcing them all to be incinerated. Maybe one of them survived by hiding behind some extra durable webbing, and manages to bite Peter Parker.  

Later on in the movie, Gwen Stacy, another intern, was able to go up to a machine and just fabricate a serum that modifies genetic material. That’s insane, especially when you consider that the place has EVERYTHING NEEDED TO MAKE A BIOLOGICAL WEAPON in one of the world’s biggest cities. 

I think having Curt Connors as the villain could have worked. I remember that a big portion of what made him sympathetic in the show/comics was that he had a family, which was a driving motivation for injecting the serum.  From what we’ve seen in this movie, he’s put a potentially fatal serum inside himself JUST BECAUSE he wants another arm. I’m sure that Oscorp has a synthetic limb division that would like volunteers. If the movie Connors had a wife and son/daughter, and it was revealed that his amputated arm was the result of a genetic defect that was passed down, then he would have had a non-selfish reason for testing it on himself. Dr. Connors would have lived his entire life knowing that he was physically defective and inferior. The only non-broken thing was his intellect. He wants to find a cure so that his kids, and others like them, wouldn’t have to suffer like he did.

Nope. Connors did it because it was his last chance to grow an arm. What’s that? 80% fatality rate? Who cares. He always loved his right hand.

When the Lizard found out that Spiderman was Peter Parker, he wasn’t even shocked. I would have thought that a successful mutation that yields amazing agility and wall climbing abilities would be at least interesting for him. Lizard Smash. Wouldn’t it have been great if the Lizard didn’t magically turn into a creature 3 times his human size? They could have used the scale prosthetics shown in various scenes. You know, let the actor genuinely act, instead of putting a cgi mask on his face.

I was mostly disappointed that a potentially humanizing storyline with the Lizard was reduced to a conservation-of-mass-defying cgi green monster. 

The rest of the movie was pretty predictable. I think I’m more disappointed with this movie because it was so close to being great. Instead, it’s just good.

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