22 July 2012

Grandmothers and thirteen year old boys agree: Andrew Garfield is awesome.

I didn’t write about The Amazing Spider-man yet, but of course I saw it. I have seen all the other, surprisingly recent, Spider-mans (Spider-men?). They had some good bits, certainly, but were ruined for me by the fact that I don’t like Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, or even James Franco much.  

This one I liked. It wasn’t nearly as perfect as Avengers, but I don’t think a comic book movie will ever be as perfect as Avengers in my eyes. Perhaps a Joss Whedon Avengers sequel that somehow manages to incorporate Buffy and have Angel and Spike bickering in the background while Mulder tries to convince Scully that Loki is an alien. But that wouldn’t be canon. Not that I care about such things: I’m obviously not a comic book movie purist. Anyway, geek dreams aside, it was a good movie. Again, though, the 3D was unnecessary or poorly done. It’s hard to tell which.  

This hit a lot of the origin story points that the other movies did, but it was different enough for me that it did feel more like its own movie. I read a review that called it a good movie, albeit “completely unnecessary”. Sure, but show me a single fiction movie that is “necessary.” When was the last time you heard someone say, “Die Hard come out a time when the world really needed a cowboy cop to crack wise and blow shit up.” Although, it’s not as if the other three movies were so bad that the fandom was begging for someone else to make another go of it. Most people think this came out too soon. Even my mom does, and she’s never even seen the other ones (although she did like this one when she took my nephew for his 13th birthday). But it’s here and we can’t do anything about that except enjoy it for what it is and make gifs of Spiderman throwing his girlfriend out a window.

Andrew Garfield makes a really good Peter Parker/Spiderman.  It helps that he’s adorable, but there’s also good acting going on there too. And the physicality. I’m always impressed when masked actors convey emotion with body language and tone instead of facial expressions.  This version of Spiderman/PP is a little less goofy, in my opinion, than the other, and more of a loner than a complete social outcast.  The female lead is in less need of rescuing than in the other movies too, so that’s a step in the right direction. She also has self confidence, again a positive improvement. She handles major life changes in stride, so she’s either really level headed or completely detached from reality. Time, or rather the sequels, will tell. 

My favourite detail from this movie is the backpack. Peter Parker is in high school. He carries a backpack. So does Spiderman. There’s something I Iove about Spiderman all suited up with a backpack on. It just seems to be nice bit of practicality.  

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