As I predicted, it was actually kind of a mess, it's pretty much a rehash of Sam Raimi's 2002 SPIDER-MAN just with a different villain, and of course it violated Jason's Rule of 3-D all over the place. Really, it's 3-D crimes are the worst of any of the new crop of 3-D movies that I've seen.
I still don't want to give away spoilers, and after all how can you spoil 'Peter Parker gets spider powers, fights a villain, narrowly wins, and learns a life lesson?' But here are some interesting things that I actually did notice:
- Uncle Ben is kind of a jerk. Martin Sheen plays him more in a stern tough-love mold than Cliff Robertson's kindly old man in the Sam Raimi version.
- Aunt May doesn't have white hair. This shouldn't have bothered me as much as it did. Also, Sally Field should've been given more to do than look worried when Peter constantly comes home with cuts and bruises.
- For all the buzz of this being a "darker" take on the story, it's also way more slapstick than even Sam Raimi's version, going so far as including a gag where a newly en-spider-powered Peter can't control his sticky hands and accidentally pulls a lady's shirt off.
- With that said, it is also a darker version of the story. Which easily earns it the label of "uneven tone."
- There's a surprising amount of skateboarding in it.
- Spidey carries a knapsack with him full of random tools to help him. The one he uses the most often is his cell phone.
- This Spidey can't web-swing for shit. I know he's new to this and just learning, but it surprised me how many web-swinging mishaps he had. Tobey Maguire seemed to catch on to it right away.
- There's no J. Jonah Jameson, and that's a shame. There is a scene of the Daily Bugle, offering a cash reward for photographic proof of the Lizard, and Peter does set up webbing and his camera to try to get such proof. But then...nothing (or rather, the Lizard finds the camera and the "property of Peter Parker" label.) It felt like there was a missing scene where Jameson criticizes Peter's photography skills but reluctantly pays him something like half the promised reward...but it was cut out for slowing down and sidetracking the plot.
- The previews build up a big secret involving Peter's father Richard Parker. Don't expect that secret to be revealed. It's hinted at, but clearly it's left for a sequel.
- Not that I ever expect any Spider-Man movie to deal with this, but there's still an obvious problem of a teenage boy making out with the girl he's had a crush on for years and then having to put on a skin-tight latex suit and swing around in public.
Anyway...overall, it was okay, but I preferred Sam Raimi's SPIDER-MAN and SPIDER-MAN 2. Of course, there's a reason Sony decided to reboot the franchise, and that reason is SPIDER-MAN 3. At least THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is way better than that. There's still a part of me that wishes Sam Raimi had been given a chance to right the ship with a SPIDER-MAN 4, but I'll take what I can get here and look forward to the inevitable sequel.
Running Time: 136 minutes
My Total Minutes: 289,252