The Amazing Spider-Man

Andrew Garfield doing the sad Charlie Brown head-down walk in The Amazing Spider-Man

Andrew Garfield doing the sad Charlie Brown head-down walk in The Amazing Spider-Man

Oh boy.

I finally got around to seeing The Amazing Spider-Man. It’s not for a lack of interest in the character; Spider-Man has been among my favorites for as long as I can remember. The unfortunate combination of being really busy and being fearful of what a post-Sam Raimi Spider-Man film series would be like made me put off seeing the latest film until this week.

The new movie rehashed the whole Peter Parker becomes the Spider-Man plot with a few modifications. Peter’s dad was a research scientist for Oscorp who mysteriously was killed, with the assumption that this happened at Norman Osborn’s bequest. Peter goes on to be raised by his aunt and uncle as an awkward teenager, gets bitten by a radioactive spider and becomes a vigilante after his actions indirectly lead to the murder of his Uncle Ben. This pretty much took up two-third of the film. From then on, it’s up to Peter and his girlfriend Gwen Stacy to stop an Oscorp scientist (who used to work with Peter’s father) that’s turned himself into a lizard monster from turning everyone in Manhattan into a lizard monster.

The plot was kinda flimsy but it worked. But the biggest problem was how unlikable Andrew Garfield was as Spider-Man. This I blame not so much on him, but no the writing and directing. One of the cornerstones of the whole Spider-Man mythos is how strong Peter’s relationship with Uncle Ben and Aunt May is. In the movie, they pretty much considered him a burden and Peter wanted nothing to do with them. Garfield’s take on

Peter wasn’t as much the shy, introspective type, but more so of a jerk. One of the reasons why that Peter is an enduring character is that he reminds us of how shy and insecure we are. But Garfield was just a too.There was way too much teenage angst in this film for my liking. I felt glad when Flash Thompson picked on him. Again, this isn’t to say that Garfield wasn’t an acceptable Peter Parker. There was just a lot of unfortunate dialogue and character development. If there’s anything to complain about Garfield is that he’s about ten years too old to be playing a character in high school.

The other thing that didn’t work for me was how they really geared this film to a generation to a generation of teenage girls who grew up reading Twilight books. They were really pushing the whole romance angle between Peter and Gwen, more-so than Peter overcoming everything to become a hero and dealing with the ever-increasing dilemmas of having a secret life.

That said, I’m not completely down on this movie. The fight sequences and special effects (although over-relied upon) were really well done. Emma Stone’s Gwen and Dennis Leary as her father, Detective Stacy, really carried the movie, especially Stone.

Ultimately, The Amazing Spider-Man was a decent film that needed some improvements, mostly making its protagonist someone you could actually connect with on some level. Hopefully they will get that resolved for the 2014 sequel. And if they want to completely reboot the series, I’m sure Donald Glover would be interested. 

Siege: Norman Osborn and Loki’s Failure

I finally got around to reading Marvel’s Siege and realized something: even though they set in motion the destruction of Chicago’s Soldier Field and the subsequent casualties, Norman Osborn and Loki were trying to be heroes.

Unfortunately for them, they go about it the wrong way.

The goal of the Soldier Field incident was to spark a war between the United States and Asgard, giving a chance for them to be seen as heroes by their respective people, which would finally give them a chance to ascend to power legitimately. Norman would shed the image of being the sociopath Green Goblin and overcome that stigma by forcing Asgard out of the United States. Loki, always seen by the Asgardians as being a power-hungry, manipulative trickster, would be seen as a great hero by protecting kingdom. These acts of heroism would allow Norman to be the President of the United States and Loki could take the throne of Asgard, finally fulfilling their quests for power.

There plan is flawed, and soon their diabolical plan is exposed. Norman is captured as a war criminal, pretty much ruining any chance of him being perceived as being a brave and noble hero.

Thanks to their arrogance, Loki suffers a much worse fate. Norman lost control over the insane minded and insanely powerful Sentry who winds up killing Loki. But before Loki dies, he shows a character trait that separates him from Norman. Loki has the potential for good. Realizing that he himself is the sole reason for the destruction of his beloved Asgard, he arms the Avengers with the enchanted norn stones that give them a fighting chance in stopping the out of control Sentry.

Their actions in Siege shape how the characters will be regarded in the future. Norman is still insanely power-hungry, blaming his failures on a re-emergent Green Goblin persona and is plotting a new way to take over the world. Loki, after showing noble and selfless acts in an attempt to save Asgard, has been reincarnated as a child and is given a second chance to redeem himself for his past transgressions.