WARNING: This REVIEW contains MILD SPOILERS! So if you don’t want to know anything, just know that the movie is well done and worth your time. And for the rest of you…
I am an avid Spider-Man fan. And as such, I was highly disapointed in the Sam Raimi movies. I think the casting of Peter and MJ was horrible, they neither looked the part nor did they act it, the scripts were boring, the direction was campy and all in all the movies are just mediocre. True, Spider-Man 2 is a good movie, but it is a bad Spider-Man movie. So was Spider-Man 1. Spider-Man 3 could have been the best, but studio decisions prvented that from happening.
So the reboot retells the origin story, and the most important part first:
- Yes, Uncle Ben dies,
- No, Peters dad did NOT experiment on him
- No, Gwen does not die.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s talk about the movie. It is essentially Ultimate Spider-Man with a different bad guy. The high school drama is there, the witty dialogue is there and the coming of age story featuring a fantastically cool uncle Ben is also there. MJ is not, instead we get Gwen the way she is supposed to be: smart, sexy and geeky for Peter.
The two leads have such chemistry together it pops out of the screen. That however is the only thing that pops, the 3D is completely wasted on this. The CGI was nice and all, the fights were well done and Spidey trash talks the way he is supposed to. No YEHAWS through the webslinging parts and no Star Trek chants either, but the music is still horribly out of place. The score by James Horner is good and all, but it is completely misplaced sometimes in a way that makes scenes campy and downright silly. Imagine Spidey fighting the Lizard in a school hallway and the music is happy and nice and funny and lalala it is a nice day.
The music is the worst part of the movie, but not the only bad thing. While the pacing works, the movie is slow and low on action. Character scenes are well done, but all battles are over before they really begin. The final battle lasts less than two minutes. Also, some characters were utterly wasted. Dr. Ratha for example appears throughout the first half hour or so, and then disappears completely. Norman Osborn is mentioned (and seen in the shadows after the credits) but it is all a bit hanky wanky. So are all cameos by the way (Daily Bugle, the Killer of Uncle Ben, Peters parents) except for Stan Lee. He has by far the best cameo he has ever had in this film. Fantastic.
Fantastic was also the movement of Spidey. He had some frames that were ripped straight out of a comic book, iconic moves and brilliantly designed lighting. The new suit, while some may argue it looks horrible, works in the movie, it never feels forced and in some scenes looks so brilliant, you don’t even see a difference to the comics at all (the suit is from one of the comics btw) and when you do, it still works. The actors are all brilliant, the humor is spot on and even Flash has been given a character.
So the bottom line is, this is a good film. It is not as amazing and untold as they claim, but it works better than the previous three. If only the studio would not have demanded a few cuts (a lot of scenes from the trailers aren’t even in the movie) and hired a different composer, this film could be amazing, spectacular even. But as it is, it is just a very good film.