When the first installment of The Amazing Spiderman series came out, I went to see it despite limited interest. I couldn’t get my brain around the fact that they had rebooted the series so soon after the Sam Raimi series had concluded, and watching the movie didn’t help with the overwhelming questions of “Why did they do this?” and “Didn’t they just do this?”
Honestly, I thought that the sequel wouldn’t happen because the first one was so…well…bad. But it did! And though I am a comic book fan, and my boyfriend is as well, neither of us has said much about it beyond “Yeah, that’s out now.”
But after seeing what feels like the millionth useless article about Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield (the ones that are clearly thinly veiled promotion for the movies), I am digging my heels in. Here is why:
1. The first film was the same movie as the original Spiderman. In the first film, Peter Parker is a high school student with a crush on a pretty girl. He is a science geek with a scientist mentor played by a well-known character actor. His Uncle Ben dies due to circumstances that he is responsible for. And the scientist mentor does some experiment that turns him into the villain that Peter must now fight. In the reboot, Peter Parker is a high school student with a crush on a pretty girl. He is a science geek with a scientist mentor played by a well-known character actor… you get my point. And while some of that is simply the origin story of the character, which we can argue may bear repeating, seeing the same thing done in a different way only served as an easy comparison to show that the Raimi version was better.
2. But it made far less sense. But I would be okay with the same bullet points of a plot, except for the fact that the only part of the movie that made any sense was the aspects that were identical to the Raimi version. Everything that was different from the original version was left weirdly unfinished. The biggest example being the answer to the question of what the subplot was with the parents. I know that is supposed to be picked up in the second movie, but I have no interest in it because it wasn’t handled well in the first film.
3. Uncle Ben had no weight. Uncle Ben’s death functions as one of the main aspects of Peter Parker’s character. So obviously, when doing a reboot it should be included. And if they planned on going over the whole thing again, why didn’t they give it the same emotional weight? Or any emotional weight? The way it was handled felt obligatory, much like the entire series.
4. They are making these in order to keep the property. Sony isn’t ever going to give Spiderman back to Marvel Studios. So they have to keep Spiderman the property hot and in the news. Because of this, the movies are an obligatory cash grab. Which is all fine and good if they’re doing good work, but they’re not. Fans of Spiderman should be insulted, and judging by the box office, they are.