By Mona J
THEY DID it. They gave the Marvel franchise’s Peter Parker the required new age treatment. The way DC managed to make people not care about, if not forget, every Batman from Adam West to Michael Keaton, with the Christian Bale reboot. Before you lynch me, let me reassure you that I am talking about the character and the story, not the full film. They’re far apart in their own respective zones.
Continuing: it was like watching the universe come together, in all its Paulo Coelho glory, to reboot the character using alchemy and the elements of filmmaking. Even the director’s last name is Webb. That, and Spider-Man creating the web device instead of producing the web fluid in his own body — Jeff Goldblum from The Fly level gross.
First comes Andrew Garfield, who more than delivers. I would draw hearts following that sentence except my editor won’t let me. This Peter Parker doesn’t sit and ponder deeply like a wuss, letting only one tear escape. None of that to-be-or-not-to-be nonsense. He knows that he is the geeky underdog. Like a real man, he wears his vulnerability. From the moment he begins to realise his spider powers, after the spider bite, he knows he is a superhero. In instinct and abilities, a spider, in mind and body, a human. Even using the web device to grab Emma Stone’s ass and pull her to him as opposed to hiding it.
Yes, then comes Emma Stone. If this was a tweet, there’d be more hearts and a #Gay4Emma hashtag. She wins the Most Conflicted Kissy-Face award for the kiss from the aforementioned scene. Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Uncle Ben and Aunt May respectively — come on, who else do you expect to be more loving to a really bright young kid than these two? Although, they were utterly wasted due to a first act that wouldn’t quit dragging on. Rhys Ifans does well as The Lizard and Irrfan Khan plays the token brown guy.
Though personally a huge Sam Raimi fan, I might never forgive him for what he did toSpider-Man 3. Also, this would have been a good time to let director Marc Webb, also of(500) Days of Summer fame, know that I have a crush on him, but he and the screenwriters probably need a rap on their knuckles. What was up with that pacing? Just because you didn’t use the tell of “With great powers comes great responsibility” didn’t mean you had to show all that you didn’t tell in such a boring (even if it had to be long) first act. But once the movie picks up, that is once Spidey pulls out the kid from inside the car, we’re good to go. Rarely, does a movie rise above the script and the story, the way this one does.
This new age Peter Parker is not a wuss. From the moment he begins to realise his spider powers, he is a superhero
I almost bought the 2D ticket but decided to go for 3D, despite having been betrayed by it over the last decade. But the director of photography, John Schwartzman, needs a standing ovation because FINALLY we saw somebody use a 3D camera on a city skyline like it is meant to be used. While we missed the cheap thrills of the Spidey swings from the Sam Raimi trilogy, all those long shots were a delicious treat.
A special mention to what is probably Stan Lee’s greatest cameo among all the cameos that he has made in any movie. Although we must ask if this was a tribute to the scene from John Woo’s Face/Off. From here on, a movie won’t be a superhero movie without a postcredits sequence.