By Marcus MacLeod
So it seems Hollywood has realised there’s no need for a film to be an original creation for it to make money. Not only that, but they can remake anything they want, put it out……..and BOOM we’ll watch it…….They’re onto us!
I say this knowing fine well there was a Spiderman film out a few years ago that was part of a series. I was well aware The Amazing Spiderman was a new remake and not a follow up and I still paid my money to go see it.
Am I part of the problem?
Recycling An Old Idea
Like the upcoming Total Recall and Judge Dredd remakes due out later this year, we don’t seem to be bothered about recycled ideas. Is it a case of “If it’s on at the cinema and I’ve heard of it before, I’ll go see it“?
I can almost understand the thinking behind remaking an old film but I stress the term old film. A good film from the 1980’s is probably going to be missed by the majority of the Justin Beiber generation. So yeah, it lets new people enjoy the same idea over again. Its recycling an old idea and thats meant to be good these days right?
Is it theft of memories? Yes. Is it disrespectful to fans of an original version? Occasionally. Is it lazy? You betcha. It may seem to you that I’ve prejudged The Amazing Spiderman before I’ve given it a chance. Well, you’d be right about that but at least I’m honest about it. However, I did enjoy this film, it entertained me. I like clever details in films and there are a few in this one.
THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN
Spoiler alert- film specific chat coming up.
We start with the familiar story of Peter Parker, played this time not by Toby McGuire but by Andrew Garfield. Mr Garfield certainly fills the geek quota required for the part but this is meant to be the dark version of the web-slinger tale, the ‘Dark Knight’ version of Spiderman. So instead of the chirpy doofus that Toby McGuire portrayed in the previous Spiderman films, Garfield plays Peter as more of a moody roaster.
You can see Mr Garfield trying to give the character he plays a bit of a different dimension to what we have seen before. The head hanging and eye rubbing of his increasingly battered coupon throughout the performance, from quirky style to depressed style.
Personally I need to “buy into” a character in a film. I didn’t feel like that happened with Peter Parker. This wasn’t down to Garfield’s ability as an actor but he should have had better direction with some of the individual atributes he brought to the table. He came across as being over confident to a fault.
Peter’s parents leave him with his aunt and uncle when he is a young boy. The reason for his abandonment is due to his father, who is a scientist, having a breakthrough in researching the ability to use animals genetics to cure diseases and regenerate human tissue.
Peter finds out about the missing research that his father thought was too dangerous to share. A change of heart, regarding the sort of work his father was involved in, allows Peter to turn it over to his old partner, Dr Curt Connors. Dr Connors uses the new formula to complete his process of cell regeneration, firstly on himself to regrow a lost arm.
Both Dr Connors and Peter go through the expected respective transformations after Peter is bitten by a spider from the Dr’s research facility. Speaking of research, the Lizard that the Dr mutates into bears a stark resemblance to the frog men or hunter characters from the original Resident Evil video game. Although they didn’t have a confusing perma-smile stuck to their kisser, like the good Dr did when in lizard form.
A few things I liked about the way in which Peter learns about his new abilities were how they came across as being natural. He gets a fright after waking on a train and literally sticks to the ceiling. He also starts sensing attacks and gives the impression that he is responding to them without conscious thought. Garfield sells that part well.
The effects in the film are pretty good to be fair with the web slinging a particular highlight. Spiderman’s identity is given up pretty quickly this time around, suspending the usual creation of tension with him not being able to reveal his alter ego to people. I mean it’s already been done, so why do it again…….
The Amazing Spiderman was an unnecessary reboot considering how recently the franchise was brought back to life (2002). You can still go and enjoy it but if we keep sending the message that remaking films like this is acceptable, it can only hurt the original movie concepts that are bound to be pushed aside to accommodate them.
Amateur hour scores this film 2.5 leafs out of 5
You can follow Marcus on Twitter @marcusmacleod as he discusses Movies, Football and his obsession with Toyota Supras.