Film Review: "THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN"
Published: Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 12:07
That’s not all. Both monstrosities (It was Willem Dafoe as the Goblin in 2002, for those with lacking memories – the switch to the Lizard here feels more necessary than inspired) begin speaking to each other in disembodied voices, though where Raimi aimed for camp, Webb plays the scene with a straight face. Same goes for the silly “all of NYC coming together to help a spider” subtext, which worked oh-so-well in the months following 9/11 and feels oh-so-cheesy in this decade-too-late offering.
It’s the same exact film, only with a different villain shoehorned in. It retains all of Raimi’s silly B-movie tropes – the large scale fight scenes, the false humanism, the self-seriousness of both the villain and Peter’s journey – without retaining the B-movie tone and the silliness that came with it. Where Raimi staged fights between guys in larger-than-life costumes (battles in the first sequence reminded me of the gruff punch-kick battle scenes of Ishiro Honda “GODZILLA” films, and that’s a very good thing,) Webb gives his actors the day off and renders everything in video-game-style CGI. And I literally mean everything: good luck enjoying Rhys Ifans performance after the first hour, because he’s never actually on screen.
The films only trump card is 3-D, and even that appears ugly and gimmicky thanks both to dim projection and Webb’s affection for things flying directly into your face. “THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN” is a conveyor-belt knockoff of the fun of the original; hitting all the same beats without ever pressing the same emotional buttons. I’m sure most audiences are morbidly curious, but I’m warning you not to pay for this film - because the fact is you’ve already seen it. This isn’t the new and improved “SPIDER-MAN”. This is closer to New Coke.