Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man!

Once upon a time when superhero movies were rare, I'd have dashed to the local theater to catch a glimpse of whatever the studios were offering. But in these modern days of a superheroic glut, I find myself more and more unfriendly to actually trying to keep up. So it is that I only a few days ago that I got around to watching  The Amazing Spider-Man.

I enjoyed it.

I regret the seeming need to revisit the origin yet again, but this movie does a pretty good job of it with sufficient twists on the classic to keep it reasonably fresh. I liked the inclusion of Gwen Stacy and I liked how they fused her into the larger story at the same time making her intellectually Peter's peer. This is a very smart Peter Parker we are presented with, a brilliant son of brilliant parents who disappear mysteriously. I'm certain that mystery will be the focus of future films and I welcome it.

I liked the look of Spider-Man this time too, he was high-tech but still looked lean and nimble. I got a real Ditko vibe from his visual presentation. This story this time seemed intentionally smaller and darker, both tonally and literally. Again I got a Ditko feel overall from the sets and the action, Ditko processed with a modern vibe. I noted lots of water towers, a Ditko staple.

The Lizard was a worthy opponent and it made sense that his origin and Peter's were bonded, both in location and cause. Who Spider-Man is in this version is a result of his father's work, and that adds up to a nice thematic unity  going forward. Dr.Conners was handled with the care I'd feared had been lost, he remained a sympathetic figure right through and even to some small extent redeemed himself. That's proper and fitting with the long history of the character.

I might've wished that Spidey remain a more mysterious and possibly villainous character in the public eye, as he was in the early stages of this story. That's consistent with his on-off relationship with the fickle public in the old Ditko books, but the creators seem to abandon that in the end. 

All in all a nice superhero movie with some wonderfully dark battle sequences. I'm glad I finally got around to seeing it.

And now for some vintage Spidey versus Lizard highlights from years gone by. 

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