So, I went with my uncle to see The Amazing Spiderman movie that just came out (and then went again with my dad!). From what I understood before I saw the movies (without seeing any trailers other than the Target one), it seemed like a remake of the Spiderman movie from ten years ago. Boy, was I right and wrong.
The Amazing Spiderman starts in pretty much the same place the “old” first movie began–Peter Parker is a geeky and unpopular teen who tries to stand up for others but gets caught in bullying crossfire. Then, when bit by a spider from the lab where he “interned,” he transforms into a literal spider-man.
The whole plot is magnificent from beginning to end. The themes of “With great power comes great responsibility” are fleshed out so much more in this movie than in the original, and I felt more for Peter when *SPOILER* his uncle died. (Of course, this could be because I saw the original once, a long time ago.) Peter himself feels like a real teenager with real emotional problems that stem from both his new powers and his uncle’s death. He feels confused by what’s happening to him when he’s bitten, and pushes away his aunt and uncle. When his uncle dies and he knows it’s his fault, he takes up a vigilante stance to hunt down the man who killed Ben, all the while rebelling against his aunt.
“But,” Spiderman fans say, “That’s not who Spiderman is! He’s a hero, through and through!” (–paraphrased from a friend)
Well, yeah. Spiderman’s a hero here, too. But he’s more relate-able to me personally. He made mistakes, sure, but I didn’t blame him for those mistakes even as I knew they were the wrong choices. In fact, Peter even grew to realize they were the wrong choices and changed. And yes, he disrespects his aunt–multiple times. But in this movie, Peter is a hurting young man who’s just lost his uncle. I thought his reactions perfectly realistic, and at the end, he even takes steps toward amending his mistakes.
Now, for the content. I counted two profanities (one was mostly overrun by everyone else in the room talking over the speaker), though Plugged In counted 13 or so. There’s no inappropriate sexual content aside from several make-out scenes. Not as tastefully done as the original, but not cringe-worthy, either. There’s quite a bit of violence (two characters are shot and shown to be bleeding, and several times characters are clawed across the chest). But overall, I think the violence, romance, and profanity were tastefully done (if profanity really *can* be tastefully done–at any rate, it wasn’t over the top and wasn’t necessarily shown in a “good” light).
After watching TAM, I went back and watched the other three movies, and I found many similarities between all four as well as other cartoons and comics. Gwen Stacy makes an appearance in place of Mary Jane (thank goodness!). Dr. Connors is, of course, the main villain. Peter deals out vigilante justice in search of his uncle’s killer (though not with the help of an alien symbiote–that was just… what? Deux Et Machina if I ever saw one…). There is no Harry and no Harry’s father, and therefore no Green Goblin villain.
As for the other three movies… I really liked the first one. The themes of “With great power comes great responsibility” were more seamlessly and more powerfully done in the new movie (IMHO), but the old one still packs emotional punch. I didn’t like the second one very much, and during the third one all I wanted to do was hit the main characters over the head with a frying pan. (I did like Harry, though, except for the “I MUST KILL SPIDERMAN AND AVENGE MY FATHER!” It reminded me too much of “I MUST CAPTURE THE AVATAR AND REGAIN MY HONOR”, except with a lot less reason for the angst O.o)
To sum up: I loved the new movie. It was more emotional for me, personally, and I think it had the best demonstration of ideals I’ve seen in a long time. I liked the first old movie, because the characters behaved rationally and the themes still stood out. I liked the second one a bit less, but it was still decent. I didn’t like the third one at all. The transition from “Good guy–>Vigilante–>good guy” made more sense in the new one. Plus, the characters were wishy-washy in Spiderman 3, and if there’s anything I dislike more than bad plots, it’s bad characters.
The Amazing Spiderman: 4.5/5 (Violence, kissing, some profanity)