The Amazing Spider-Man

I’ve been putting off my review of The Amazing Spider-Man, mostly because I wanted to watch it again before settling on an opinion. But I’m about to finish a book, and what if I see the Batman movie soon (or something else could happen, I reckon), so yeah, it has become time. Anyway, it’s not like I missed anything or was confused, I think maybe the problem I had was concern that I’m going to be too effusive, and I wanted to look for flaws that revealed themselves on a subsequent viewing.

It’s not that it was an amazing movie (despite the pun potential; it was certainly good), nor that the acting was incredible (though, y’know, it was good too) or that the plot was intricately mind-blowing. In fact, that right there is where I got all my happiness from. Because do you know what the plot was? A multi-issue comic book arc put to film. Not quite the density of a ’60s arc, modern sensibilities rule such things now, but it had all the aspects of those old books except foe-density. Solid measures of Peter’s personal life (after the origin had been settled[1]) interspersed with web-slinging and Lizard-punching, plus occasional glimpses at the forthcoming story arc, a panel here, another one there, just enough to make it clear this is an evolving world with a past and a future, whether we get to see them or not. I don’t think anyone else has made that movie. I mean, yes, the Avengers cycle hints at what happens next, but always as an after the credits teaser, not just matter-of-factly built into the script.

So that’s what made me like it so much. It wasn’t a perfect movie, but it may have been the most perfect translation of a superhero comic into a movie.

[1] So, if you want a flaw? That was a pretty huge flaw, bothering with the origin. I guess they had to if they wanted to explain to the broader public why his web spinners were mechanical instead of organic, but it was probably worth losing that nod to purity to make a movie that was leaner or that had time to work in a little bit more plot that wasn’t rehashed from only a decade ago. (Though I will admit Martin Sheen’s Uncle Ben was nearly as revolutionary to me as Bendis’ Aunt May has been.)

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