So, The Amazing Spider-Man has been released and rebooted in 2012, yay! I was so very much looking forward to this movie. And it was enjoyable. Somewhat. As a hero movie, sure. As Spider-Man, I don’t know.
I really wanted to enjoy it. But sadly, I’ve read the comics. 1-450 of TASM, though not the other versions. Nor the reboot that happened somewhere after 450. However this reboot modernized it, but in a bad way. Spider-man felt far too weak (physically), they made light of his strongest power (spider sense is supposed almost at a magical, premonition level in the comics), the relationship with Ben was “uh, what?” and they also removed another power entirely, his ability to heal from wounds quickly, usually overnight for anything worse than a shallow cut.
Now, I know that reboots and movie versions change things, and I’m fine with change. But it felt like too many things were lacking. There wasn’t enough Martin Sheen, but then again, there was too much Martin Sheen. I didn’t really like what they did with PP’s parents. Their effect on him becoming Spider-Man was, sadly, movie-coincidental. Now, it’s true enough that PP probably wouldn’t have become SM if his parents lived in the comics (at the outset, that is… not to spoil the rest of the comic’s story, of course), but to go as far as having a direct hand in PP’s transformation into Spider-Man felt very wrong.
One of the interesting points in the comics wasn’t just that a radioactive spider bit PP. It was also that PP lived after that bite, and it’s inferred that although there was the coincidence of him being bitten, there was also the amazing coincidence that he lived and was changed into SM instead of being killed off. The bite was a coincidence, but him living through the bite and becoming SM was actually partially a miracle, and somehow he had just the right compatible genetic code. The spider’s in the movie, however, felt contrived. Sure, it still feels like PP had the same stroke of luck to not die when bitten, but for these spiders to exist in the first place, what occurred to bring them about, felt wrong.
I suppose that since we received a better understanding of how radiation works since the original spider-man days they had to come up with something more scientific this time, which was fine. However I wish that PP becoming SM was not related to the rest of the plot. I wish it was still a miraculous coincidence of unrelated people and sciences, but in this movie, it was all part of the same core, all interrelated, and even biologically related… I didn’t like it.
I like they brought Gwen back, but the way the handled certain parts, and how she never, ever, in the comics… yeah yeah, no spoilers. It could have been changed drastically, and they did. But I don’t like the way they changed it. Gwen was Peter Parker’s girlfriend. And that tortured him later in the comics, considering how she viewed him before her death (this happened in the late 60’s or early 70s, it’s 40 years old, I’m not going to hold back spoiling that).
It was decent, but I just couldn’t love it as a fan of Spider-man. I do like reboots and changes, but they just had to go and weaken him too far, both physically and plot-wise.
I suppose I can hear the argument that Iron Man also had the origin story that depended on the plot, but that felt far less contrived, far more real and believable, ironically enough for a comic movie.