It strikes me that there are many ways of looking at a movie and never has this been more obvious than with the reboot of the Spider-Man franchise.
Objectively, there are important things we should bear in mind and to do this we must step out of the shoes of ‘the critic’. Spider-Man: It’s a movie about a kid that gets bitten by a radioactive spider. Remember this fact – it’s a movie about a kid that gets bitten by a spider and finds himself with spider-powers.
Bearing that in mind and its 12A certificate, what possible right do grown-ups have to throw stones at it? Is it that we feel he is our property? Do these people (who most likely weren’t even born in 1962) think they can lay expert claim to what happens to him? They weren’t born then. I wasn’t born then either but I’ll tell you this; from badly-produced comics with far too many adverts, to rainy afternoon cartoons with catchy theme tunes right across the board to Nicholas Hammond movies (that at the time were just about as good as it got) and multi-carnage with his character through the 80s and 90s, I loved that web-slinging dude. Raimi did one hell of a job in bringing it to the masses again with Tobey Maguire. Even I thought this reboot was way too soon, but something happened yesterday that changed my mind.
I took my kids to see The Amazing Spider-Man. One is 15, the other 11. That means that back when Raimi was telling us all how it should be done, they were five and one. That Spider-Man was not for them. Maguire was not ‘their Doctor’. This film is though, and if you can’t get your head around who the ‘boy gets bitten by a spider’ story is really for (i.e: not lard-ass geeks who only go out of the house when Arad chooses to get his hands dirty and laugh out loud at in-jokes that aren’t funny because it harkens back to something from a 1983 comic that nobody else bought), you need to grow a pair.
I was brought up on Harryhausen effects and story. CGI means nothing to me – to base a movie on the quality of its effects is wrong. Take a look at Clash/Wrath of the Titans. Nice CGI. Bullshit story. Null and void films. It’s like reviewing a movie based on how comfortable your seat is. Lately, I’ve been wondering if people are reviewing actual movies or their own expectations of a film based on the dozens of things they’ve read about it already on the internet – which is normally more drivel posted by ‘writers’ who ‘write’ because they have keyboard at their disposal and not because they have anything of value to add to the world. If you look hard enough, you can probably find the low-down on the whole of the next series of Doctor Who and figure out the story arc too based on mobile phone snaps of location shooting, rumour, loose-lips and any number of modern day bullshit. It’s wrong.
The magic is being sucked out of the movies. I can live with it, but man, you’re killing it for the kids. You are the people that nudge the person next to you and tell them what comes next. And I know why you do it – it’s because you want attention and you want to be big and clever, but it’s mean. It’s not even objective. The Amazing Spider-Man is a great movie. If you read that it’s not, it’s been said by those who don’t appreciate what a great movie is. If you want a good example of a dreadful recent movie, go see Twilight. Being a vampire/werewolf does not make you a valid character. The last in that series is the worst example of a movie of all time. A film in which nothing happens at all is not a movie. It’s a moneymaking exercise by people who don’t care about anything but cashing in. The Amazing Spider-Man is made by people who – while they still want to make some holy dollars – do care about what the audience will think when they get home.
The Amazing Spider-Man is a quality item – two hours of make-believe fun. There’s no fat or gristle as implied by some others who are old before their time and have chosen to treat this film as though it were the most important thing on the face of the planet. I repeat: in this film, there’s a man who acts like a spider and another man who turns himself into a lizard. Are we understanding yet who this might actually be aimed at?
So, not so much a review of the movie. More of a setting the record straight in the name of entertainment. Some people think their opinions are valued as movie critics, but they’re not. All that matters is what the kids (in age and at heart) think – and collectively, we thought it was just great, thanks for asking.
Leave your attitude at the door, pay your money and go get some fun. It’s a film about a kid that gets bitten by a spider. If you want it different, get a life, go to film school and put your money where your mouth is so we can shove it back down your throat.