The Amazing Spider-Man, the most talked about reboot this side of the New 52 is out at last for all to see, and its…. Well, if it’s a review you’re after check out Kieran Majury’s fantastic article right here.
I sat through Marc Webb’s interpretation of the age old story and every ten minutes my mind flashed back to Raimi’s 2002 classic (yes, it’s a classic now).I found myself constantly comparing the two films. All the analysis drove me mad. But instead of constructing my own mini-glider and gourd- themed explosives and hurl a random blonde off a bridge, I put my findings down, and here’s how they fare.
Stan Lee bucked the trend of comic books all those years ago by making a superhero who wasn’t an adult with a cool job (reporter, scientist, and billionaire industrialist) but a fifteen year old boy with social ineptitude and a big brain, thus winning the hearts of fanboy everywhere. Throughout the decades, as a nerd, or even as a teenager, you’ve always had some level of empathy with him. The Peter Parker of the silver screen needs to reflect the Peter Parker in all of us.
Tobey Maguire’s Peter is immediately established as the biggest loser in school, as well as a massive science geek. In his world, everybody is a cunt, except his aunt, his uncle and his rich best friend. He doesn’t seem overly bothered about having no parents. Maguire perfects the awkward teenager routine, but he does come across as whiney sometimes, and if you watch him closely, he always, ALWAYS looks slightly puzzled at just about everything. Oh, and he loves narrating.
“Who am i? You sure you want to know? I’m Narrator-Man.”
The character of Raimi’s Spider-Man is cocky, cheerful and likes shouting “WHOOO!” like a spandex-clad Rick Flair.
His powers stem from a spider, obviously, but that spider was the result of the genetic cross-breeding of several species of arachnids to create a super spider. Because, you know, that’s what we need scientists working on. His webs come from glands on his wrists, because, according to Maguire “if a teenager could invent something like that what’s to stop him selling it to the army and getting rich?” What indeed. If this Spidey has an Achille’s heel though, it’s that they never mastered his wisecracking dorky humour. It’s one of his trademarks, but the best we ever got was “You’re the one that’s out, Gobby! Out of your mind!”
Andrew Garfield’s Peter is a bit more upbeat. Ten years after Spider-Man, the “nerd and jocks” cliché of high school seem to apply less these days. Parker’s a nerd, but he’s not the biggest loser in school, he’s just one student among many. His parent’s absence forms one of the bigger storylines in the film, if not the proposed trilogy. He lives in a better house than his predecessor and has an inherent aptitude for inventing things and saving people, even before he encounters that fateful arachnid. When Uncle Ben meets his inevitable doom, Garfield’s Peter takes it hard, and turns a bit emo, but mercifully he doesn’t dance.
The new Spider-Man gets his powers from another genetically engineered spider, but this one was the subject of scientific experiments that made sense. When Spidey’s in action, its obvious he has a more dynamic and acrobatic approach to his movements, especially in the fight scenes. Its very reminiscent of both Todd McFarlane’s iteration of the character from the 1980s and Mark Bagley’s work in Ultimate Spider-Man.
Also, if nothing else, Garfield nails Webhead’s sense of humour, taking the piss out of every bad guy he punches. Unfortunately, and most annoyingly, he has little or no qualms about removing his mask. Protecting his secret identity and therefore his loved ones, doesn’t really seem to factor into it.
Or maybe Andrew Garfield is just too sexy for his mask, who knows?Tags: andrew garfield, emma stone, green goblin, kirsten dunst, marc webb, sam raimi, spider-man, the amazing spider-man, the lizard, tobey maguire