I was very disappointed in the new Amazing Spider-man movie. In an earlier post I talked about how Amazing lacked the theme of responsibility of the 2002 film. Even with its flaws I think the 2002 Spider-man is the far better film. And yet I am hearing over and over again Amazing was so much better. So lets take a look at some of the differences.
Tobey Maguire vs Andrew Garfield. I keep hearing over and over again how great Garfield was. Garfield's Spider-man is a douche. He is a douche when the movie starts, he is a douche when the movie ends. No real lesson in responsibility is learned. Also Garfield doesn't play a nerd Peter Parker so much as a hipster one. And did I mention he was a douche? I don't like this Peter Parker. At all. I actually felt for Toby Maquire's Spider-man. I felt bad when he was a put upon picked on nerd, I felt bad for him when his Uncle died, and I felt his guilt when he realized it was largely his fault. None of that was there in Garfield's Spider-man. Garfield did however make a better Spider-man if not a Peter Parker. Part of that was due to better effects, but when Peter puts on that mask he should be a cocky wise ass guy and Garfield nailed that. Garfield's Spider-man was actually funny. All and all though I prefer Toby in that role.
Cliff Robertson and Rosemary Harris vs Martin Sheen and Sally Field. This is kinda a tough one for me. I actually really liked the performances Sheen and Field gave. But due to the shallowness of the story in Amazing they really didn't have much to work with. Robertson and Harris had far more great moments in the 2002 films but again I feel like Sheen and Field were superior actors. I guess I can give this to Amazing.
Kirsten Dunst vs Emma Stone. If you were to ask me who in the comics is better MJ or Gwen it would be hands down MJ. The only interesting thing Gwen ever did in the comics was get her boring blond ass murdered. And yet I gotta hand it to Miss Stone, she was the far superior love interest. Dunst played MJ as often more annoying and whiny then anything else. Stone's Gwen was brilliant, strong, and very interesting. And it doesn't hurt that, at least in my opinion, Stone is the far more attractive of the two. Also having Gwen did open the door for Captain Stacy in the movie which proved to be one of Amazing's strong suits.
So Amazing wins two out of three categories here. I could go on and on and Amazing would win most of them, because Amazing does many many things better then any of the Raimi Spidey films did. So why do I think Spider-man is better then Amazing Spider-man? Amazing failed as an origin story in the most important part. The moral. There is no sense of lesson learned in Amazing. Hell, Garfield's Spider-man never even manages to find his uncle's killer. It's barely important in that movie.
I don't care how many superficial things you get right, when you miss the heart and soul of a story you fail. Period.