Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Spider-man vs The Amazing Spider-man

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.


  1. I'd argue that Ben and May were better in 2002 because, as far as I'm concerned, it really doesn't matter if ASM's actors were better since they were barely used.

    May seemed to have more of an impact on Peter in the Raimi film than she does in Amazing, where she seems like she was only there after Ben's death because the creators thought "Well, she has to still be in the film, right?"

    I'd say, in terms of acting, both Ben's were about even, Amazing's May was barely there enough for me to even say.

    I'd also say Amazing did a great job of showing why Spider-Man didn't crack jokes a lot in Raimi's films, because it loses any charm after about three consecutive seconds. And any talk about the effects is redundant (there had better be superior effects in a 2012 film compared to a 2002 film), but I'd almost say the lizard looked like he was a special effect from around the early 2000s anyway (he looked bad.)

    Honestly, I can't say whether Dunst or Stone is the better actor, I don't know enough of Dunst's work and Stone only has one character that she's been playing since she started. I guess I'd make the argument that MJ seemed like an actual character more often than Stacy (who mostly seemed like Stone just reading her lines, she read them well, mind you).

    Honestly Garfield and Stone seemed like they were extras in Scott Pilgrim with how little emotion they seemed to convey most of the time (the only difference is that, in Scott Pilgrim, that was part of the joke).

    1. I'm probably being generous to Amazing on the Uncle Ben and Aunt May thing. But really it doesn't matter one way or the other. As I said when you miss the heart and soul of the story it really doesn't matter how many ancillary things you get right. You can get everything else right, but when you fail on the theme of responsiblity in a Spider-man movie, especially a Spider-man origin movie, you fail period.

  2. I think you are missing the point with Peter's search for his uncle's killer. Peter, in his grief, is first not interested in really helping people. He wants vengeance. But when he talks with Captain Stacy he starts to realize that this might not be the right way after all. After the incident at the bridge he abandons the search for the killer and instead starts to protect people first and foremost. If he had found the killer, the whole point of the scene had been ruined.
    I give TAS the edge every day. And you know why? Because this Peter Parker is actually developing. The old one had some sort of reset switch, and only got more irresponsible with each movie.