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Let me count the was where this movie failed for me.  And now there will be spoilers.  Lots of spoilers.  Be warned.  








I’ve tried to find a coherent thread as to why this new Spiderman just didn’t work for me.  It wasn’t so much a single choice that resonated in a bad way through the entire movie as a whole series of things that just kept diminishing the film for me.  First, was the languid pace.  I felt like I had been sitting in the theater for six or eight hours.  I almost contemplated leaving because it was so dull and so predictable, and I’ve only walked out of two movies in my life so I hung in there.

The direction also felt cramped.  In the Rami film Spiderman is so graceful, he soars, and I felt like I was flying with him.  In this one it was all narrow streets and alleys, and Spidey jumping from wall to wall.  It never had this sense of scope and scale of the earlier films.

It also started three times, and it took forever for Peter to finally become Spiderman.  

First we have the scene with the kid, and dad and mom running away.  

Then we see him as nerd in school.  

Then we have the discovery of dad’s briefcase — and wow the bad guys were stupid not to search Uncle Ben and Aunt May’s house.  It’s this giant corporation, you would have thought somebody could have gotten in disguised as a meter reader or something, and gone through the place.  

Then we have Peter surfing the net looking for information (he surfs the net a lot in this movie which is really boring), and then he goes through this elaborate hoax to get into the corporation to talk to Dr. Connors.  Why didn’t he just call him, and say, “Hey, I’m Richard Parker’s son.  I found these formula, can we talk?”  No fuss, no muss and get this movie started.

Next we have Peter able to just wander off, and get through looked doors to find this giant room filled with spiders and webs.  And he goes in there?  Why?  Would you go in a room filled with Spiders?  I also never believed this corporation was real.  They say on their site that they have this spider web that is than steel, but for some reason this isn’t widely used in industry or construction, and instead this 17 high school kid figures out how to build a web spinner — really, what is Oscorp paying all these scientists to do exactly?

So, finally Peter gets bit, and then we have him tearing up a subway, and the subway police aren’t waiting for him when the train pulls in.  There are security cameras on these trains but nobody reacts to the creepy super strong guy on the subway who can cling to ceilings.

Oh, and we have the really obvious, on the nose presentation of the atomizing device, and I thought, “Yep, bad guy is going to try and release horrible toxin over NYC at the end.  Ho hum.”

We have the whole mysterious research to do something for Mr. Osborn, but since we never see him, and don’t have any idea why his survival is so important or if he was behind the death of Peter’s parents it just felt like a hanging plot thread.

I never fully understood why Dr. Connors goes nuts and wants to release the lizard toxin over the city.  Because he wants people to be more than human?  I guess the toxin just amplified his tendencies, but it felt forced to me.  And why didn’t getting bit by the spider make Peter go nuts?  Presumably because dad did something to his kid, but this was something that I actually need to have addressed in the film, and they left me wondering about that instead of sinking into the movie.

Also, the first time Connors transforms he’s on his way to keep Evil Corporate Goon from giving wounded vets the horrible, untested toxin, but that whole thing just gets dropped when it becomes about Peter saving the kid.

I enjoyed the awkward teenagers trying to communicate that they liked each other scene.  It was charming, and felt very real, but they kept playing that scene two too many times.  It was fine in the hallway of the school, but damn don’t beat it to death. 

The whole thing where the chief of police is ordering his troops to “get Spiderman!” while a giant lizard is crawling around NYC tearing up cars and knocking people over like ninepins felt really stupid.  In the Rami film the Green Goblin guy actually has a good relationship with Peter.  He’s a father figure and a mentor, and then the become enemies — very Oedipus.  In this I could care less that the police chief died at the end because his only interactions with Peter are arguments and fights as they try to capture him.  There is no relationship, so I don’t care.

I liked Emma Stone as Gwen — she was smart — for example she knows that her dad made Peter promise not to see her anymore, and thank god she didn’t scream all the time, and have to be rescued, but she looked way too old, and I never believed she was in high school.

Finally, I just didn’t like Peter.  At the end Uncle Ben’s voice message is telling Peter that he’s a good man, but frankly he seemed like a douche to me.  I know he’s 17 and the power would go to his head, but he never stops reveling in it.  It is also implicit in the final scene that he’s going to break his promise to the captain and keep seeing Gwen.  

And there was a scene with Gwen, which as a woman, really bothered me.  He’s starting to kiss and caress her, and she tells him to stop, and he doesn’t.  At that point I really checked out from him.

The crane scene was a cool idea and could have been awesome, but it looked sort of flat, and it was set up in this heavy-handed, on the nose way.  “Hey, that guy saved my son,” blah, blah,

And don’t get me started on the rescuing the little boy on the bridge scene.  When the father is holding his son muttering, “My son, my son,” I started to giggle.  Not the reaction you want.  Oh, and they kept trying to give Dennis Leary funny lines, and god they were so labored.

And why the lizard had to threaten the whole city, I don’t know?  So he throws gas bombs, and cops start turning into lizards.  I didn’t care.  I didn’t know any of the cops so it had no emotional resonance for me.  Now if Gwen turned into a lizard that might have had more juice for me.

I guess the crane scene was supposed to be the equivalent of the train scene from Spiderman 2 where the good people of New York step up to try and protect Spidey, but it just fell flat for me.

Oh, and Peter loses his mask, and takes off his mask so many times in this movie that I have to assume there might be a shut-in living in the Village who doesn’t know that Peter Parker is Spiderman.

Overall, it just felt like a long, slow mess with a hero that never clicked for me.  I liked Uncle Ben and I liked Gwen, and that was basically it. 

So rant over.  It’s frustrating because basically the only film I’ve really liked this summer was Avengers, and that’s a sad commentary because I love movies.  I like to go to movies.  I just want to be entertained and taken out of my own head, and my own life when I attend one.  So far every thing but Avengers has failed to do that.

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