Monday, 9 July 2012
Ok, we have to understand this is a new interpretation and accept that this is a different take on Peter Parker, so once that's a given...
The cast were pretty perfect. Garfield is great as an edgier but still identifiable Peter Parker haunted by the disappearance of his parents, setting up the through line of this planned trilogy a la Nolan's Batman trilogy. Emma Stone is similarly picture perfect as Gwen Stacy, not quite as sweet as in the comics but instantly likable and far better than the previous trilogy's wishy washy MJ. I could never stand Aunt May and any scene with her pretty much stunk up the originals and while Cliff Robertson was good as Uncle Ben...Martin Sheen gave a far more rounded, natural performance and I was more affected by his passing as we had seen more of his interactions with Peter. Sally Field was also the strongest incarnation of May, never the downtrodden feeb from the comics.
I had concerns about Ifans but he was ok, although I hated the characterisation of Connors (Dylan Baker's was spot on). Also, the Lizard looked exactly like Killer Croc and nothing like the comic Lizard: would it have been too hard to make a leaner, meaner version?
(Below from left to right are the comic Lizard, the movie Lizard and then Killer Croc...)
The more realistic take worked well and I was absorbed into Peter's world way before he started developing his powers. I disliked the material of the costume but Garfield's silhouette was again just picture perfect for Spidey's physique and he moved pretty well. I wished there was more audience-pleasing web swinging but when let rip, those few sequences were pretty good.
With the Stacys, their fates are never guaranteed so future instalments will always be slightly fraught, though I predict the third instalment ending with the Green Goblin and Gwen Stacy both karking it. This leads me to wonder which villain could fill the baddie slot in ASM2?
Overall, the film beat the Raimi ones on most levels...but there was just something special missing from this movie. It was good but lacked that indefinable "oomph" to propel it into greatness. It's done better than predicted and I hope it continues to do well but hope future instalments beef up the formulaic plot line a bit...