Ah the glorious movie industry and their weirdass release dates. July 4th is tomorrow (or today I suppose), thus our movie must premier on July 3rd! Tuesday!? Who cares, people go to see movies on July 4th weekend err… I mean week. All week long in fact! It’s a weekend week if I ever saw one. The 75% full theater testifies to the intense popularity of Tuesday releases and future Monday releases that will inevitably follow. Glorious!
Strange release date aside I thought this was a decent enough film as absurdly fast reboots go. The cast is much improved over the previous Spiderman trilogy, though oddly that doesn’t make as much of an impact as you’d think. The strongest part of the first Spiderman was Daniel Defoe as the Green Goblin, and his story arc is much more compelling than the Lizard’s is in this film (or in general). Additionally Sam Reimi did a much better job of directing and constructing a film, even with much weaker actors.
That said the first half of this movie is great and far exceeds the precedent; unfortunately the movie starts to take itself too seriously at roughly the halfway point. If the original Spiderman pandered to post 9/11 audiences with New York joy, this film is outright insane. There is, no joke, a 5 minute sequence of nothing but that sort of pandering with a ridiculously overdone “epic” soundtrack (James Horner: Titanic, Braveheart, Avatar, Troy… and Spiderman). That alone knocked at least a half star off the score of this film.
There is one strange part about the early part of the film, literally every primary “high school” actor looks and acts like they’re 10 years older than they are. The school they’re in has collegiate style classrooms, the love interest (Emma Stone, who’s only 22) looks like she’s 25 and acts like she’s at least 30 and has the job credentials to match evidently. Andrew Garfield doesn’t look quite that old but he’s competing with a 5 foot tall guy who sounds like he’s 5 and looks like he’s 12; he may as well be as old as Martin Sheen.
Speaking of which, Martin Sheen dies in the good half of the movie and its not too overdone, I guess you could say it’s a necessity for Uncle Ben to die and as long as its over quickly that’s fine. But, then the second best actor in the movie dies and there’s a 10-15 minute sequence blabbing about him and things related to him. All of the over-dramatization sort of kills any chance this movie had of surpassing the original Spiderman (doesn’t even come close to Spiderman 2 regardless). That said I still think it is worth a look since there’s not much else coming out until Batman.