Just like from other superhero films, they were adapted from the actual comic books but not all the time with key specific story lines and that’s how dynamic this is, it’s already comprehensible to many and yet unique in its own “amazing” way!
Columbia Pictures in association with Marvel Studios present…
From Marvel Comics very own flagship carrier, Spider-Man was created by Writer Stan “The Man” Lee and Artist Steve Ditko who debuted in Amazing Fantasy No. 15 on August of 1962. Adapted for a television series in the 80’s which became a cult phenomenon then jump starting it in the big screen from the years 2000 up to 2007 which grossed billions in the box office worldwide making it one of the successful comic book films in cinema history!
But that was just the beginning…
The British are coming!!! Embrace the inevitable! Superhero movie leading actors take a turn to bring these comic book characters to life in these live action films, for instance Christian Bale (Batman Begins) is of English descent, Henry Cavill (The Man of Steel) also dubbed the “unluckiest” Englishman in screen testing with the film finally coming in next year! With both portraying iconic superheroes from DC Comics, Marvel has their own ace up their sleeve and found their latest web slinger from the talent of Andrew Garfield (Never Let Me Go).
Definitely a reboot from Sam Raimi’s trilogy, it’s like turning off a PC and then when you switched it back on, there is already a new motherboard installed or something to that effect! But in this regard, it’s not the superhero with the mask that needs to be placed in the spotlight but rather who’s inside! The boy who was searching in the opening scene never got through playing hide and seek with his Dad, until one fateful day came something from the past has been unearthed and he never knew that this will affect significantly his way of life, more importantly who he is?
Director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) sends everyone spinning in its melancholic web of the mundane teenager aptly named Peter Parker! Although it was CGI heavy, the film never lost touch of its intentions to stay close with the source material to infuse intellectual dialogue, backed-up by character driven performances and of course actual web shooters and not the internally biological spun-off webbing! They even had a name for it right now, “biocables” which is absolutely contemporary!
The different take on the film has made fans skeptical saying that it was too early for the franchise to be replaced or for the original cast to take the exit! The people in Marvel had so much enthusiasm for the fourth installment to take place but it was just unfortunate that Sam’s heart for the franchise has been left empty leaving a huge trunk space to fill-in! When Marc was chosen to helm the new face of the title hero, he welcomed it and took it as a challenge and the rest was history!
Produced once more by Laura Ziskin (The Accidental Hero) with Hollywood heavyweights Matt Tolmach (Coldblooded) President of Columbia Pictures and Marvel’s own CEO Avi Arad while the Story and Screenplay was researched by James Vanderbilt (The Rundown) that gave more precedence on the troubled boy’s life, let alone his awkward stature, being geeky and bullied in school! James went back even more from the time of his childhood wherein the parents play an essential part in Peter’s destiny…to become someone who not only needs to accept his responsibilities but to also honor it!
This is what just James was trying to send across, this is the “untold story” even critics and fanboys were bashing the given statement claiming that they already know who Spider-Man is, but frankly it’s not just to their own standpoint that should be addressed here, it’s a new story with the same elements but with a different direction and foundation on how it all started and frankly, it actually worked!
John Schhwartzman (Armageddon) the Director of Cinematography was able to clearly capture what was defined from how the actual city skyline get their fair share of the reel while instilling fantastic camera work on characters movement with the background using the Green Screen technology. He was able to incorporate detailed shots and angles which defines the right ambiance for the characters to move in.
Speaking of which, the FPS (First Person Shooter) and 3D shot scenes were complimentary to the wall crawler, something that has never done before in the CBM’s, it gives a diversified look on how the audience enjoy the cinema experience from Spider-Man’s eyes and point of view (literally). This was made possible by 3ality Technica, wherein they provided the actual cameras and sets to actually capture the world of Spider-Man without post converting it into 3D, the Director is applauded for his additional research! While the fight scenes were well-choreographed even mixing the right amount of real actors with CGI has made it breathtaking to watch! How Spider-Man climbs in the alleys, at the side of the slivered buildings, the way he swings through the city was drastically improved! His movements are way limber, acrobatic, agile and most of all spider like (which all fanboys can drool over)!
Andrew as Peter Parker gave the most relatable superhero in the big screen and it’s another reason why movie viewers need to see his portrayal! It was his own likeness that made him exceptionally remarkable, from the physical proportions of being thin and yet, with the right amount of muscle tone to at least look believable to hold his own against a 9 ft. “misunderstood” reptile who can easily rip you into two equal or unequal parts however he chooses!
His mindset matches Peter’s perfectly as well, seeing how his asset can get him to places without any effort whatsoever. He has a genius level intellect like his father and for a boy his age being able to formulate the needed equation for the decay timeline was intended to give the audience something to ponder on. To add, also inventing these small contraptions were clearly instilled in the film, these were exceptional plus points since it was not conveyed thoroughly in Sam Raimi’s trilogy.
On the other hand (of the web slinger), his attitude has more aggression, rebellious and flamboyant especially with criminals and the police force! It was still set on the emotional standpoint of the troubled teenager faced with everyday challenges while growing up feeling alone compared to Tobey Maguire’s sentimentality who looked forlorn and sober sitting in his room most of the time.
Enter Gwen Stacy his first love was played by a blossoming actress Emma Stone (Easy A), their on and off camera chemistry has made it easier to let go of their feelings without any compromise, funny and heartfelt! While her father the predecessor to “James Jonah Jameson”, Capt. George Stacy played by Dennis Leary (Ice Age) patrolling the streets to make it as tightly secured and safe as possible his performance in “Rescue Me” TV series definitely made the transition in his acting versatility come into fruition (right Diego poo?).
A fractured soul inside a frustrated man, more so a scientist failing to cure the “weakness” of society has left him cornered in a wall and this will have devastating consequences! Rhys Ifans (Human Nature) is Dr. Curtis Connors the foremost “authority” in genetic engineering, gave the distraught villain to finally crawl out from the woodwork! His moment has come (to say the least) having been denied of his whims to unleash his gift to mankind he will make sure his claws are felt of whoever opposes him! Rhys underwent CGI motion capture to breathe life to the Lizard, his design and structure in cohesion with the digital effects by Sony Pictures Imageworks gave a uniquely humanized reptile’s dream to come true (how come the snout did not grow back?).
Acting was done genuinely and convincingly especially from the senior casts, Martin Sheen (The Departed) who portrays the surrogate Father and Uncle, Ben Parker and Sally Field (Mrs. Doubtfire) as Aunt May Parker who both gave a wonderful performance! Though some of it was quite cheesy but was worth it since a teenager centric premise was given as its background which holds the right kind of environment for our emotional hero to respond to his calling…to his responsibility!
The combining elements from the previous films like Director’s Ang Lee’s Hulk in 2003 was definitely transparent in the premise, seeing how the both fathers coming from the field of science has left a burnt mark in their sons genes which eventually made them who they are today (freaks of nature in a nice sort of way). Its influences like these help shape the cornerstone of the story, provided that it doesn’t tangle way too much hypersensitivity and by just getting the message through the audience plain and simple is enough! While references from the previous films were evident considering the enormity of the predicament being given a solution by the wall crawler. From the time the villain enters, creating mass chaos and for the citizens of New York helping our superhero to save the city and its residents was intently moving!
It was an essential start of the series that went deeper into Peter’s life and that is fundamental! This will actually help provide a bigger landscape to work through while focusing on key elements that will enable the production team and casts to cover in the sequels.
The downside, editing was not impressive even coming from two people Alan Edward Bell (The Rundown) and Pietro Scalia (Masked and Anonymous) who even worked with award winning films from Ridley Scott, you can cut off scenes but let it have a clear follow-through at least for a few seconds to let the audience know what’s going on and what’s actually happening and where did Dr. Connors got his tattered robe when he changed back to human form in the sewers?
To add, fan service moments were injected left and right like hanging from a raising cable crane after falling off from a failed “limping” 1000 meter dash on a building rooftop, the love story encapsulated in the comic books furthermore being the hero that he needs to be especially coming from a tragedy is way too given! While some people who will not be expected to return in the coming sequels have made their “black swan” worth remembering, it will help make the series move forward and get this film come into full circle!
Clearly, it was a drama induced themed, seeing that the hero’s journey begins but so many questions are still left unanswered which is quite normal but with purpose and that is to keep the next projects in check and in line! Like Peter’s parents gone missing and “reported” perished in an accident, where does the relationship of the high school lovers take them and for how long? And for the million dollar question, who did Dr. Connor’s spoke with in his ward cell at Beloit Psychiatric Hospital?
Spider-Man to some or most of you will know that he has a wide range of rogues gallery…not just because he can’t shut up his mouth while they are in a middle of a fisticuffs but rather all these years, it has been personal for them and they are “dying” to see the annoying arachnid splattered by their own hands…
So don’t tell Peter ok…let his spider-sense do the work!