Andrew Garfield stars as Spider-Man in Columbia Pictures' "The Amazing Spider-Man."
Wait...let me watch it again.
The origin of Spider-Man? Again?
When we heard the news that Sony was "rebooting" the Spider-Man franchise, our initial disinterested shrugs were soothed by two things: The cast and the fact that all involved were saying the right things. Namely, that this was not a replacement for the Tobey Maguire/Sam Raimi films, but "a new chapter."
Unfortunately, it's Chapter One. Again.
Does Sony really think that a movie made barely 9 years ago would be totally incomprehensible to "today's audience" (we presume means toddlers). Not to mention a movie starring one of the most recognizable comic book heroes in pop culture history, who has been around since the 1960s with the same basic origin intact? Can't we just accept that people won't walk into a movie called "Spider-Man" and be all, "Hey! How is that kid climbing walls!" My son recognizes Spider-Man and he's only been on the Earth for two years.
Now before you throw "Batman Begins" around, check yourself before you bat-wreck yourself. The Batman origin has a LOT of gray area that Tim Burton didn't touch. We know Bruce Wayne's parents are murdered and then - BAM! - he's Batman! Christopher Nolan wisely went back and filled in the blanks with great details about the nuts and bolts of how he did it. How exactly did he learn the in's and out's of criminal behavior? How did he learn to sneak around the shadows? Where did he get the car?
But Spider-Man has no such gray area. He didn't have to learn how to climb walls and sense danger. He's bitten by a radioactive spider and he can do those things. Done. Move on. We know what we need to know.
With such a good cast at his disposal (Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans), we were hoping director Marc Webb would just get into it already. We've had THREE major, worldwide blockbuster Spider-Man movies watched and understood by people of every different language. No one will be lost. Trust us. It's not like the only Spider-Man movie ever made was a Roger Corman cheapie shot on Super 8 and shown in four grindhouse theaters in the mid 70s.
So this is....disappointing. And it's the reason why comic book movies will ultimately shoot themselves in the foot. "Reboots" are good when you've had comics that have been around for 40 years and have become overstuffed with subplots and continuity tangents that you need to clean the slate. But when all you have is three movies all made in the 2000s? No need to be in such a hurry to clear that cache.
So we have "Superman Returns" failing because it basically just re-did the Richard Donner movies. Now that one is being re-done again by Zack Snyder. And now we have a Spider-Man that simply redoes what Raimi did.
You keep feeding people leftovers, eventually they stop coming back for more.
Also? "Spidey POV cam" in 3D IMAX? Why not just spin us around 30 times and then kick us in the forehead before every screening?
"The Amazing Spider-Man" comes out in 2012. Then again in 2016.