The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) – 3.5/5

Decent, visually well crafted reboot that’s too long at the beginning by about 45 minutes and ultimately brings nothing new to the table as far as this damn franchise is concerned. It is better than Sam Raimi’s 2002 film though, a film I never liked despite all the praise. This version is better acted and written and way less cheesy, and didn’t make me want to kill myself at any point. Maybe at the beginning a few times. But not nearly as much as Raimi’s stupid first film did.

The first hour or so of this isn’t very interesting; it’s the typical origin story we’ve all heard or read about a million times, and this doesn’t do anything new or interesting with it at all, really. It’s long and boring and makes the film seem like it’s going to drag on endlessly. Eventually the film does get better once the main villain is introduced, but I really wish they’d have sped the whole origin part up a bit, or left it as a quick pre-credit sequence or something, I don’t know.

The CGI also doesn’t look all that great. It’s the typical problem a lot of films that use extensive CGI these days have: it simply doesn’t look real. It’s like a mix of cartoon and live action, and sticks out like a sore thumb, as they say. Fortunately it’s not extremely prominent, but for a film of this budget, they really ought to have given the computer stuff a little more polish.

The acting is decent, especially from Denis Leary of all people who nails the role of the smug, arrogant jerk perfectly. Imagine that. The story is ridiculous, but whatever; you can’t expect a movie about a man who takes on the characteristics of a spider and uses them to fight crime to be perfectly logical. It’s silly and dumb at times, but entertaining, especially, again, once the origin story is over and done with and interesting things finally start to happen.

Overall, the film has its problems: it’s somewhat dull if you’re familiar with the origin story, and it doesn’t do anything new with the characters or the universe or anything at all having to do with this mythology. But, the film is entertaining, and, unlike Raimi’s version, not a complete piece of overrated crap. Peter Parker’s transformation from boy to hero is smoother and more believable, the CGI is slightly better, the acting is actually decent, and it’s in the end just a pretty solid, run of the mill action adventure superhero film. Not the most necessary film ever made, but whatever; it could have been worse, like Spider-Man 2. It is what it is.

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