The Reel View
Column: “The Amazing Spider-Man”: Too soon for a reboot
Like thousands of other Americans, I spent this Fourth of July seeing “The Amazing Spider-Man,” the reboot of the 2002 film depicting Marvel’s friendly neighborhood web-slinger.
My family left the theater in awe and was raving about it on our way to the fireworks.
I, on the other hand, was fuming.
It’s not that the movie was bad. It was actually quite good. Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield graced the film with a young, fresh energy.
The special effects were impressive, and the plot was well developed. I saw it in 3-D, and it was tasteful — not at all annoying like what I’ve said in the past about 3-D movies.
My aggravation stemmed from my expectation of novel material.
The film was promoted as “an untold story” — I thought it would revolve around a different chapter in Peter Parker’s life or present us with a different interpretation of Spider-Man altogether.
Well, I was wrong.
It seems director Marc Webb developed the plot to follow the comic book series more closely, hence the plot changes and some of the different characters.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the comic books, Gwen Stacy was actually Parker’s first love, whom he meets in college along with his best friend, Harry Osborn.
Later, his Aunt May introduces him to Mary Jane Watson.
This was different in the 2002 version by director Sam Raimi, who did not have Parker and Stacy meet until “Spider-Man 3” to create a love triangle between Parker, Watson and Stacy.
Raimi portrayed Stacy as an inferior and expendable character.
To my dismay, Webb didn’t tell an untold story as advertised, like the Spider-Man story told 10 years ago.
When I realized this in the theater, I stewed in my seat for about two hours.
“Didn’t I see this movie 10 years ago?” I thought.
It seemed the two versions were exactly the same, except that instead of Mary Jane Watson, there was a Gwen Stacy.
If the 2002 version of “Spider-Man” didn’t exist, I would be raving right now about “The Amazing Spider-Man,” but I just can’t be happy about it.
I just keep thinking, if Hollywood was going to make basically the exact same movie, why even do a reboot? “Spider-Man 3” was in theaters in 2007. Not long after, development for “The Amazing Spider-Man” began.
The body wasn’t even cold yet before Hollywood wanted to tell the story again.
Mind you, “The Amazing Spider-Man” improved the 2002 version by Raimi, but because the reboot was released so soon after “Spider-Man 3,” I feel it was disrespectful.
“The Amazing Spider-Man” was essentially going to be a “Spider-Man 4.”
However, after many versions of the script were drafted, Raimi felt there wasn’t a strong enough story to make a new movie by the looming release date of May 2011.
Instead, Sony Pictures decided to do a reboot with younger, well-known actors for July 2012 that could be made in 3-D.
So basically, it was all about the money, which was my only thought while I watched it in theaters.
Looking back at reboots, such as “21 Jump Street” and “Superman,” I’ve noticed that studios used to wait longer before releasing a new version of a story.
Now, it seems like studios choose to remake successful films and put them in 3-D because it’s one of the fastest way to make money.
Despite these downfalls, the movie was well-made. Stone is as charming as ever, and you get to stare at Garfield for two hours and 16 minutes, which is never a bad thing.
The sequel is set for release May 2014 even though a script has yet to be written.
As always, Hollywood has its priorities in order.
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