Reason Writers at the Movies: Peter Suderman Reviews The Amazing Spider-Man


The filmmakers behind the new Spider-Man reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man, have added an adjective, but not much else. Perhaps they should have called it The Repetitive Spider-ManReason Senior Editor Peter Suerman reviews the summer superhero do-over:

There are a handful of minor changes from the original: Spider-Man's love interest is no longer Mary Jane Watson but Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), whose father (a wonderfully cranky Denis Leary) is a police officer pursuing Spider-Man for vigilantism. Peter Parker's parents are briefly involved, and Spider-Man's guiding principle, "with great power comes great responsibility," has been awkwardly rewritten into a clunkier variant: "If you can do good things for other people, you have a moral obligation to do those things. Not choice — responsibility."

Indeed, the movie is essentially a lesser rewrite, like a VHS copy degraded by duplication. Aside from a few rearranged plot points, there are few new ideas to be found: Like Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin from "Spider-Man," Mr. Ifans' Lizard is a sympathetic villain who carries out arguments with himself. Even a final stirring moment in which New York's residents come to the hero's aid is lifted almost directly from the original.

Read the whole thing in The Washington Times

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  1. “If you can do good things for other people, you have a moral obligation to do those things. Not choice ? responsibility.””If you can do good things for other people, you have a moral obligation to do those things. Not choice ? responsibility.”

    Well you can just forget about the Objectivist share of the market!

    1. God, I hope Parker’s not some proto-commie in this movie.

      1. A lot of non-communists believe in social obligation, they just don’t necessarily believe it should be backed up by coercion.

        1. A guy in a blue and red spandex body suit with his face covered slinging webs all over the place is pretty fucking coercive.

    2. That is such a grotesque butchering of Ditko’s intention that it can’t be excused as anything but a later day commie hack intentionally knowing what he is doing and why he is doing it out of spite for the original intention.

      Power necessitated a moral imperative to take one’s actions seriously, but only you can decide just how that translates into action.

      1. out of spite for the original intention.

    3. “If you can do good things for other people, you have a moral obligation to do those things. Not choice ? responsibility

      In other words, we are all enslaved to our lessers from the moment of birth. Hurray.

  2. The big problem they faced is violating the “minimum time to reboot” rule.

    1. Exactly.

      This is more a blue screen of death than a reboot.

    2. They’re just trying it out with Spidey to see if it works. If it does, we’ll be seeing quick reboots of every trilogy. The only way to prevent this is a boycott. Boycott this first attempt so they learn their lesson.

      1. You know what we need? LOTR with newer CGI orcs.

  3. Who gives a shit that it’s similar? If it’s a good movie in its own right, I’m paying the price of admission.

    1. If you see it at a theater, chances are you’ll “pay the price of admission” whether or not is a “it’s a good movie in its own right.” But you’ll get to see it either way, so there is that.

      My bet is, “Not worth it”, so not gonna do it. Wouldn’t be prudent at this juncture…

    2. Why not just see the first one? It is pretty pathetic that they would remake a movie within 10 years of its release.

      1. Because it’s lame.

        1. It is based on a comic book for six year old boys. What did you expect it to be?

          1. HEY the animated TV show in the ’90s was awesome. That was when kids shows didn’t treat kids like retards. Seriously, most intricate plot and fastest pacing you’ll ever see in TV.

            1. Nothing can top the glory that is Japanese Spiderman


              I especially like Professor Monster and the Cat Demon bit.

            2. The 90’s animated Batman show was badass too.

          2. Slightly less lame?

  4. Someone has mixed an “Amazing Spider-Man” in with the “Peter Parker – The Spectacular Spider-Man” series. This will NOT stand.

    1. Cats, dogs – lions, lambs – magnesium, fire – it can only end in tears.

  5. lulz

    The comments at the WaTi site are H “and per se and” R-worthy.

    “If you can do good things for other people you have a moral obligation to do those things. Not choice ? responsibility.”
    What? Did Obama rewrite the dialogue? Wasn’t Michael Bay available for stupid dialogue rewrites and mindless noise and effects?

  6. I’m supposed to go see it soon with my brothers. I can’t help but wonder if Spider-Man just isn’t a very good comic book superhero.

  7. I don’t understand why the first spiderman movie keeps getting casual praise from reviewers. It only looked good because the superhero movies before sucked so much. It was merely competent at best and the sequels sucked.

    1. I too am puzzled by the Raimi trilogy.

      Unlike you, I consider Spider-Man 2 to be the more competent movie.

      But, what I couldn’t understand was the outrage at Spider-Man 3. Unlike the first movie, which treated its characters and plot with Schumacher-esqe care, the third movie at least had a much better plot and more richly defined characters.

      1. …probably had something to do with the Emo-Peter Parker scene.

        1. Because they somehow managed to derp the Venom arc, which was one of the best and most badass parts of the TV show? Granted I didn’t see it but EVERYONE hated it.

          1. Because they somehow managed to derp the Venom arc,

            This. What made Venom such a memorable villain is that Eddie Brock is mental case who hates both Peter Parker and Spider-Man (but doesn’t know they are the same person), the alien symbiote hates Peter Parker and Spider-Man (and knows they are the same person). Put the two together had you have a kettle boiling over of insanity and power that Spider-Man can’t outright beat. In the original comics, Spidey had to fake his own death on a deserted island to get Venom to stop coming after him.

            1. And the ret-con about Uncle Ben’s death… and making Sandman into some massively sympathetic villain…

  8. Well now that makes a lot of s ene dude. WOw.

  9. It has Emma Stone. That’s almost enough to get me to go see it. Almost, but not quite, because it obviously is going to suck, and hard. Superhero movies are almost completely played out. They need to be retired.

    1. Not until after Nolan completes his Batman franchise this month. I’d be willing to see a fucking Aqua-Man movie if he made it.

      1. That’s why I said “almost”. Nolan is the last positive holdout.

        1. The next Wolverine is based on a Frank Miller mini-series from ’82. There is great potential for ultraviolence from that source script.

          1. Wolvie-wank has grated on my nerves. I wouldn’t be at all unhappy if some of the lesser known Marvel titles got a shot a the big screen. Doctor Strange, Iron Fist, reboot Daredevil, Namor.

            1. I’ve always hated that punk ass Namor.

              1. Namor did the brooding, anti-hero badass before, and better, than Wolverine. Plus, one of his driving motivations in life is to bang Sue Storm (Jessica Alba). I believe that is a goal we can all agree to be worthwhile.

    2. I was about to insist that Emma Stone is even more played out / overexposed than the superhero genre, but examining her filmography I find she was in “only” 3 movies in 2011. I could have sworn it was at least 5.

      What’s so great about her, anyway? Is it her acting, or you just think she’s hot?

      1. I don’t think she’s hot, she is hot. Very. Her acting is fine. Are you a (straight) dude or a chick? Because that question isn’t one I would have expected.

        1. Straight dude.

          Despite my complaint about how ubiquitous she is, I’ve only seen 2 of her movies. And based on those, she didn’t seem any hotter than your typical young actress.

          I’ll admit she probably has a nicer face than previous Spider-babe Kirsten Dunst, but I wonder if she could execute the wet T-shirt scene as well.

      2. Olive Wichita — completely fuckable and you’d be in no hurry to leave afterwards.

        1. Missing fucking ampersand — squirrels strike again.

  10. Spider-Man’s guiding principle, “with great power comes great responsibility,” has been awkwardly rewritten into a clunkier variant: “If you can do good things for other people, you have a moral obligation to do those things. Not choice ? responsibility.”

    Actually, that’s not just a clunky variant, it’s a quite different statement. The original formulation did not only imply that Spiderman has to use his ability to help others, but also that he was morally responsible for misuse and unintended consequences of using his power. The new formulation completely deletes the latter idea.

    Which is very convenient for “do something!” authoritarians.

  11. Let me know when Radioactive Man: The Movie is coming out. I’ve had enough of the bat and the spider to last me a lifetime.

    1. Up and at ‘zem.

      1. “The goggles do nothing!”

    2. At least Nolan knows how to make movies.

      But yeah, I’m sick of all of them.

      1. Superhero movies are becoming the equivalent of action movies in the 80s. There were some great ones made, lots of mediocre ones, and some pretty bad ones. And now the energy is gone; they just don’t work any more.

        1. But at least their half-hearted attempts got Channing Tatum a career. So…there’s that…

          1. Great, so my wife can go see Magic Mike this weekend with her girlfriends and come back lamenting the fact that I am not Christian Grey with Channing Tatum’s body.

    3. Also: “I’ve said ‘Jiminy Jillickers’ so many times, the words have lost all meaning.”

  12. This is supposed to be the origin story for a new franchise series of films. If they bring in “new ideas”, it is no longer the “Spiderman” story, it is the story of someone else. It is the 50th Anniversary of the first appearance of Spiderman. The perfect chance to snare a new crowd of young boys to buy the action figures and see the sequels.

    1. 10 years after the previous reboot?

      I mean, I understand the “making money” angle, but it’s horrid in an aesthetic sense.

      1. How was the Raimi series a “reboot”? Was there a series of Spiderman films before that that I was unaware of? And please don’t mention the Electric Company Spiderman or the 1978-79 TV series (which I absolutely adored as a kid, proving children have zero taste). They’re TV.

    2. You know who else wanted to snare a crowd of young boys…

      1. Jerry Sandusky?

      2. Michael Jackson?

  13. Not looking forward to this. In the trailer Spiderman’s very gestures had a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle feel to them. Highly annoying. BTW, that movie is worse than you remembered.

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