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07/10/2012

Movie review: The Amazing Spider Man vs. Spider-Man

ImagesFinally saw the Emma Stone comic book re-boot of The Amazing Spider Man and my first thought was, "This is no Batman Begins". The Amazing Spider Man movie spent more than two hours to prepare us for the sequel.

While it is slick, visually impressive and not a bad movie, it just slightly misses the mark. It tries to be dark but there is no emotional power to it. It was not an upgrade over the original Spider-Man made in 2002.

Peter Parker: Tobey Maguire vs. Andrew Garfield
Maguire
He physically looks like the Peter Parker from the comic book. He was small, and conveyed a nerdish invisibility. It probably helped, a lot, that director Sam Raimi was a huge Spider Man comic book fan and committed to its origins.
Garfield was agitated and a bit more physically imposing. They brought a different feel to Parker.

Spider Man: Tobey Maguire vs. Andrew Garfield
Garfield
Physically Garfield is far more convincing to believe as little Peter Parker turned arachnid-kicking bad a$$. He looks and moves like a guy who can beat you up. The physical element to Spider-Man was the one element Maguire struggled to make convincing simply because he is a smaller guy.

The Girl: Kirsten Dunst vs. Emma Stone
Stone
Hands down. Not that Dunst was bad as Mary Jane Watson, but Stone is an upgrade as an actress in the re-boot as Gwen Stacy and Spidey's love interest.
Either way, it is really nice to see a progressive Hollywood continuing to empower women with roles such as "the hot girl who needs a man to save her". 

Spider-man-4-willem-dafoe-norman-osbornBad Guys By Day: Willem Dafoe vs. Rhys Ifans
Dafoe
As Dr. Norman Osborn Dafoe uses such a menacing array of facial expressions to convey just the right amount of sinister.
Ifans is Dr. Curt Connors, and relying on his English accent he is ... just another bad guy. His character felt forced and flat.

Bad Guys By Night: Green Goblin vs. The Lizard 
Green Goblin
The origins of both bad guys is interesting and convincing enough, but the Goblin just looks and feels far more believable than the cartoonish Lizard.

Ben Parker: Cliff Robertson vs. Martin Sheen
Wash
Both are veteran actors who played this role nearly exactly the same way.

May Parker: Rosemary Harris vs. Sally Field
Wash
See above. 

2002_spider_man_014Other players: J.K. Simmons vs. Denis Leary; James Franco vs. Irrfan Khan
Spider-Man
These are not the same characters. Simmons plays a cartoonish newspaper editor chasing Spider-Man. Leary is a police chief, who happens to the father of Spidey's love interest. Leary played his role straight and hard while Simmons had fun with it.
Franco was his usual solid self as Peter Parker's friend with the derranged dad (Dafoe). Khan was quite good in his limited role as a bad guy.

Overall Movie: Spider-Man vs. The Amazing Spider Man
Spider Man
This is not a case of nostalgia. The 2002 version was just better.

 

@MacEngelProf
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Comments

TheLordVoldemort

You forgot one other thing:

Story
-The Amazing Spider-Man wins this one.

Jeremy

Amazing Spider Man was definitely better

jowel pestano

amazing

Frankeinstein

Amazing Spiderman is not even close to the original Spidey Movie with Tobey.
It simply lacks action and entertainment, + anything new in this amazing spiderman was just not good enough, it totally sucks, Original spiderman ROCKS ! Nothing like it.

italian128

J Jonah Jameson is NOT Mary Jane's father!

The Big Mac Blog

Good catch Italian 128. I got them confused during the wedding sequence in the sequel.

Many thanks. It's been corrected.

M

This is a good review, although I like Kirsten just as much as I like Emma, and I like Tobey as Spiderman better than I like Andrew, but Andrew was good.

The original Spider-man film is far superior to this one. The storytelling is much better and there are no real plausibility issues as in this one - the most disturbing is when Peter promises Gwen's dying father that he will stay away from her to keep her safe, and then a few weeks later he laughs about how promises you can't keep are "the best kind." That was sad and pathetic for a character that is supposed to have some morals and a sense of responsibility. Not to mention that it also seems to point to him not caring at all about what happens to Gwen because of him - and this is just one point of many. I'm sorry, but TASM is for the unintelligent. It will never even come close to the original.

Kaylee Cadaver

Amazing Spider- man was wayyyy better! I loved how it looked so real! the chemistry between gwen and peter was definitely strong!!! can't wait for the next one!!! :)

spider monkey

I think Spider-man wins simply for its novel quality- a lot of the scenes in Amazing felt rushed and contrived, like the death of Uncle Ben, IMO- it was something different in the time that it was released and by virtue of that I felt it was much more interesting and original. However, the reboot has its moments.

As far as Spidey goes, it's a matter of taste. I prefer Maguire and his puppy dog eyes as Peter, but I loved Garfield's snarkiness in the suit. I agree that Dr. Connors fell sort of flat- besides when he turned into the Lizard, he wasn't very interesting at all. The protrayal of New York wasn't that great either. It felt like Gotham at some points.

Kaitlyn

Great write-up, I agree with all of it. I did really enjoy TASM however I can't forget how much I loved the original. Although I really like Kirsten Dunst I do feel that Emma Stone's character was much more convincing and entertaining to watch. I love Andrew Garfield but Tobey is always there with his raw and poignant acting and those vulnerable eyes.
Both movies were great but Spider-Man is my personal favorite.

Mashoor

Huh ? Did you like actually watch the movie with your eyes open ? Amazing spiderman was way better than the original.... I don't even want to talk about anything there ... I am just Hyde about seeing the new spider man join avengers..... It's going to be epic ...spidey and tony

Swati

I do agree with most of your write-up. If you compare the two on Rotten Tomatoes, more critics liked the 2002 film, while more audience like TASM.

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