I didn't nurture high expectations for this film as I don't think it's strictly necessary. I can understand the desire to do something different with Spider-man, use fresh cast and crew, but I don't think it needed to be rebooted at this point (even taking into account how silly Spider-man 3 was). Then again I guess the studio needed to keep a hold of the license.
It was a fun superhero film, which was all it needed to be.
I'm not going to spoil the plot or give detailed descriptions of scenes, but I will mention stuff that happens. It's up to you how pure you want to be if you haven't seen the film yet.
|Not as angsty as this picture looks.|
Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben, even though he didn't actually say the full slogan and some of the dialogue he was given was a bit schmaltzy and unlikely given the context. However we love Martin Sheen.
Andrew Garfield had the right kind of gangly physicality that I didn't realise Spider-man needed until now. Also he was far more authentic and likeable than the previous version of Spider-man who was mostly a little bit sad (unless that's just Tobey Maguire). In fact there was refreshingly little angst.
Gwen liking Peter first and never actually meeting 'Spider-man' was a good move. I was glad there were none of the stupid alter-ego mix ups that superhero films (and TV shows) tend to indulge in, usually at the expense of the female character.
Admittedly I thought that the relationship felt underdeveloped, I never actually saw them forming a bond (I'm told this might have happened in deleted scenes, but don't know for sure). By halfway through the film they're supposed to have strong feelings for each other, but it all feels a bit rushed and artificial. Then again I don't expect the romances in superhero films to feel realistic, so it's not a major quibble.
The webslinging visual FX were great. I only saw it in 2D because I personally have difficulty seeing 3D. However even in 2D some of the web slinging was very well-done, and used different techniques to the earlier films.
The manufactured webslingers were good (it was a gripe that Marvel Boy had about the Raimi films) and using a web as a web was a wonderfully simple yet new idea.
The mystery surrounding the disapearance of Peter's parents was interesting, it's something that the comics apparently handled badly (there were clones, or maybe robots) and never dealt with again. It's clear that this film is setting up for sequels with some ongoing plot arcs and background threads, which will hopefully provide more depth and make the sequels worthwhile. Speaking of which...
Norman Osbourne is never seen and takes no action, but he is mentioned as someone in the background. My spidey senses detect foreshadowing.
|No one stands like that, no one.|
The following bit is likely to make more sense if you've already seen the film.
Things I thought while watching
I was so tempted to start singing Incy Wincy Spider at one point.
In OsCorp where the shadows are. Because that tower just needs a big flaming eye on top.
Of course Spider-man has a backpack, it's not like he has space for pockets in that outfit.
When the antagonist is breaking into the lab it sounds as though he has stepped on a piano, that was there for no reason. Then it happened again and I realised it was meant to be sound FX.
There was one moment when I was suddenly blindsided by the surrealness of what I was watching. This hasn't happened to me in a superhero film before, though it's a reaction that makes sense.
Spidey is talking to a particular police officer, who is holding him at gunpoint. The entire scene looks like a serious cop movie, except for the guy bent into an unnaturaslistic crouching pose wearing red and blue spandex. Just for a second Spider-man looked like a guy from a panto or a contemporary ballet production who had walked onto the wrong set. I think this may be the problem with "realistic" superhero films, they can't really reconcile how strange superheroes tend to look.