*NOTE: IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE NEW SPIDERMAN FILM, THIS MAY CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS.
Ever since I was a kid, I had known about Marvel comics. My dad has a ton of them stashed away for safekeeping, and he gave me this old book of them that contained some reprinted issues of Thor, Dr. Strange, the Fantastic Four, and the Hulk. I've always been a huge Marvel fan and always will be. Which is why whenever a movie featuring one of the superheroes comes out, I'm always jacked up on excitement.
The comics industry overall has been relaunching a lot of things. DC was the first to pick up on it when they relaunched their universe, redid their logo, and even updated a favorite show of mine: Young Justice is the younger generation's Teen Titans. So it didn't really surprise me when Marvel decided to relaunch Spider-Man, and then recently made the decision to relaunch their universe again.
What I had the hardest time coping with was that the last Spider-Man film with Toby MacGuire had come out a few years ago, and now like a clueless kid who moved into a new town, I would have to readjust to the new Spider-Man with new actors, villains, and a changed plot line.
I enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man. Really, it was a fabulous film, though I found I didn't enjoy this film as well as I enjoyed, say, Captain America. (As in terms of "first" films for Marvel superheroes overall, not just Spiderman.) When I walked out from the theater, I knew that I had to see the original Spider-Man film once again. After I watched the films and compiled some notes, I was ready for a thorough comparison.
In terms of keeping true to the comics, I found that the new Amazing Spider-Man had done a better job. The dialogue for Spider-Man when confronting villains was cocky and witty, like the original comic Spider-Man is supposed to be. Sure, the other Spider-Man could get smug in his speech as well, but not as often as Andrew Garfield's.
Another thing is that in the comics, Peter did not have the ability to shoot webs out from his wrist (which doesn't make any sense) as he did in the 2002 film. He had devices that shot out web fluid, which I appreciated in this new film. The way that he gets his powers in the new film also makes more sense than in the 2002 film. In addition, I believe that Peter never found his uncle's murderer, which in the new movie, although he tried, he didn't. So, to me, The Amazing Spider-Man gets bonus points for rewriting this.
Fans may be a bit shocked to know that Mary Jane is nowhere in this film: not even a background character or anything. This disappointed me greatly because when I think of Spiderman, Mary Jane is the next thing that pops into my head. Instead, Peter Parker's love interest is Gwen Stacy, who is played by the charming Emma Stone.
Gwen is a character that I don't know much about either, but after viewing the film I gathered that her intelligence rivals Peter's and her beauty would rival Mary Jane's, yet she is awkward and kind enough to be an approachable, achievable love for Peter Parker. If you're interested in Gwen's origins, feel free to check out this site to read up on her: http://marvel.com/universe/Stacy%2C_Gwen
The problem with the Spider-Man films, that I find, is that while in the comics Peter Parker had multiple options for girlfriends—Mary Jane, Gwen Stacy, Ms. Marvel and the fliratious villain Black Cat—there is always one love interest that they'll reuse over and over until it gets sort of dry and monotonous. Though I can understand that putting Mary Jane in the film even as a background character would have been distracting, I will still miss her.
Both films have very different plots, but they still have good actors and well written scripts. The new film has top of the line graphics, but to compare the films on graphics wouldn't necessarily be fair.
Also, I found that this new film had a less convenient set up for a sequel. What I mean by this is that in the 2002 film, Peter was basically set up for a standoff with anyone: he already knew Harry Osborne, who would eventually become his enemy in the third film; and he had loose ends to tie with Mary Jane. In that film, everyone is obviously connected.
But that doesn't mean that Spider-Man's sequel is not going to be good. In fact, I appreciated the subtley there was in introducing the villain for the next movie which was hinted at in the credits. What I also liked about this film was the interesting, intense backstory as to how Peter Parker became an orphan. I also liked that while Peter wasn't working at the Daily Bugle, he still had that hobby of photography, so the director is keeping his options open and yet not overloading on information.
In the old film, I liked the parts where he engaged in the hustle and bustle of the Daily Bugle, but there's just this awkward transition from high school to the workplace that I found strange. However, when I watched the new film, there were scenes from the original that I knew I missed: when Peter was designing his suit, and most importantly, the upside down kiss that he had shared with Mary Jane. That scene is definitely one of the most iconic moments in the first film, and possibly one of the best kisses in movie history. But if that was included in the new film, I can say one thing for sure: it wouldn't be the same without Mary Jane.
As I have mentioned before, both Andrew Garfield and Toby MacGuire are fabulous at playing Spider-Man: they really were an even match for each other. However, with the character of Peter Parker, I found that I enjoyed the first film's Peter better. For one, they made him a complete and total loser. He was bullied by everyone, and didn't have any friends other than Harry Osborne. He's scrawny, he's brainy, and he's never going to be cool.
Peter also lives in a old, quaint home that is typical of his neighborhood with his elderly aunt and uncle. In the new film, he's basically bullied by one person and gives off the appeal of a "cool loner" type and is not a typical nerd. I didn't like this Peter Parker, not because he wasn't smart, but because I kind of thought he was a hipster.
He was also initially buff, which I was both confused and disappointed with. And he is the biggest cry-baby-whine-pants I have ever seen. I mean, sure, MacGuire's Peter Parker was a bit depressed, but he could make it through twenty minutes of the film without sobbing. I get that the new film is darker and gritter than the first film, but that got annoying.
Despite this, I believe that the Amazing Spider-Man is a great film that will be a success of Marc Webb's that will carry with him for the rest of his directing career. I look forward to seeing the next film when it comes out as soon as I possibly can. And be sure to see it at your local theater, the Woodbury 10.
If you have anything to say about this new film, feel free to leave a comment! I'd love to read what other people had to say.