After sitting through the Tobey films again, I thought it only fair that I look at the other Spider-Men and see what I think of them. I remember not liking these ones when they came out. Time to give them a second chance.
The Amazing Spider-Man – This first film establishes the new Peter as a school age skater whose intelligence makes him a target of bullies, bullies that he stands up to early on. This Peter already has a girl interested in him and his main source of worry is his parents deaths. He starts to look into things and accidentally creates his villain, the Lizard. Lizard is a villain born of a desire to help people, he’s complex in his thinking and desires to spread his evolution no matter how dangerous it may be. There are moments where it tries to be emotional with the deaths of certain characters but the set-up doesn’t give the hit it needs. I found Gwen to be a memorable character as she actively helps to take down the Lizard, it’s good that she wasn’t just a damsel. It’s a pretty decent movie all things considered.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – The second film in this little series continues with the school age Spider-Man, he works for Jameson but it’s not a big part of the story. Max Dillon is the big bad here, as Electro he’s a power mad accident who just wants attention. It’s a selfish motivation which is a change from all the world saver bad guys but his origin is terrible, he does something that should kill him but he’s suddenly electric without any gene altering or robot assistance, it’s just too unbelievable. There’s also the appearance of the Osbornes who are diseased and want a cure, this doesn’t work as we don’t know or care about Harry, yet he still ends up as a Goblin character out of desperation. Gwen’s story comes to a conclusion in a fairly sad way but mostly sad in how she was the best character. The ending feels rushed when so much happens in the last twenty minutes, they could have done it better. There’s also set-up for a sequel that never happened, that could have been good with the robo-suits shown. Nice ideas but a bad execution.
- This Spider-Man focuses on intelligence and confidence, even giving him banter with his bullies, he’s a fairly rubbish Peter Parker but in his action scenes and with his clever use of his webs, he makes a good Spider-Man. He also talks a lot as Spider-Man which is also quite good for the Spidey aspect of the character.
- Gwen seems to bring out the best bits of Peter, she’s strong, independent and possibly smarter than Peter. Gwen is even the reason Electro can be defeated.
- The Aunt May character doesn’t seem right, she’s a mother figure for Peter but the carefully constructed bond that’s needed just isn’t there. The focus on Peter’s actual parents takes away from that which May herself remarks upon.
- This Uncle Ben isn’t the wise elder that Tobey had, this one is more of a disappointed father figure. It seems like Ben isn’t really an inspiration in this version, Peter’s intelligence and guilt drive him.