Basically, a “reboot” is where the studio, for one reason or another, decides to start all over again with a different cast and direction.
But when the film franchise in question was still fresh (Spider-Man 3 was released in 2007), and the entire franchise grossed over one billion dollars, the whole thing seems a bit strange. And yes, even confusing.
Basically, we’re treated to another Spider-Man origin story, though it’s rushed and messy, as if the writers catered to audience members already knowing how Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man and just ran through the steps as quick as possible.
Which begs the question, ‘Why even ‘reboot’ the franchise at all?’
That question is never answered.
Sure, Spider-Man is now actor Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) and Mary Jane, played in the original by Kirsten Dunst, is absent, but so is the believable action and excitement of the original.
Garfield plays Parker with all the nerdiness one has come to expect from the title character, but he really just looks the part.
He fumbles over his lines whenever a cute girl talks to him. He pines over his new love interest, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), and clumsily strolls through his high school existence.
But this Peter Parker acts really cool, defending nerds and skateboarding through the halls of his high school.
Then we’re introduced to the movie’s villain. A scientist with a missing arm, whom comic book fans already know will become the Lizard, played by Rhys Ifans.
The same scientist actually appeared in all three of the original Spider-Man films, played by Dylan Baker, as they were building him up to be a possible villain down the line, but it never happened.
When the scientist eventually turns in to the Lizard, it’s a horrid mix of shoddy visual FX and cheap action. And he speaks in a British accent.
Not too terrifying.
But the plot thrusts the young Parker and Stacy through the story and, for reasons not really explained, they fall in love.
His uncle dies, just like in the original, and Parker decides he’s going to go and find the thug responsible, taking out New York’s baddies along the way.
Besides the bad computer generated FX for both the Lizard and Spider-Man and the lack of believability that any of the characters actually have feelings (though we’re told they do), the one thing they got right was the look of Spider-Man in costume.
He closely resembles the comic book version of the hero. Extremely thin, large head. But Parker seems to take his mask off every chance he gets and reveals himself to both Gwen Stacy early on and her police chief father towards the end.
The Lizard’s ‘evil’ plot is never fully explained either. Why does he want the people of the world to turn in to lizards? Is he lonely?
And the conclusion seems to be a cop-out, as if the director just wanted the movie to end. As did most movie-goers.
The audience is never served with any breathtaking scenes of Spider-Man swinging through the streets of New York as the original director Sam Raimi had done in the first with actual cameras on harnesses whipping through real city streets.
Sure, Spider-Man swings in between skyscrapers, but it’s always so dark and quick that it never let’s the audience feel like they’re flying along next to him.
He contorts his body in already familiar gymnastic form as he does so, but it’s all been seen and done before. And better.
The Amazing Spider-Man is a lazy re-hash of an already popular comic book character that needs to head back to the drawing board.
But, instead of tossing the whole thing out, the studio needs to fix the problems with a word they’ve seem to have forgotten: sequel.
Paul Gonzales is the entertainment writer at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 116, or at thescene@mySouTex.com.