You may have noticed that The Amazing Spiderman is now in theaters. Or maybe you didn’t. Maybe you thought, “Huh. People are talking about Spiderman again. But I just saw that movie and so who could possible care?”
At least, that’s what I’m thinking.
And that’s why I have so little interest in seeing this new version of Spiderman. A reboot that plays with Stan Lee’s creation myth, swaps out young (but not young enough) actors for other equally not young enough actors, and certainly tells me what I already know: with great power comes great responsibility.
Because if you change that central theme, you’ve lost Spiderman. Which, frankly, would be a good direction to go in. Make up your own damn superhero. Make his/her life story interesting. Make people love your character so much that they buy underoos for their infant children with his/her face on the crotch.
Now. I haven’t seen The Amazing Spiderman, so this isn’t a review of the film. It isn’t film criticism. It’s filmmaker criticism.
I’m thinking about my reactions to the release of The Amazing Spiderman in light of my recent post on remakes. The question being: What do I think director Marc Webb and his harem of screenwriters have added to the Spidey story to make this version relevant?
Do I think this film will be better or worse than Sam Raimi’s recent version, which had some charm? No. No I don’t. Why would I expect that? Have the members of the studio marketing department suggested any reason why this version of Spiderman is substantively different—thematically, intellectually—from any other? Or is it just, you know, different. A reboot. So you can see it again for the first time and it’s new and spangly and look over there! A CGI thing! Now go buy a vat of popcorn.
I expect that the only people who could be excited about this new version of Spiderman are either:
- Too young to remember a film that came out TEN YEARS AGO
- Serious Spiderman fans
- Stalkers of Emma Stone
I am neither.
You want to remake Spiderman? Then tell me why—outside of “you want my money.” Show me how your retelling is relevant to me in a fresh, innovative way. Like, say, Christopher Nolan did with Batman. Beyond the obvious stylistic differences between Nolan’s take and Tim Burton’s version, there’s also something deeper lurking in this latest series of Batman films—something scraping against who we are as a society today. More so in The Dark Knight than Batman Begins, but Nolan has something to say and something to sell. Not just something to sell.
Now, I’m not claiming Nolan’s Batman Begins is a deep treatise on international poverty, but I do feel like he brought something new to the table. I feel like he gave me a reason to revisit a story I know and had seen in recent memory. That’s why I will go see The Dark Knight Rises (and expect some posts in that regard coming shortly).
And it’s why I have no plans to see The Amazing Spiderman.