The Problems with THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (2012) - TASM Movie Review
The movie lacks in plot; character development and suffers with undeveloped stories and villain but makes it up by some amazing action sequences; incredible Cinematography and VFX work; excellent acting; and a good direction.
By Aashish Pradhan
7 December 2021
To prepare for the biggest movie of 2021, Spider-Man: No Way Home, I went back to revisit the previous Spider-Man movies. I already watched Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy 4-5 days ago and it’s one of the best and effective superhero trilogies. The Spider-Man movies (Tobey Maguire ones) were my childhood and I was in my pre-teens when The Amazing Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield ones) came out. So, today it was time for me to relive my pre-teen and watch The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) and I had a quite good time with this movie.
In terms of entertainment, The Amazing Spider-Man movie excels. It has some amazing action sequences; incredible Cinematography and VFX work; excellent acting; and a good direction. It contains the best swinging scenes out of all Spider-Man movies and I kind of admire the approach this movie took to retell Peter Parker’s story.
According to Wikipedia, this movie is a reboot of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films but still it feels very different and that’s an applaudable thing. Marc Webb’s direction is different than Sam Raimi’s and you can clearly see that in the movie and it furthermore helps the movie to acquire its own style and taste. Obviously, when you have such a big and great franchise before you, you would be tempted to copy some of its elements but kudos to the makers of this film, they managed to make it different.
Let’s take an example of the after effects of that spider’s bite. Sam’s version acknowledged it differently. We see Peter coming home feeling a bit sick, he felt asleep and when he woke up, he felt better but surprisingly, his eyesight improved. Then we see him testing his power near that wall where camera focused on his fingers which had developed spikes just like a spider. The movie tried to give a reasonable explanation of Peter’s superpowers. So, obviously you would be eager to show something similar to this but The Amazing Spider-Man handled this differently which I really loved.
So, as I said earlier The Amazing Spider-Man can be a fantastic watch in terms of entertainment but going deep into the plot and its technicalities, the movie has some problems which I’m going to discuss now.
Note – From here onwards, there will be huge spoilers for the movie as I discuss some of the elements from plot in a great detail. So, first watch the movie before further reading.
The Problems with The Amazing Spider-Man (2012): PLOT
First, let's talk about the plot. The plot basically focuses on Spider-Man aspect of Peter's life and not his personal aspect. The thing which makes Sam Raimi's franchise so extraordinary and great, is its ability to balance Peter's personal life and his responsibility as Spider-Man which this movie seems to fumble with. Sam Raimi's version make you feel Peter Parker, make you connect with him which Marc Webb's version doesn't do. In fact, in this movie, Peter faces way more personal tragedies than Toby Maguire’s Peter but this movie seemed to neglect that part. It could’ve shown more of Peter Parker’s struggle.
The movie at some point seemed to dive a bit into Peter’s photography skills which were a huge plot device in Sam Raimi’s version but then TASM just throws it into the dustbin and never looks at it back. In fact, this photography aspect of Peter was just used to reveal his identity to the villain, Lizard, and nothing else.
Also, the villain, Lizard, was not properly developed. He did not have a clear motive, he just wanted to release his serum to the world, cure people illness and make them stronger but didn't he see what happened to him. Just imagine a world, where everybody is a freaking angry lizard. That just wouldn’t work. And also, why did he suddenly develop a changed personality after his fight with Spider-Man where he saved Peter from falling off the building? Did he develop Dissociative identity disorder (split personality) like Norman Osborn and Doc. Ock after taking that serum? The movie doesn't address this.
The movie does not focus much on the defeating object of the Lizard, Reptilian Antidote. It really seemed forced with no proper development, it wasn’t even mentioned during the movie and Peter seemed to remember exactly the name, location and procedure to make it. Come on, I know Lizard’s a very tough villain for Spidey to defeat and it makes sense for Dr. Curtis to make an antidote for his serum but you should have mentioned it earlier in the movie, right? Like, the Ganali device which was shown earlier in the movie and I already guessed that this would have a very important role in the final fight which it did. So, same kind of thing should have been done for the serum also.
And bro, what happened to Irfan Khan’s character Dr. Ratha? Lizard obviously attacked that bridge to get to him and when he tried to throw him in the river, Spider-Man saved him by tying his car to the bridge like he did with everybody else’s but after that, the movie doesn’t even acknowledge the fate of Dr. Ratha. Did he die or did he live? If he lived, why didn’t lizard go back for him? He wanted revenge, right? Or else why would’ve he created havoc on the bridge?
One of the best things about this movie is Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) and Peter Parker’s (Andrew Garfield) chemistry and relationship. Gwen obviously already knew Peter because he was in her class but she got to know him on a personal level only after Peter tried to save that boy from Flash Thompson and after he infiltrated Oscorp’s Lab. No where in the movie it was mentioned if Gwen was Peter’s childhood love or if they knew each other well from an early stage. So, I’m assuming nothing happened between them off-screen and their love story started only during the events of this movie. So, Gwen obviously liked Peter as she invited him for a Branzino dinner but my problem and question is – was it really necessary for Peter to flex and show his spider-man abilities to Gwen even if he doesn’t her much well? I know love is blind but he should’ve thought about it before pulling her close to him.
So, these were some of my problems with the movie. Obviously, there are some problem with the plot, character development and villain but the movie manages these by some excellent casting, direction, colour-grading and all the things which I mentioned at the start.
I know, no plot is perfect and more or less every movie has some problem with its plot but these problems are much more apparent in The Amazing Spider-Man. I’m not nitpicking the problems, they just came to my head while watching the movie and some of them didn’t make sense. Still, it’s a very good entertaining movie and I had a great time with it. Obviously, I wouldn’t mind watching it 3-4 times more.
Both Sam Raimi’s version and Marc Webb’s version are very different from each other but the common thing between them is they both are hella entertaining and they really established Spider-Man as a fan-favourite and interesting character.