I have a reputation for being remarkably forgiving of my genre content.
I really liked Returner – a Japanese sci-fi flick so laden with genre cliches, it was every other sci-fi movie for the ten years that preceded it, including elements from The Matrix, Transformers, Independence Day, and even Timestoppers.
So, you’d think I’d be pretty enthusiastic about a Spider-Man movie. And usually you’d be right. This one, for whatever reason, just didn’t grab me. Great effects. I love the villain. They did a great job with the action sequences. Everyone looked exactly right for their parts. But…
I blame the script. At a certain pivotal moment, harkening back a little to the great scene in Spider-Man 2, when the people of New York step up to help Spidey against Doc Ock, I found myself looking at the screen and saying… “I should be more emotionally engaged here. I’m not emotionally engaged. Why am I not emotionally engaged?” If you’re asking this kind of question just before the climactic final battle? There’s a problem.
The movie just didn’t pull me in. There’s a lot of flash and bang and gee-whiz in this movie, but it didn’t grab my heart the way I really wanted it to. The way Spider-man has always been able to do in the past. It’s not the actors’ faults. Andrew Garfield was great, I thought Emma Stone was competent and cute, Dennis Leary was basically that same guy Dennis Leary always is, which in this movie worked. But there were… holes. Not necessarily plot holes, per se, but character development holes. There are some moments you really need in this movie, that we didn’t get to tie the audience to what’s going on, and emotionally invest them in the movie.
If you’ve got kids, they’ll enjoy it, I’m sure. It’s a little scary at a couple of points – be prepared for reptile-related violence. And for one memorable scene that involves a little white mouse that they tested the serum on. Ewww. More sensitive kids should watch something else.
So, lots of spectacle, but strangely lacking for me. Your Mileage May Vary, but for this web-head… 3/5 stars.
If you had a better experience, or if you can figure out what the script writers could have done better, sound off on the FIP Forums!