When it comes to making a comic book movie in my opinion only two things are of great importance. The origin and the characters. You can fudge details all you like but be true to those to things and you have a winner. So how was the origin of Spider-Man handled in the film? Naturally I'll be comparing it to the Raimi film.

Origin

The origin in the movie is handled with a limp wrist. That is to say, instead of making something of the moment, it passes by and you hardly notice. Actually his transformation is fast, in movie time like 30 minutes. In our time like 4 minutes... Most of that four minutes is him shrugging off the bite, and making googly eyes with Gwen Stacy.
This origin pales greatly to Raimi's. The spider bite had a build up to it, we tensely see it lower its self on to his hand and bite him. Then later on while sleeping he slowly transforms into Spider-Man after feeling ill. Toby sleeps a whole night, Garfield has a nap on the subway...
The spider bite and transformation are both WAY better in Raimi's film. Everything is glossed over in Amazing. Which makes sense since everyone knows the origin of Spider-Man, so why waste the time... Great question, why did they reboot the series and have 2 hour movie explain everything we already know?...


Their was a great argument in 2001 when it was announced that Spider-Man would have organic webs, not mechanical web shooters like the comics. People cheered when they found out mechanical shooters is what would be in Amazing... but then what was the reason they didn't have it in the first film?
Well its not believable that a teenager could invent such a complex piece of technology... which is kind of stupid in a movie that features a guy that can climb walls. Then again, you can't gloss over such an invention in montage like they did in Amazing.
To be fair, the origin wasn't AWFUL in Amazing, just meh. Especially when compared to Raimi's.

Aunt May/Uncle Ben

The next biggest part of Spider-Man's origin is (Spoiler) the death of Uncle Ben. Let me get this annoyance out of the way... They don't have “With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility” in the movie, instead they have Uncle Ben give a clumsy speech that dances around “With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility.” Why complicate such a simple thing? Everything you need is in that phrase, its simple, yet profound. They clearly did this to distance themselves from the other movie... but its straight from the comics. So you're just distancing yourself from the source material.
Then you have his death, which is done with a whimper. It lacks dramatic impact. Peter in Amazing doesn't attempt to be a wrestler, he just runs around in a warehouse like hes in footloose (I'll get to this more in a moment). Peter is kind of douchebag in the movie.
Where Peter in Raimi's movie loses out on some money and lets the crook go loose, cheating out the promoter who burned him. “You could of killed that guy!”
“Not my problem.”
In Amazing, its not a crooked promoter, its... a convenience store clerk who wouldn't give peter a chocolate milk even though he was only a few cents short. Essentially he was trolled by Randel and decided “Fuck that guy!”

So, really Uncle Ben's death is SUPER petty. Which should have made it a whole lot sadder, but again it lacks dramatic impact. A man dies and you shrug. No one even seems that saddend by it. Peter gets moody for a few days but then his pain is left on the back burner so we can see him make a costume. Its good to have hobbies.


But how were the Parkers presented? Well... They're just as good as they were in the Raimi movies. Sally “I want to be a Comedian” Fields I think is a little to healthy for Aunt May. I like my Aunt May's sickly as shit, on the fucking verge of death with every breath. I want to see Aunt May climbing a set of stairs and have it be terrifying, cause there is a good chance she'll fall and break her hip. Sally Fields though looks... young. She'd probably play a great May though... if she had something to do in this movie a side from wanting omega eggs.


Peter Parker/Spider-Man

Peter Parker has yet to be done perfect in movies. Both film versions are OKAY but not great. They both seem to focus on different parts of Peter's personality. Where Raimi's movie has more of a melodramatic Peter, who is a geek who tries to be funny, Amazing has a funny guy mistaken for a geek, that is kind of douche bag.
I don't dislike either one, I just find that Tobey's Peter felt closer to the Peter I know from the books. Though neither one is played perfectly.


Gwen *Snap* Stacy/Captain *gasp* Stacy

Gwen Stacy is what most people who dont actually KNOW the comics latch onto with Amazing Spider-Man. “ITS MORE LIKE THE COMICS! SPIDER-MAN WAS WITH GWEN STACY BEFORE MJ!”... Well... actually Mary Jane was technically shown partially first. But even then, Peter was chasing after Betty Brant way before Gwen. Lets look at how else this aspect is different from the comics shall we? Gwen didn't go to high school with Peter, nor did she ever know that he was Spider-Man. So, more like the comics? Hardly.
As far as personalty is concerned... Gwen in the comics didn't have much of one, aside form being melodramatic and a woman who knew her place (quiet and in the kitchen... Seriously these comics are from the late 60's early 70's and were written by a man of the 40's.) So the life that was breathed into her in Amazing was much needed.
As for Captain Stacy of the NYPD (Gwen's father) his character is just J. Jonah Jameson. You know since JJ isn't in the movie you need that guy that's against Spider-Man. So instead of being a guy thats FOR Spider-Man, he's against Spider-Man.

HUGE SPOILER! HUGE SPOILER... Actually not much of a spoiler since its happened in the comics back in the 60's...

Anyway, Capt. Stacy dies in the movie. But unlike in the comics his death has ZERO! ZERO! Drama. In the comics Capt. Stacy is killed saving a child from falling debris when Spider-Man and Doc Oc are fighting. But Spider-Man is blamed for killing Capt. Stacy!
When Peter is trying to rush Capt. Stacy to the hospital Capt. Stacy stops him to say. “I know its you Peter! I've always known you were Spider-Man.” You know, since Capt. Stacy isn't retarded, and Peter isn't that great at hiding his secret identity.
He then makes Peter make a promise. In the movie its “Stay away from Gwen you'll only be bad for her, you'll only put her at risk!”... Which makes every comic fan in the audience go 'Snap'. But in the comics, the promise is “Take care of Gwen.”
Lets look at these promises. Now in the comics his promise is a little more difficult to keep... since Gwen is apart of the crew thinking Spider-Man killed her father, she HATES Spider-Man, I mean HATES him (But shes not aware that it was actually not Spider-Man... and well, Spider-Man is PETER PARKER! The man she loves, is also the man she hates! Can you say in a lispy voice DRAAMA!!!)
But the movie promise... well Gwen knows Peter is Spider-Man, and everyone knows its the Lizard that killed Capt Stacy... thus all drama in this death is sucked dry. That promise though... “Stay away from Gwen” (snap) How does Peter honour this dying wish?... He ignores it, and stays with Gwen... (snap & douche).


Eugene 'Flash' Thompson

In the original Spider-Man movie Flash is completely glossed over. You probably had no idea he was really even there. In Amazing however, he makes more of an impact as... the stereotypical psycho bully who tortures his peers. Its like he studied at fucking Cobra Kai!
They go to far in one direction then try to reel it in for a 'Oh he's sensitive' for like two seconds. I really hope that in the future, when they do Amazing Spider-Man Returns they bring Flash back and flesh him out a bit more.

Picture
Dr. Kurt Connors/The Lizard


This is the real meat for me. Like I said, I love the Lizard, and I have to say... he was kind of done horribly in this movie. Dr. Connors is a family man, and Spider-Man seems to always have them, and Dr. Connors safety in mind when battling with the Lizard.
In the movie Dr. Connors is just a single man and is free from all emotional ties... and well drama. The movie lacks it all over the place. There is also the complications of the Lizards plan. His thought progression lacks some logic.
He decides he wants to use science to make the world a better place where we're all healthy and happy. The only way to do so? Turn the world into lizards! This would make sense if there was some proper build up, like scenes of Doc Connors speaking creepily about how much he loves and admires reptiles, or even show how upset and traumatized he is about losing his arm. But the movie is to busy spending time on Gwen and Peter making googly eyes, that they cant have the villain be fleshed out.

Run Down.

The Tag Line to the movie was, “The Untold Story”. Which annoyed the crap out of me, since Spider-Man's origins not only had been told a thousand times across all medias, but once already in fucking movie.
Of course once seeing the trailer I realized the untold story was in reference to his parents! Oh, yeah that story was... told a few times already... Alright. But general audience isn't aware of Petes parents so I guess its untold.
Then I watched the movie... and I realized the untold story was actually in reference to the fact that every subplot in the movie is abandoned along the way. Here is how the movie goes.
PETER: “I want to know what happened to my parents!”
*Makes googly eyes with Gwen, get bit by spider.
PETER: “Cool! I have Spider powers!...Huh? Parents? Fuck them I have super powers.
*Make googly eyes with Gwen, Uncle Ben gets killed
PETER: “Uncle Ben! I'll find your killer!”
*Hunts down crooks who look like the killer, makes googly eyes with Gwen.
PETER: “I'll find your killer!... Whats that? A giant Lizard?
*Fights Lizard, googly eyes.
PETER: Holy Lizard! He turned that whole SWAT team into Lizards! Meh, I'll ignore them.
*Close on googly eyes and broken promises.

Disappointing. You have an team of Lizards and you gloss over them? They even had an opportunity to throw Vermin in the story if they wanted to just for an awesome mid movie fight and a lesser known villain. All in all, the movie was 'meh'. Would have much rather they went forward with Spider-Man 4.






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