Of all the summer blockbusters Amazing Spider-Man was not one I expected to see twice. I figured it would be a movie I’d wait a few weeks to see, maybe I’d go on cheap night to check it out. It’s definitely not something I expected to see opening night or twice in one week, but both things happened rather serendipitously.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Spider-Man. I lined up for hours when the first Spider-Man movie came out all the way back in 2002 and I saw it twice in theatres and several times on DVD. Same with two. Then three happened and it all but ruined the franchise. Even though I love Emma Stone and thought Andrew Garfield was great in Never Let Me Go, I just didn’t feel the same excitement that I had for the original trilogy. That said, I went in with a positive attitude.
I saw it opening night because I was doing promotional work at the theatre for the film and was told I was welcome to stay and watch it in IMAX 3D for free when we were done working. I really couldn’t turn that offer down. I settled into my big comfy IMAX chair and put on my horribly uncomfortable IMAX 3D glasses, ready to enjoy the movie.
I did enjoy it, I did very much. The acting was great, Spidey was more like the comics than in the Raimi films, the visuals were great, it was a fun time. Unfortunately upon eaving the movie though I couldn’t get past three details.
Detail One: This movie did not need 3D. As I said before, the glasses are horribly uncomfortable and as someone who wears corrective lenses, wearing them on top of my regular glasses was pretty painful by about an hour into the movie. I removed the 3D glasses and to my small shock the movie looked pretty much the same. It was a bit fuzzy, yes, but only in spots and only for a few minutes. I was glad I got in free because the blown up price of IMAX 3D was not worth the amount of ‘3D’ the audience gets.
Detail Two: The first hour of the movie is redundant. The Sam Raimi version made almost a billion dollars when it came out, plus DVD sales. Most people know Spider-Man’s origin story now. Sure, little kids might not, but the majority of the audience does. Yet they still dedicated most of the movie to the origin story. It could have been cut down, streamlined. I kept wondering how far into the movie we were, which isn’t a good sign.
Detail Three: It suffers from Return of the King-itis: As the great Randal Graves once said, “If Peter Jackson really wanted to blow me away with those “Rings” movies, he would have ended the third one on the logical closure point, not the 25 endings that followed.” Amazing Spider-man has no less than four logical endings. Maybe five or more depending on your viewpoint. I know they wanted to wrap up the movie and set it up for a sequel, but they didn’t need to do it over and over again.
As I stated, I enjoyed it but I think a lot of it left me feeling a little bored. So when Mike (of the Fisting Justices) asked me to go see it with him I had a feeling I’d be even more bored the second time around. I’m glad to say I was pleasantly surprised.
We saw it in regular 2D and the movie definitely didn’t lose anything. It looked the exact same, just without heavy glasses. The best part? I wasn’t bored, not even a little bit. The origin seemed to go by much faster and the pacing seemed better on a second viewing. The repetitive ending sequences were still a bit of a downside, but I was overall much more entertained by a second viewing.