Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

I saw The Amazing Spider-man. And…I was surprised.

I was surprised at my own reaction to it, actually. Which seemed to be critical, I guess.

I really don’t know if it deserves it, because overall, it was a great movie. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were great. It featured an incredibly iconic and classic Spider-man villain. I just like Dennis Leary no matter what

So what was my problem?

Minor spoilers ahead.

I don’t know. It’s just that the movie was a little too bleak for me!

And I mean, I know, I know…it’s Spider-man. He has a hard life. He has a tragic life. He’s just an emotional teenager trying to make it as a superhero in a big, bad world.

But something about the movie just left me feeling empty. I feel like there hadn’t been this moment of connection between Aunt May and Peter Parker, where they talked about life and what it all means. There was no J.J. in this film and Spidey had some fun moves but I didn’t walk out of the theater feeling INSPIRED enough by him. Nothing really stuck with me that was like: “Wasn’t it awesome when Spidey (blank)”?

Of course, some of you may recall that I predicted that The Amazing Spider-man would take such a tact on the Spidey franchise. After Sam Raimi’s sweet and funny romp, they’d want to follow up with a more down-to-earth, sad feel. And they did.

Maybe my complaints are null and void. Maybe all I’m really saying here is that they did Spider-man TOO WELL for me, when I stop and think about it. Which is ridiculous, I know, but it’s like the Lizard.

I’m sorry was it just me…or was the whole thing with the Lizard basically disgusting? The translucent arm, the half-naked, half-reptile Curt Conners up on top of Oscorp tower?

But again, what am I complaining about, right? Conners IS a big freakish Lizard. What did I expect?

There may be such a thing though as getting too close on something, science-fiction wise, for comfort. I found the Lizard’s transformation and make-up and even his SOUNDS really jarring. It wasn’t fun to see Spidey and Lizard fight…it was uncomfortable! At least, that’s how I felt.

Again, I know this is a complete contradiction, but I guess I’m saying that The Amazing Spider-man hits its notes a little too well for me. When it’s sad or it’s gross or it’s intense, it’s TOO sad or gross or intense.

The Amazing Spider-man does Spider-man so well that you are left feeling a little lost and confused by it. Teenager-like.

Which maybe is the point of the movie!

At the meta level, The Amazing Spider-man hits home so well that I guess you really ARE with him every step of the way on his journey through some really rough spots.

What’s my final verdict? Definitely a movie worth seeing, but it’s the SEQUELS that are really going to make it or break it for me. As long as Stone, Garfield and co. come back and are willing to make a few more of these, I may or may not look back at this movie and see it as the first step in an incredible Spider-man journey.

Or a very big mis-step. Only time will tell.