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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
The trailer for next summer’s would-be blockbuster tent-pole The Amazing Spider-Man is now available widely throughout the web (pun definitely intended). I watched it this morning and was generally unimpressed. The first-person stuff really doesn’t work, and I hope it was done for the trailer only and is not in the finished film (it probably won’t be). I realize this is only the first of what I assume will be many more trailers/tv spots, but is this really the best they could do?
An origin story is possibly the least-interesting part of a comic book character. And we’ve seen Spider-Man’s origin story many different times, through comic book and comic book resets, various cartoon series (the best of which was probably the mid-90s Fox series), and the recent Toby Maguire/Sam Raimi Spider-Man films, which handled the origin story fairly well and somewhat realistically for how ridiculous it is when you really think about it.
Many comic book movies suffer from origin stories. Batman Begins, released in 2005, labored through an extended origin that really held the movie back from being as special as its sequel. Who among us doesn’t know Batman’s origin? Green Lantern, which I haven’t seen, also suffers from an extended origin story that could have been condensed, according to the trusted source of a friend. Sometimes a character’s origin is better left unexplained, which is partially why the Wolverine film was so disappointing (in addition to many, many other reasons as well). One of the best things about the otherwise so-so The Incredible Hulk film was that it didn’t focus on Bruce Banner turning into the big green guy. He was already the Hulk in many ways. Grant Morrison, in his great limited series All-Star Superman, limited Superman’s origin to a mere six words on only a couple of panels. This is what we should be doing with origins in general. They just don’t matter that much and they’re not that compelling.
So is anyone out there really that interested in yet another origin story, especially in a film that has had three ultra-successful predecessors (that are, of course unrelated to this “reboot”, but I digress)? I’d argue no, we’re not really interested in seeing teenage Peter Parker get bit once again by a radioactive spider and fall head-over-heels for Mary Jane Watson. At the very least Andrew Garfield is a good choice for a lead role. But in the end, I’m much more interested in what Marc Webb (great name for this series by the way) and co. will bring to the table in The Amazing Spider-Man Part 2, due out in Summer 2014 perhaps.