I agree with the sentiments of most on these boards. It looks fun enough, but I can't get excited. I've actually gotten into heated debates the last few days, both on Facebook and on the phone, with old friends who are accusing me of elitism and a growing cynicism. I keep pointing out to them that I'm excited for The Avengers with childhood glee, and that The Dark Knight Rises will be an incredible conclusion to Nolan's trilogy, but this particular topic is becoming a sticking point in geek culture.
Their argument? He's got webshooters and wisecracks, so it's Spider-Man. My argument? Hood, spray painting, so much night time- that's not the Peter I grew up with, which is what I guess it boils down to in the end.
I'll give Garfield this: I never for a second bought that Tobey Maguire could throw a punch. More so than organic webshooters or how a teenage boy could make a costume like that, I wanted to see a learning curve of how this effeminate, glassy eyed introvert who is prone to cry at the drop of a hat could ever make a fist and punch someone.
Which boils down to why I'm open to a new interpretation, even if I love the Raimi movies: the disconnect between Peter and Spider-Man. Raimi and Maguire's Peter and Spider-Man barely played off each other-not only does he not wisecrack, but there's never lip service to how being Spider-Man is an escape for Peter.
As well, although Peter is traditionally down on his luck, the sheer lunacy of the portrayal of the character's academia and employment always bothered me. Here's a genius kid that should be getting scholarships up the yin yang, a full ride at NYU, but he's struggling with photography and delivering pizzas. I know the first movie mentions he gets fired from Dr. Connors lab, but I never felt Raimi handled the concept of college very well. It appears that Peter only has one class (for years, depending on how long there is between the first and third movie), somewhere between physics (because Peter has to do a paper on Doc Ock's energy machine) and biology (not only do we know the future of Dr. Connors, but he examines the symbiote).
Further more, I'd like any version of Spider-Man to delve into the fact that Peter is a photographer in the first place. In Raimi's first movie, it's just something he does. Is it a hobby? Did Uncle Ben get him into it? Who knows? At least Spider-Man 2 has two seconds of him showing arty photos to Jameson, but then never again.
At least this movie not only acknowledges Peter's smarts but appears to have him, what, interning with Dr. Connors?
What I'm getting at is Raimi's Peter, when taken as a whole and independently of anything we know from the comics, is a bit of a walking contradiction. He's a logical, science obsessed nerd that can't get a handle on poetry but has an artistic eye with a camera; that has never heard of the FAFSA or gotten the LIFE scholarship for a high GPA; that loves his aunt who just lost a husband but moves into the heart of Manhattan just a few months later even though he could've commuted from home; and who is empowered enough to make quips and inflict violence while wearing a mask but appears to lack even a bit of wit, not even a hint, when out of the mask.
It's not that these things can't work together, they could even make for a multifaceted character, but the script never gels.
Long story short, The Amazing Spider-Man appears to get right what (few things) Raimi got wrong, but then bungled a whole lot of other things.