Warning: Parts of this review are spoilerific, so if you haven’t seen the movie and you read this review and I spoil it for you…well, sorry about that.
Okay, fess up time: I saw this movie over a month ago and am just getting a chance to write the review. So I had to reach way back into the crevices of my brain to remember what this movie was about. Certain parts stuck with me–Bane’s awesome headgear, the uselessness of Catwoman, the fact that Batman always sounds like a ten-pack-a-day-smoker ready to choke on his own phlegm at any moment. My overall recollection of the film is that it was good. More than good. I’d say a very good film that I would easily rent on DVD.
Rent, not own.
Because I had some serious problems with this film. As stated before, the character of Catwoman was useless. There were times during the movie I actually forgot about the character, not just because she was forgettable, but because she was gone. Poof like magic pixie dust, only to come back at a deux a machina moment and completely steal the satisfactory disposal of the main villain. Whywhywhy? What was the point of killing Bane (I guess he’s dead, I mean is anyone really dead in a super-hero movie?) if freaking Batman doesn’t do it?
I also had problems with dear Alfred and the way he was shoved out of 3/4 of the movie. It’s nonsensical and I won’t get into it here; you can go see the movie and find out for yourself why its bad writing because this is a blog post and not a treatise on how proper motivation is necessary for conflict to be believable, and in this case, acceptable. It just made Alfred’s tear-jerking near the end of the film seem manipulative.
Other than those problems, I enjoyed the emotional depth the writing and the actors brought to the movie. I like a good superhero/villain beat-down as much as anyone, but coupled with an emotional arc that makes both Batman and Bane sympathetic and irrational at certain points definitely made for a richer viewing experience. I have high hopes for the continuation of the franchise, which seems to be headed in Robin’s direction. Joseph Gordon Levitt, I will be watching you.
Not gonna lie, the world has needed these for a long time. Instead I’ve been using those neanderthal man-pens to create my epic works of staggering prose. Just think if I’d had a Lady Pen…what I could have done with my life. What I could have accomplished. What I could have written that would have changed the world.
Also available: Retractables. Be still my heart.
EDITED BY LB TO ADD: As a man who loves women, all I can say is “Aaarghhh!!!”
Full disclosure—I’m not a fan of Spider-man. Not because I’m arachnophobic. I don’t mind spiders at all. Spider-man simply wasn’t one of my go-to superheroes. You know how you don’t like something just because? That would be me and Spider-man.
Now I’m a little more partial to the crawly dude since I saw THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. Overall I found the movie enjoyable. The cast was good, the CGI wasn’t overwhelming or obvious, and as with all Marvel movies of late, the sequel set-up was there and not too ham-fisted. I might even watch this movie again, which I can’t say about too many other films.
And yet, there are a few nits to pick. The main one is the issue of backstory, aka the writer’s bane. How much previous information is too much? How to decide what is germane to the story you’re trying to tell? If you leave anything out, will the audience be confused? If you add more than you need, will the audience be bored?
In this case, a good half hour could have been cut from the first act without taking anything away from the story, and the tighter edit sure would have helped with the pacing. The movie starts off quick—Peter Parker’s parents disappear and no one knows why. Of course we the people know they know why, they’re just not telling. Then the story delves into the family drama of Peter as a gawky teenager still dealing with his parents’ disappearance, and the beginning of a crumbling relationship with the aunt and uncle who selflessly raised him. All good stuff—except it has almost nothing to do with the second and third acts. PP’s/Spidey’s vigilante revenge grinds to a nub once he realizes he’s causing problems for the police. Because all superheroes cause the po-po headaches, don’tcha know. And since he’s carrying a web-wrapped torch for the police chief’s daughter, this gangly, brilliant, agile, spandex-wearing emotional mess of a spider-bite-gone-wrong has to do the right thing—forget about catching his uncle’s killer and, uh, chase the big dinosaur.
An argument can be made that the family angst is pivotal to Spider-man’s development as a superhero. True, if that had been carried throughout the story. Instead it seemed like a chance for stunt casting Sally Field and Martin Sheen, who, while excellent in their roles, could have easily been five minute cameos and the message would have been the same: Spider-Man becomes the reluctant hero because of his uncle’s tragic death. It would have been better to use the first ten or fifteen minutes to show the backstory, then on to dinosaur chasing, web flinging, air swinging shenanigans. And don’t forget the impossible romance that must end in tragedy or the sequel will. not. happen.
Despite all that, I’m looking forward to Spider-Man 2, which according to imdb is happening in 2014. I’m just giddy about all these superhero movies, because for the most part, they are a blast to watch. I just hope the sequels to all the sequels that have been already sequelized don’t let me down.
…Or as I like to call it, one hot sepia-toned mess. This movie is what happens when a director is so enthralled with his rad CGI concept he kicks plot, dialogue, characterization, and common sense to the curb. Oh, and thanks for making Henry Cavill look a decade older than he actually is, when he’s supposed to be playing a decade younger. What’s the point in watching this dreck if I can’t even enjoy the hot man lead actor?
One good thing about the movie: the last scene was kind of cool. Other than that, don’t waste your time. Sorry Henry–better luck with Superman.