Posted by Nicholas Rapp on July 10, 2012 at 1:48 am
The 137 minutes of The Amazing Spiderman seemingly flew right by; I did enjoy every moment. But there were key story telling elements missing, a very blatant lack of attention to detail, and an obvious desire to divert from the original trilogy. Yes, Marc Webb was trying to create a new universe, but did Peter Parker have to change completely too?
Andrew Garfield played a Spiderman that skateboards, and gets the girl immediately, and who really isn’t very interested in school. Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) didn’t get a chance at realism, being that she asks Peter to meet her family over dinner before they’ve been on one date, and then that same night willingly harnesses the burden of knowing Spiderman’s identity. And Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) tries to take a gun away from an adrenaline-ridden thief on the run – it is kind of his own fault that he died. But The Lizard…
I can’t remember the last time I’ve been afraid of a super villain. As a kid I thought they were cool, and I was worried about what they might do to their protagonists, but I never really feared them. I wanted Green Goblin’s suit, I connected with Doc. Oc. on a human level, I thought Magneto was mean, and I really didn’t care about Ra’s al Ghul – I thought The Scarecrow was the villain for the majority of Batman Begins. But Rhys Ifans actually had my heart racing.
The first scene that Spidey goes looking for Lizard, right after he sees countless little lizards flocking into the sewer system, he stays put at an intersection in the system. He sits waiting at the center of where something like four different tunnels conjoin. When The Lizard makes his way toward our protagonist, we know he is coming, but we have no idea where from. And when he does appear, he’s like a tidal wave crashing atop a powerless hero.
What was actually excellent about The Lizard was that Peter Parker never stood a chance. Every fight the two had, Spidey scraped by and survived, but never won. He seemed to be on the defensive exclusively – because his opponent was such a powerhouse. In comparison to The Lizard, Peter Parker really was just a spider. Defeating The Lizard would not have been possible without having first relieving him of his powers.
I liked that Dr. Curt Connors (Lizard) had a role in Parker’s parents’ lives, and that he had met Spiderman before either of them had attained their powers. This was an element that the last Spiderman movie did not have, and which took from Sand Man in a big way. And as for the look of The Lizard – well – I was upset at first about the lack of a snout. But the designers actually took a lot of time to configure how the villain’s mouth would look when he spoke, and how Rhys Ifans’ body would come through in the animations. Did you know he refused the help of stuntmen? He wore a special motion-capture suit: “I had a green suit on, and then this cardboard head, and these big claws. It was the most fucking insane thing I’d ever done…”
The Lizard had a philanthropic reason for being. He was missing an arm and was looking into cross–species genetics to rid of this human error, and to rid of these errors for everyone alike. He was trying to make the world a better place, and coming from a really personal place that, as an actor, I think Rhys Ifans really connected to. How real and true he was sold me, and also scared the crap out of me.