Nine years ago I remember waiting excitedly in a queue for the premier of a long overdue cinema adaptation / reboot of one of my favourite super heroes – The Amazing Spider Man.
Marvel had grown into a credible film company and the quality of their latest batch of films such as The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man (which followed shortly after) was a huge step up from such terrible 90’s efforts like The Punisher which starred Dolph Lundgren as the least believable Frank Castle ever.
Tobey Maguire took the lead role and delivered a suitably geeky Peter Parker and justly entertaining Spider Man while love interest and source of much frustration, Mary Jane Watson was portrayed expertly and likeably enough by Kirsten Dunst.
Sam Raimi’s work was good, the film told the story of Peter Parker’s transformation from high school loser to web-slinging super hero struggling to come to terms with juggling university, earning a wage, keeping MJ happy and saving lives – just as this comic loving geek felt it should have been.
Hollywood justice was done.
So it’s mid 2011 and today I watched the teaser trailer for the new Spider Man reboot starring Andrew Garfield (that guy from that film about that social network) and in all honesty the only differences I noticed were the new face of Peter Parker / Spider Man, the new faces of Ben and Aunt May and some first person perspective web slinging.
Apart from the above nothing seemed different. The plot was more or less the same, the setting was the same, the radioactive spider was the same and Spider Man was? Yup, the same.
This glut of remakes is actually becoming insulting and Hollywood’s eagerness to steal from the poor and imprison everyone in a cell of special effects and fantasy drivel is more and more evident than ever. A Spider Man remake just nine years after the last remake is ridiculous as a single generation hasn’t even passed in that time and the cashing in is just plain desperate.
The super hero franchises are among the most popular films out there at the moment due to the fact that they appeal to a wider audience than indie niche films and have that ‘family friendly’ factor. The last few chapters like Thor, Captain America, Hulk and Iron Man are building nicely towards next year’s Avengers which is set to do battle at the box office with The Amazing Spider-Man and Christopher Nolan’s final Batman instalment – The Dark Knight Rises.
Perhaps I’m getting old, cynical and tired of rehashes of films which are already scripted that will no doubt contain stock footage and images from every CGI powered film doing the rounds. A new Spider-Man film is not innovative, it is not original and whatever they do it will not be refreshing. Film makers seem to be slowly following in the footsteps of television which has degraded so much in the past decade that it is almost unrecognisable and is dominated by cheap reality shows, soap operas and news programs.
[adsense]And there it is; that key word which describes Hollywood’s trajectory – cheap.
Yes, promotion will be expensive but a glance at the cast shows the shrewdness of the producers who have chosen not-so-big names for the cast in a veiled cost cutting exercise under the guise of ‘give the little guy a chance’.
Doubtless a somnambulent public will flock to the local picture house, gorge themselves on overpriced popcorn, watered down cola drinks and buckets of crunchy chocolate sweets while Spidey swings from the tallest spires of New York’s vast scape, thrilling them into forgetting the dullness of their empty lives for a couple of hours.
Safe to say I won’t be amongst them.
If you’ve seen the trailer for The Amazing Spider Man please give us your opinion by leaving a comment.
images: collider.com, popcrunch.com, tvropes.org, handson.provocateuse.com, goodtoknow.co.uk