First and foremost, I do not support either the Sam Raimi films or the most recent Marc Webb installment, a.k.a. “the reason I’m writing this.” I come from the trajectory of a true fanatic that has every issue of “The Amazing Spider-man” since “Amazing Fantasy #15”, when the masked spider first appears. The true fanatic that hears morons in the cinema utter idiotic things that make one’s brain melt upon impact, through the dual orifices on the sides of one’s cranium. The true fanatic that sleeps with a Spider-man micro-bead pillow and has the animated series memorized to pure perfection.
It comes down to the execution and the pressure behind directing a comic based film whose fans are more ruthless and unforgiving than any other entertainment facet. Spider-man is Marvel’s most subscribed comic book character, and is actually the most popular comic character behind Batman from a subscription and memorabilia standpoint. As we have seen with “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight,” a comic character can propel through a feature film with vigor and grace and still stay true to the original source. The problem with Webb’s latest “web” (pun intended), is he takes over the reins and rides the proverbial “rainbow road” for only half of the film. Sure, you get stellar performance(s) from Sheen, Field, Ifans, Leary, and Stone, but Andrew Garfield delivers a solid and surpassing performance, outlasting ole Tobey in his first go, though it still wasn’t the true embodiment of Peter Parker.
And then we hit the major speed bumps, and ultimately crash head-on into a Spartan phalanx. (MAJOR SPOILERS) Firstly, Captain Stacy was killed in issue #90 by falling debris from a Doc Oc and Spidey battle. Before the grim reaper pulls the veil over his mortal eyes, he tells Spidey he knows that his secretly concealed identity is Peter Parker, and to “watch over his beloved Gwen.” Second, Peter doesn’t remember his parents, nor was Richard solely responsible for the creation of genetically mutated spiders, alongside Curt Connors. Richard was a Special Forces member until Nick Fury recruits him to the CIA. Thirdly, the way in which Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) dies is 75% fiction, apart from dying at the hands of a fleeing kleptomaniac. Fourth, the design of The Lizard was an erroneous representation of what he really (does in fact) looks like; nor does he utter any recognizable speech because he’s more reptilian than human. Lastly, never does Spider-man unmask himself or reveal his identity. He is so adamant about it that he goes to great lengths to ensure no one ever finds out – notably when he seeks out Dr. Strange’s supreme sorcery techniques.
All-in-all there were most certainly moments where light crept through the foliage, however, in the end the vegetation was too vast and thick, and darkness eventually overtook the picture. It will ultimately be interesting to ponder, just exactly the identity of the fedora equipped man in the shadows. My best guess gravitates to Norman Osborne or Dmitri Smerdyakov.