July 13, 2012


Movie image
The Amazing Spider-Man
2 out of 5 stars

The first time I saw a Spiderman film, I was very drunk indeed. Ireland had just been knocked out of the World Cup by Spain, on penalties. My sorrow-drowning had reached the point where I needed to ask why there were two Hobgoblins.
‘You’re fucked, Christ,’ Paddy said. Paddy liked to call me Christ, or Jesus; Iosa if he felt Hibernian, or Yahweh when the Old Testament tickled his fancy.
‘They played so well,’ I mourned. It was the year of Roy Keane and Saipan.
Some time later I saw the film on DVD and decided it was alright. Tobey Maguire was good for the Peter Parker role. Kirsten Dunst bugged me a bit; that dead expression of hers.

Now I am so very old that I have lived to see a Spiderman reboot. It is 2012 and the idea of Ireland getting to penalties against Spain is science fiction.

The Amazing Spider-Man – in addition to a hyphen – has the chap from the Facebook movie in it, and a love interest I care less for even than Dunst. It’s heavy-handed stuff. Morality-spinning Uncle Ben can’t die fast enough for my liking, and Spidey shouts ‘woooooo!’ in a very American way whenever he is swinging off things.

The cinema in Singapore is always freezing. People talk quite loudly during the film.

Spiderman needs to (a) become Spiderman, (b) indirectly cause the death of a tiresome relative to teach him a thing or two, (c) make a mortal enemy, (d) meet a girl who gives him a prospect of touching a boob some day, (e) prove his worth vs some low-ranking criminals, and (f) confront the horrible monster and smash up some buildings. The Amazing Spider-Man ticks all of those boxes in a perfunctory manner, by way of a giant lizard with an English accent. This is not a major spoiler as people with English accents usually turn out to be evil, or so cinema has taught me.

There’s a silly plot development with a mathematical equation. When will it end?

For a time I worked in a book shop under the management of a silly fellow who had a curling moustache, a cigar, a collection of Hawaiian shirts, a resonant voice and, I suspected, a closet of considerable size. Naturally I enjoyed imitating him, including an occasion when he phoned up the shop and I answered it in his voice. Hellooo-oo-oo! Anyway, I did a comic bit around the shop in which he was friends with Spiderman, and he would complain about one of his many foes in this world, ‘Well I can’t stand her, and my wife can’t stand her, and Spiderman can’t stand her.’ His dog was called Midge.

They’re still duking it out, Spiderman and the lizard. Get a job!

I have just googled this film and the Wikipedia entry includes the utterance, ‘Rhys Ifans compared this film to William Shakespeare’s Hamlet on the grounds that Spider-Man can be redone many times on film.’ Well, there’s the only time this production will be mentioned in the same breath as a Shakespeare play.

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