Spider-Man has never been my favorite super hero. I’ve always preferred mutants and the X-Men. I saw all three of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies and didn’t mind any of them, even Spider-Man 3 (I saw it a year after its release so my expectations were tremendously low). I wasn’t nearly as excited for The Amazing Spider-Man as I was for The Avengers but I was interested in the “untold story” of Spider-Man’s origins.
Unfortunately, the untold story is the same story that has been told numerous times. I found myself sitting in the theater doing a mental checklist of Spider-Man’s origins.
- Bit by radioactive spider
- Tries out new powers
- Gets in fight with Uncle Ben
- Uncle Ben dies
- Realizes that with great power comes great responsibility
Once Peter Parker got his powers and began using them, the movie picked up. Unfortunately that was 45 minutes in and I was already pretty bored. The Amazing Spider-Man wasn’t a bad movie but I feel like I already saw it 10 years ago.
Below are some spoiler-free reflections from The Amazing Spider-Man but, if you saw Spider-Man, there won’t be any surprises.
Even though Spider-Man has never been one of my favorite heroes, I do like how one of the character’s central themes is responsibility. Uncle Ben’s famous words “with great power comes great responsibility” are powerful; any preacher would have loved to come up with them. Even though Uncle Ben doesn’t utter that phrase in The Amazing Spider-Man, the idea is present. We have all been called by God to be responsible with what we’ve been given. Whatever our gifts, whether hospitality, helps or wall crawling, we have a responsibility to use them for God’s kingdom and glory.
A Better World
Dr. Curt Connors wants to make a better world, a world without injury or outcasts. Ideally we all want to make the world a better place. As followers of Jesus we’re called to make this world more like God’s world, on earth as it is in heaven. Hopefully we do that by loving others, showing compassion and enacting justice. Unfortunately since Dr. Connors becomes the villainous, Lizard, his intentions of creating a better world get twisted. Creating a better world isn’t just about intentions, though, we have to put some effort behind it – as long as that effort doesn’t involve becoming a giant green lizard monster.
One thing I liked about The Amazing Spider-Man way more than the previous Spider-Man movies was Gwen Stacy. Even though Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson play the same role in the movie, Emma Stone is far more likeable than Kirsten Dunst. Whether it’s Gwen or MJ, though, I still find it hard to believe that Peter Parker, the nerd, could get the girl in high school. I was a nerd all throughout high school and I never had a shot at my school’s Gwen Stacy. I can accept radioactive spiders and super powers, but the nerd getting the pretty girl in school suspends my suspension of disbelief.
Other than sitting through the same boring origin story, The Amazing Spider-Man was pretty good. I thought Andrew Garfield came off as a goofy enough Peter Parker and a witty enough Spider-Man. Since this is the beginning of a new trilogy, I’m excited to see what happens next, unless the sequel’s villain is Dr. Octopus.
What did you think of The Amazing Spider-Man?