THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (PG-13, 2 hours, 16 minutes): So, I had one significant problem with the plausibility of this version of Spider-Man.
I could buy the radioactive spider, the mutant lizard monster villain and Spider-Man’s Tarzan-like web-slinging acrobatics through the city. And yes, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is nerdy and bullies will pick on him, but you know he’ll get his day. (I’m not throwing out a spoiler alert because you know that’s in the script.)
It’s what happens after Peter Parker gets his revenge that bugs me.
Once he discovers his enhanced abilities, Peter goes all LeBron James on his high school protagonist, smashing a backboard in the process. Later, while Peter and love interest Gwen Stacy are sitting in the stands getting all kissy-face during a football practice, Peter spears a football that’s coming in like a missile with one hand, inches from their conjoined face.
Here’s what I want to know: Where are the coaches? What kind of high school coach at Midtown Science High School doesn’t immediately sign up Parker to play basketball or football? From what I could tell, the coaches never approach him.
Very implausible. How do I know this?
In the 1985 Teen Wolf, Michael J. Fox turns into a werewolf and becomes a sensational high school basketball player. In fact, he records a quadruple double in his first game. Coaches recognized potential.
In The Amazing Spider-Man, the coaches let us down.
THE PLOT: Peter Parker, raised by Charlie Sheen’s dad (Martin Sheen playing Uncle Ben) and the Flying Nun (Sally Fields playing Aunt May), discovers that his family has a scientific secret. While poking around at a research lab that’s working on tissue regeneration, Peter gets bitten by a radioactive spider. He enlists the help of Dr. Curt Connors, who has a history with Parker’s dad. Coincidentally, Gwen Stacy, whom Parker has a crush on at school, works at Connors’ lab. Coincidentally, Gwen’s dad (Denis O’Leary) is the police captain. In a scene almost like Footloose, Parker goes through the Spider-Man transformation. Spiderwebs are fired everywhere. Research goes awry. A lizard monster gets loose on a New York bridge. C. Thomas Howell appears. Chaos. All in 3D.
IS IT FOR KIDS? Absolutely. It’s a comic-book hero from Marvel. No cussing. The action gets intense. A giant lizard loses his tail, but it grows back, which should delight the kids.
BETTER THAN TOBEY McGUIRE: My theory is that if Spider-Man gets the call from Nick Fury to join The Avengers, we don’t want Tobey McGuire showing up. Therefore, a reboot was needed.
AND WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH NEW YORK? The monster lizard goes on a rampage on the Williamsburg Bridge over the East River and downtown Manhattan takes a beating … again. This is just a few weeks after The Avengers fought a pitched battle on the same streets. That city’s never gonna get a good deal on insurance.
DATE MOVIE? There’s some romance mixed in. Some smooching. Leave the plastic spiders at home.
BEST TIME FOR A BATHROOM/CONCESSION REFILL BREAK: According to the RunPee app, a good time to do your business is 32 minutes into the movie when Dr. Connors asks Peter to meet him after school.