I’ve heard all of the arguments from fanboy comic geeks about the validity of having a new Spider-Man film only a decade after the last one was brought to life by Sam Raimi. I understand that this is based on a completely different comic book series and follows the path differently. Sure, there are similarities, but there are also differences both in plot and character. Even knowing that, I saw no reason for another Spider-Man film. That being said, I found myself enjoying this film more than I anticipated. There isn’t much substance to it, but it is undeniably entertaining. The high definition Blu-ray does not hurt in the enjoyment of the film’s spectacle.
The difference between the Spider-Man of today and the one ten years ago is primarily in attitude. Although Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is still a social outcast, we now live in times where that is the cool thing. Being a hipster or anti-social is far more popular than being cookie cutter, and Peter even carries an arrogant confidence with his social exclusion which makes him more of a rebel than a geek. This attitude completely changes the vibe of the story, and although I’m sure it will appeal more to the younger crowd, I found it difficult not to be annoyed by the cocky protagonist.
This time around there is also a different romantic partner for Spider-Man named Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). Gwen works at the lab where Peter is bitten by a special spider, but more importantly, it is also the same lab that his father once worked at. Rather than the accidental spider-bite that results in special abilities, the Peter in this story is the son of an important scientist whose discovery is what leads to Peter’s special abilities. The result is basically the same, with Peter developing some of the abilities of a spider, and after seeking revenge for the death of his uncle (Martin Sheen).
The villain this time is the Lizard, who is the alter ego of Peter’s father’s former partner, Dr. Connors (Rhys Ifans). An admirable foe against Spider-Man is not enough, however, and there is the additional pressure of the police force hunting the super-hero. The task force just happens to be led by Gwen’s father (Denis Leary), adding even more to the melodrama.
The Blu-ray combo pack comes with a DVD and Ultraviolet copy of the film, as well as a number of special features that are exclusive to this disc. Only on Blu-ray is a second-screen app ability, as well as 90 minutes of exclusive making-of featurettes in the “Rites of Passage” feature. There are also some pre-visualization sequences and image progression reels which can only be found on the Blu-ray. Other special features include deleted scenes, stunt rehearsal and an audio commentary with Marc Webb, Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach.