Following the Raimi Spider-Man film series, a new series was created, The Amazing Spider-Man, featuring the attractive Andrew Garfield:
One of the complaints I have about this film series is that the main characters, notably Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy, look like models, whereas the versions from the previous film series, Peter Parker and May Jane Watson, look a little more realistic.
Of course, there are some notable differences between the two film series, as according to Comic Book Movie‘s article, “Spider-Man Vs. The Amazing Spider-Man: Which Movie Tells The Better Origin Story?“:
Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield deliver two very different interpretations of the same character. In fact, the easiest way to distinguish them is that the former is the Stan Lee/Steve Ditko 616 version, while the latter is the Brian Michael Bendis/Mark Bagley Ultimate version. Maguire’s Peter perfectly embody the bullied weakling turned superhero, but Garfield’s actually has an air of confidence about him before being bitten and getting superpowers doesn’t really result in any sort of major change in attitude. Overall, Maguire was far closer to the character best known to comic book readers, although he arguably failed to ever truly nail the intelligence of Peter as Garfield does. This makes it difficult to choose one over the other as both actors epitomize the character so perfectly in very different ways. Ultimately however, Garfield gives a better performance, but is not quite the better Peter Parker.
So, Tobey Maguire was the better Peter Parker, but Andrew Garfield is hands down the better Spider-Man. The fact that so much more of The Amazing Spider-Man puts the actor in the suit gives him a slight advantage from the off, but everything from the movements to the attitude and quips made by Garfield are the perfect representation of the character so beloved by fans. Both actors spend a lot of their respective final battles with their faces on display and are arguably equally as good in displaying the necessary emotion required by them. However, there is nothing in Spider-Man which comes close to the scenes such as the one in the sewer in which Spidey shoots webs in all directions in an effort to track down the Lizard. The practical and visual effect shots also play a massive role in bringing him to life like never before, but its Garfield who really makes this Spider-Man stand out.
WINNER: The Amazing Spider-Man
The redesign of the costume in The Amazing Spider-Man may have been a controversial topic with some comic book fans, but it still looks incredible on the big screen. The suit in Spider-Man looks as if it was taken straight from the pages of the comics (a rare treat, especially as most films completely redesign them during their journey to the big screen) but it looked very stiff and awkward at times, especially when it became clear that Tobey Maguire’s voice was dubbed over because he couldn’t talk with the mask on. Despite the fact that we see a zipper on the back and it often wrinkles and creases as he moves around, the suit in The Amazing Spider-Man pops off the screen and looks simply AMAZING both in the live-action and visual effects shots.
WINNER: The Amazing Spider-Man
For a 2002 film, the special effects in Spider-Man hold up very well, even a decade later. At the time however, it was top-notch, and managed to effectively and convincingly bring Spidey’s web-swinging to the big screen. However, the difference between the practical and visual effects were always blatantly obvious as the suit restricted movement and the stuntman who was swinging around in it looked clearly uncomfortable (it wasn’t hard to tell that he was on a wire either). Marc Webb’s reboot managed to find a far more natural looking blend of real and computer generated web-swinging, and although the latter still looks noticeably better, it’s generally much harder to notice the difference throughout the film. The movements are also far more realistic and much closer to what fans have seen in the comic books.
WINNER: The Amazing Spider-Man
The Amazing Spider-Man best represents the web-swinging, but what about the rest of his powers?Spider-Man does a much better job at exploring Peter Parker’s new-found abilities, showcasing the fact that he is now much stronger, whereas Marc Webb’s movie assumes that fans will already know this. The same goes for Peter’s Spider-Sense. While Spider-Man makes a point of highlighting this power, the reboot once again assumes that the audience will know he has it and frustratingly only allows him to use it when it suits the story. Wall-crawling is wall-crawling, and there’s no complaints here with either. Regardless of the fact that the organic webbing in Sam Raimi’s film was a controversial decision with comic book readers, Peter’s powers were arguably portrayed and handled far better in that film for the most part.
UNCLE BEN’S DEATH
Both Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man feature a Peter Parker who doesn’t bother to stop a robber because the victim of the crime has somehow rubbed him up the wrong way. This ultimately results in his Uncle Ben being shot. Both films also feature a Peter has had an argument with his Uncle, resulting in him being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The fact is that the similarities between both are so strong, it’s a little hard to distinguish them in order to pick a winner here. However, Spider-Man just beats The Amazing Spider-Man simply because of how much better the situation as a whole is handled. Whereas Ben’s death is partially his own fault for struggling with the robber in the reboot,Spider-Man made it so that the fault was entirely on Peter’s shoulders. Throw in the fact it culminated in a fantastic scene in a warehouse which saw Peter realise exactly that, and it’s clear which best sets the charater on the path to becoming a hero.
This is a tough one. Norman Osborn and Curt Connors are both very similar and very different. While their respective transformations are the results of experiments gone wrong, Connors is a far more sympathetic villain in comparison to Osborn (who is just a thoroughly nasty piece of work). Of course, their ultimate plans are equally as unconvincing in some respects – the Green Goblin wants to “rule the city” with Spider-Man, while the Lizard wants to turn everyone in New York into Lizard creatures immune to disease and disabilities – but there’s a very clear winner here. The Green Goblin is a truly evil villain who not only attempts to kill a group of children and Peter Parker’s aunt and girlfriend, but also beats him within an inch of his life in a brutal and fantastic final battle. Making Connors a sympathetic villain was the right choice for The Amazing Spider-Man, and despite the fact that The Lizard is a brilliant visual creation and how wonderfully their fight sequences are put together, he’s still not quite a match for the Green Goblin.
THE LOVE INTEREST
Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy. Most comic book fans are sure to have a favourite, but which of them made for the better love interest for Spider-Man? Well, while Mary Jane had a lot more screen time and was far better fleshed out as a character, Gwen made for a much better match for Peter and the relationship in The Amazing Spider-Man was far more convincing all in all. However, the decision to have Peter just reveal his identity to her so early on very nearly caused this to go the other way, but the broken promise at the end of the film is such a perfect set up for the Green Goblin (as if Peter going back on his promise to a dying Captain Stacy won’t come back to haunt him…) it makes for a far more interesting dynamic than the same old will they/won’t they story. Of course, a big part of this has to do with the performances, and the fact that Emma Stone is a far more likeable on-screen presence than Kirsten Dunst inevitably played a role in this decision.
WINNER: The Amazing Spider-Man
While Marc Webb scatters some great songs throughout The Amazing Spider-Man, James Horner’s score lacks the iconic theme song for Spider-Man we got in Sam Raimi’s 2002 movie by Danny Elfman. Horner doesn’t do a bad job by any means, but it’s unlikely that you’ll leave the theatre humming any particular piece of music from the film other than what we got from the likes of Coldplay. Like Superman and Batman, Spider-Man is a character who deserves to have a piece of music associated with him that truly resonates and will remind you of the character regardless of where or when you hear it. Unfortunately, that is where The Amazing Spider-Man is lacking and so Spider-Man wins this one.
THE FINAL SWING
There’s not a lot to say here as The Amazing Spider-Man easily comes out on top here. Spider-Man‘s final swing was undeniably impressive, but Marc Webb’s less staged and far more authentic looking style was well-suited to such a scene. The final shot of the movie is so iconic that it will leave comic book readers and fans of the character feeling utterly breathless with delight. The reboot is a visual spectacle from start to finish and the final swing is absolutely amazing (no pun intended) and solid evidence of why Marc Webb was always the right man for the job to bring Spidey back to the big screen.
WINNER: The Amazing Spider-Man
FINAL VERDICT: DRAW
Well, they both scored five each, but a draw seems appropriate in this instance. Both Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man get a lot right and wrong, but each serves as a fairly solid origin story for the character. While the reboot never quite tells “The Unknown Story” (a very interesting theory about that can be found HERE) it is a solid big screen outing for the Marvel superhero and there’s no getting around the fact that Marc Webb did a fantastic job. Sam Raimi also did an equally great job back when he introduced Spider-Man to moviegoers for the first time a decade ago. However, it doesn’t seem too unfair to say that we have yet to see THE perfect origin story on the big screen. There are plenty of other points which could have been included here (the wrestling match and how well New York City was portrayed for example) but the ten listed above still give us a pretty good idea of each of their strengths and weaknesses. Comparing them is far from essential and if you haven’t already – SERIOUSLY?! – then check them both out because you most definitely won’t regret it. Sound off with your thoughts on all of this and your own ideas in the usual place. Check out my interview with Marc Webb HERE and be sure to click HERE to read my 4* review of The Amazing Spider-Man.
Additionally, according to the Den of Geek article, “Comparing The Amazing Spider-Man with Spider-Man“:
The response to The Amazing Spider-Man has been largely positive, considering how expectations weren’t exactly through the roof in the run-up to its release. Coming between The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, the marketing was eager to pitch the film as a closer relative of the latter than of the superlative fun we got from Marvel’s big superhero team-up.
If we were to speculate upon a reason for that, it’s that the reboot is essentially a refresher for Marvel’s agreement with Sony on the rights to the characters. Just as Fox has to keep making X-Men movies if it wants to retain the rights to that property, Sony had to make another Spider-Manmovie to avoid the situation where he returns to Marvel’s stable and joins the line-up in The Avengers 2.
After parting ways with Sam Raimi, who planned to make Spider-Man 4 in the same vein as his previous retro take on the series, the studio decided to go back to the beginning and reboot, but it’s only just over ten years since we last saw a version of Spider-Man’s origin story, in 2002’sSpider-Man.
Personally, I saw the film without any of the baggage of the previous films, which I liked, but it’s interesting to compare how different crews took different approaches to the origin story. How different are they in essence? Are some of the changes in the reboot simply for the sake of change? And of course, which one makes a better job of it?
Any Spider-Man movie has this young man at its centre, and it’s to Andrew Garfield’s credit that he does such a spectacular job in a role that’s already been well-established by Tobey Maguire. The two actors make very different portrayals of the character, but the overriding feeling coming out of The Amazing Spider-Man is that you want Garfield to keep playing Peter for the foreseeable future.
However, it’s an almost unique case of an actor’s performance being so likeable as to overcome any perceived problems with the character. Maguire’s Peter is a dork, through and through. He’s nerdy, perhaps set apart from his classmates by the fact that he lives with much older relatives. His parents aren’t even mentioned. Garfield’s Peter is, by contrast, an outcast, which comes with cooler connotations involving skateboards and big hair.
Garfield’s Peter is somewhat similar to Edward Cullen from Twilight, though he’s much more interesting for the virtue of spider-powers and facial expressions. Many have made the case that he acts like Spider-Man even before he’s imbued with superpowers, going by the scene in which he stands up for a fellow classmate, resulting in a beatdown from Flash Thompson.
Whatever the problems with the script, which will be discussed in more depth later, Garfield’s talents and great charisma shine through regardless. He’s different enough from Maguire that we can like both in different ways – the original Peter leaves high-school about half an hour into Spider-Man, while The Amazing Spider-Man seems to have couched itself there for the duration of its planned trilogy, and perhaps it is time for this more popular interpretation of Peter to get its dues on the big screen.
The origin story
Here’s where the reboot falls down a little. While Spider-Man zipped through the whys and hows of Peter’s dalliance with a genetically-modified spider in the first ten minutes or so, The Amazing Spider-Man expands the origin to feature-length and backwards into Peter’s childhood. Much of “the untold story”, ominously promised in the film’s marketing, doesn’t come to light in this first instalment, anyway.
In the run-up to the film’s release, it wasn’t uncommon to see messages on the Twittersphere that went along the lines of “I really don’t care about Spider-Man’s parents”, and it’s hard to disagree, given what they rustled up. There’s something to be said for the implication that Peter only got superpowers from his bite, rather than, say, a potentially lethal transfusion of spider venom because his father’s work led him to meddle with Peter’s DNA, but haven’t we heard that somewhere before?
Look at how the last big reboot of a Marvel property handled its re-telling of the origin story. The Incredible Hulk shows Edward Norton’s Bruce Banner being subjected to gamma radiation during a montage in the opening credits, with some later dialogue tying his research to the super-soldier serum that created Captain America. The Amazing Spider-Man thus takes its lead from the wrong Hulk movie – 2003’s Hulk also linked its origin story to a scientist father’s experiments.
If we count the death of Uncle Ben as part of the origin story, and we should, then the first film does a better job again, discounting the laughable retcon performed in Spider-Man 3. Even though Martin Sheen is superb as Peter’s uncle, you can see the filmmakers tiptoeing around the story as we know it – this film’s version of the classic line, “With great power, comes great responsibility” doesn’t pass muster, precisely because the screenwriters are obviously trying to say it without using those words.
Structurally speaking, you can align 2002’s film with Superman: The Movie, but 2012’s reboot takes its cues, in more ways than one, from Batman Begins. It’s a much darker, mostly serious telling of a story we already know, and it’s not like there was anything wrong with the more sprightly and colourful interpretation from a decade ago. And even more troublesome is that there’s not a single superhero who seems less at home in a Nolan-ised adaptation than Spider-Man does.
Although Peter Parker is Spider-Man, there are still grounds to separately compare the film’s portrayals of him while masked, especially when it can be argued that the earlier film has a better Spider-Man, even if Garfield is a better Peter than Maguire. It’s not really down to the actors, seeing as how Spidey’s design basically precludes facial expressions, no matter how good you are at acting.
This one is more about design, direction and script, and the differences that make the original so much better. The costume in The Amazing Spider-Man is plain ugly, and frankly, it’s different for the sake of difference. Perhaps it’s a little more practical, and maybe it’s slightly more believable that a teenager with little disposable income could assemble it, but it’s an inferior version of the more colourful variant seen in the original trilogy.
The problems don’t stop with the costume, though. Much of the reboot focuses on fan service and supposed corrections of creative decisions in the previous adaptations – seeing as how the mechanical web-shooters are well handled in this one, it’s hard to declare a preference for either that kind, or the organic web seen in Raimi’s films, but there are other difficulties.
This includes Spider-Man’s tendency to make quips, a much-celebrated aspect of the comics that frequently has his villains driven to distraction (and defeat) by how annoying he is. On the big screen, the audience might sympathise with them, instead of enjoying how much he irritates his foes into submission.
Whether it’s the writing, or that aforementioned incapacity for facial expressions, Spidey’s quips just don’t come off like they’re supposed to in the reboot. I never understood why people claimed it was absent in Raimi’s version; he makes some quips throughout all three films, but he doesn’t go so far as to sound like he’s doing a bad stand-up routine either.
New Spidey has some stellar moments, though, with the scene where he saves a child from a burning car suspended from a bridge being a particular highlight. One of the really good decisions in the film is to show this moment as the point where Peter realises Spider-Man’s power as a symbol of hope, and his interaction with the young boy is lovely.
Likewise, the idea of having Peter take his rucksack out with him while crime-fighting is a nice touch that really lends an authenticity to his geekiness that might not be present through his not-so-wise-cracking and general super-heroism. It helps remind us that he’s under the mask. But honestly, I never lost that feeling when I was watching any of the original films, even though Garfield goes without the mask a lot more often than Maguire. That’s a problem with the representation of the hero, if not with Peter.
If nothing else, Dylan Baker can take comfort in the fact that his Lizard probably would have been better, had the cancelled Spider-Man 4 come to pass. Having played Dr Curt Connors in Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3, there was a bit more groundwork to his relationship with Peter before he accidentally turns himself into a giant lizard than the reboot musters.
Rhys Ifans does a good job, but he’s given shockingly little to chew on in his role as Connors. Aside from vague allusions to his friendship with Peter’s father, which seems to be all that’s left of the otherwise implied “untold story” after reshoots and edits, there’s not a lot to him. Certainly, there’s no feasible reason given in his brief pre-Lizard scenes with Peter for his immediate desire to turn everybody else into a lizard just as soon as his own transformation takes place.
Compare this to the villain in Raimi’s Spider-Man. Although the problems with casting the world’s most expressive actor and then putting him under a static fibreglass mask should speak for themselves, Willem Dafoe gets a lot of work to do as Spidey’s most iconic foe, Norman Osborn, also known as the Green Goblin. His arc sets up a sub-plot that would power the entire trilogy, in a way that Connors’ eventual commitment to an asylum just doesn’t.
More importantly, his relationship with Peter is better established. Although the movies have tended to contrive connections between Peter and the antagonist at times, hence the awful retcon with Sandman and Uncle Ben, Raimi always did it better than Webb manages. Norman likes Peter, Peter admires Norman, and so their superpowered clashes actually mean something later on, especially when Norman tries to plead with his fractured personality on Peter’s behalf.
There’s a risible attempt to do the same thing in The Amazing Spider-Man, which focuses on Connors having an agreement with himself. Not an argument, but simply an internalised discussion with his split personality on the topic of killing Spider-Man. They’re both for the idea. All of this is not to mention the awful CGI used to render Connors’ lizard alter-ego, all of which adds up to a deployment of one of Spider-Man’s most interesting foes that is underpowered, as well as overdue.
For better or worse, Twilight has come up a lot in people’s analyses of The Amazing Spider-Man. Seeing as how Gwen Stacy is a girl with a policeman father, who falls in love with a big-haired, super-powered loner, you can’t entirely deny the parallels. It’s a shake-up in comparison to the ongoing dynamic between Peter and Mary Jane in the Raimi movies.
For as far as the origin story goes, the chemistry between Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst sells the romance between Peter and Mary Jane. He adores her from afar, and by the end of the movie, we’re gratified to discover that she’s fallen in love with Peter, not with his alter-ego, despite an iconic clinch in the rain. It’s only in the sequels that Dunst starts to wear on the viewer a little bit, with her problems paling into significance compared to the issues that Peter deals with every day.
Gwen isn’t the type to get kidnapped at the end of every movie and scream her arse off either. And frankly, Emma Stone’s portrayal is what will tip you head over heels in love with the actress, if you weren’t already there, after her extremely likeable turns in Zombieland and Easy A.
By making Gwen into Peter’s intellectual equal, there’s a connection that we didn’t see when he was clumsily courting queen bee Mary Jane in the earlier movies. Although the rooftop scene where Peter web-yanks Gwen into their first kiss isn’t as iconic as the alleyway in the rain – and arguably, nothing else in this film is so iconic either – the smouldering attraction between them is one of the best things about the reboot. Expect tears, if the sequels draw from the Gwen Stacy saga of the comics for inspiration.
And the rest…
The Amazing Spider-Man doesn’t just make up for the lack of JK Simmons by omitting J Jonah Jameson from the story, but by having a couple of characters whose casting is equally perfect. In addition to having a better Peter Parker, the reboot supersedes the original by casting Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben and Denis Leary as George Stacy.
James Cromwell’s Captain Stacy only appeared in Spider-Man 3, but accounting for how fantastic Leary is in the role, it’s not difficult to conclude that Cromwell looks worse off. Leary’s superb comic timing enlivens the film’s slower moments, even though his character’s fixation on arresting Spider-Man rather than stopping the giant lizard, even after it launches a biological attack on his turf, is part of this version’s unfortunate debt to Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies.
If Spider-Man is equivalent to a Richard Donner-esque Spider-Man: The Movie, then The Amazing Spider-Man is Spider-Man Begins, but the dark, edgy take on Spider-Man doesn’t suit the webslinger one bit. Others rate the reboot more highly than we do, but it’s ultimately a pretty hollow attempt at difference for difference’s sake, with a few strokes of genius casting to make it watchable.
Adjusting for inflation and accounting for the 3D surcharge, the film’s box office take makes it the weakest performer of all of Sony’s Spider-Man features, so perhaps audiences weren’t as turned onto the idea of a darker Spidey than the critics, who largely seem to have enjoyed it. We can at least agree that Andrew Garfield should play Spider-Man again. We’d just rather see Sony cut a deal with Marvel, so that he can show up in The Avengers 2.
Ultimately, the major failing of The Amazing Spider-Man is not that it came after a largely acclaimed run with the character by Sam Raimi, but that it would still be the weaker film if it switched positions with 2002’s version of the origin story, and had came out first. Spider-Man became instantly iconic when it was released, but there’s not nearly as much to remember in this spin on the now-familiar story.
According to the IGN review:
This isn’t right. As I sit down to review The Amazing Spider-Man, I find that I am not terribly moved by the film in any way. As a longtime comic-book fan and Spidey enthusiast, how can I be so blasé about his latest big-screen incarnation?
Perhaps the problem — and there most definitely is a problem here — lies in the fact that Sony and director Marc Webb’s reboot of old Webhead feels sosamey. The Amazing Spider-Man relies on many of the character and plot beats from Sam Raimi’s original 2002 film, meshes them with a “real-world” Dark Knight vibe, and unevenly tries to balance these elements with Webb’s (500) Days of Summer style of meet-cute.
It’s now clear that the core concept of the film is fundamentally flawed: Redoing the origin story of Peter Parker is a mistake. The return of kindly Uncle Ben and his great responsibility spiel (the words of which are oddly never actually spoken), the bullying in high school, the acquiring/discovering/mastering of Peter’s powers, the villain who in a bid for the greater good turns into a monster… you can recite this script in your spider-sleep, but it most certainly won’t make your spider-sense tingle.
The good news is Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone really spark to one another in their scenes together, which are mainly of the Peter/Gwen variety rather than the Spidey/Gwen type. Stone is impossible not to adore, and while Garfield pours his heart into the hard-knock role of Peter — and seriously, this version of the character really cannot catch a break — his often mopey, teary-eyed riff on Queens’ greatest geek doesn’t always feel like the wise-cracking Peter Parker we know and love. (Even Spidey’s wise-cracks themselves are off, either falling flat or oddly playing as more mean-spirited than fun.)
The Amazing Spider-Man is almost like a retconned version of Raimi’s first film, where the first 30 minutes of origin have been stretched into a two-hour-plus picture, fleshing out details of little consequence, expanding on plot points that the audience has trouble caring about, and not bothering to answer lots of questions that are set up. I won’t get into those questions here for fear of spoiling things, but suffice to say this film shares a certain sensibility with another of this summer’s disappointments, Prometheus.
Rhys Ifans plays father figure to Peter and his soon to be enemy Dr. Curt Connors/the Lizard as alternately sympathetic and detestable; at times we’re led to believe that he had a hand in the death of Peter’s parents years earlier (played by Campbell Scott and Embeth Davidtz in a much-ado-about-nothing flashback that feels like something got left on the editing room floor) while at others it’s almost as if he and Pete should be opening up their own science lab together. The fully formed Lizard, achieved through CGI, is a workmanlike if not terribly convincing effect, and Connors’ late-game tendency to talk to himself feels terribly similar to Willem Dafoe’s Norman Osborn/Green Goblin.
Speaking of father figures, Peter has no lack of them. In addition to his absent dad, Martin Sheen’s Uncle Ben, and the malignant Connors, there’s also Gwen Stacy’s father George Stacy (Denis Leary), who happens to be the NYPD captain heading up the search for the vigilante Spider-Man. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Captain Stacy, actually, and the character feels like he has one of the more fully formed arcs in the film. Leary’s turn as a dad protective of the teenage scoundrel sniffing around his daughter is a lot of fun, and it’s telling that this is one of the elements of the plot that is not a redo from the Raimi era (and no, James Cromwell’s bit part as Stacy in Spidey 3 doesn’t count).
Webb has said that he wanted to keep Garfield in the Spider-Man suit as much as possible, in order to convey the feel of an actual kid in the tights as opposed to a stuntman. It’s an interesting proposition but it doesn’t always work here. Perhaps this is due to the nature of Spidey himself, whose antics by their very nature belie what a regular person could do. As a result, the Garfield Spider-Man on the ground doesn’t match very well with the one in the sky, and the set pieces involving web-spinning never quite rise to the, ahem, heights of previous Spidey films. The POV shots are cool, but there’s not a ton of them. And one of the big action moments near the film’s finale — involving a bunch of warm-hearted construction workers led by C. Thomas Howell — evokes giggles rather than cheers.
That said, the film does feature some striking imagery, such as Spidey splayed out on a full web in the sewers, or the tiny figure of Peter standing atop a skyscraper, truly giving us the scope of what a man who climbs 80-story buildings would look like. And yet, the darker, grittier approach often feels off, as in an early sequence when Peter faces a gang of gotta-dance thugs who could almost be members of the Jets and the Sharks. Or possibly refugees from Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. (The 3D is present mostly in the action scenes, and when it’s there it’s solid.)
The Amazing Spider-Man stands as a lesson for all reboots. Audiences don’t need to go back to Origin Story 101 with these characters, no matter how much spit and polish filmmakers put on such a tale. And simply copying the success of other pictures — let’s go dark like Chris Nolan! — isn’t the key to super-success either. Undiscerning audiences might be mildly diverted by Webb’s film, but alas it won’t have the lasting impact of many of its superhero peers.