The Amazing Spider-Man
The Devil Wears Prada / Wedding Crashers
Normally, I do double-reviews of films, but while traveling recently, I saw parts of both The Devil Wears Prada and Wedding Crashers. Instead of reviewing these films separately, I’ll review them all in one big hot mess of commentary and silliness. Watch out.
The Amazing Spider-Man reboots the web-slinging franchise in solid fashion, upping the angst quotient and shifting Peter Parker from dweeby do-gooder to slacker do-gooder. He also builds his own web slingers now. The Devil Wears Prada follows the adventures of a wannabe journalist working as the assistant for the malicious and manipulative editor of
Vogue Runway. Wedding Crashers is about two dudes who pick up chicks at weddings they weren’t invited to. Only this time, the ladies crash their hearts.
Man, I should write copy for posters.
A few thoughts about these movies:
- Spidey and the Wedding Crashers both have to deal with intimidating fathers. I can’t decide who would be more scary to sit across from at the dinner table: Dennis Leary or Christopher Walken. Walken, for his part, sports a Gary-Oldman elderly-vampire pompador in Wedding Crashers.
- Spidey and Andy (Anne Hathaway’s protagonist from Devil) both deal with angry talkings-to from stern authority figures, though Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben oscillates between understanding and grumpy much more easily than does Meryl Streep.
- Oddly, the narratives in the three films follow the narrative arc that the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man franchise followed. To whit: 1) In Spider-Man, he discovers that with great power comes great responsibility. The Amazing Spider-Man follows a very similar arc of discovery. 2) In Spider-Man 2, he gets overwhelmed with the burden of being Spider-Man and abandons the role, at least for a time. Wedding Crashers focuses (at one point) on the torment the pickup-artist lifestyle brings to Owen Wilson, so he abandons it. 3) In Spider-Man 3 Spidey gets high on his power and becomes a different person, taking up cruel swing dancing for some reason. Sigh. The Devil Wears Prada takes this change in personality as the central lesson to be learned — power and Jimmy Chu shoes corrupt.
- Only The Amazing Spider-Man has Rhys Ifans as a key supporting character. While Stanley Tucci and Will Farrel are fine additions to the casts of their films, they’re no Rhys Ifans. That said, Meryl Streep’s statuesque hair and vicious temper do rival Ifans when he’s in reptile mode. Zing!
- The female supporting casts in all three films are great — be it your Rachel McAdams, your Emily Blunt, or your Emma Stone.
- The Amazing Spider-Man and Devil Wears Prada both underestimate the damage caused by getting hit by a car. Just saying.