July 11th, 2012
This past weekend I saw The Amazing Spider-Man, which was a lot of fun to watch. Most reviews harped pretty hard on the ‘too soon!’ aspect of this film dancing on the grave of the Sam Raimi – Tobey Maguire – Kirsten Dunst trilogy that kicked off the wall-crawler’s film presence in 2002.
And I guess that’s fair. As much as Spider-Man 3 deserved the bad reviews it got the first two films were really fantastic, and Spider-Man 2 stands as one of the defining films of my adolescence (for good or ill). So is it too soon? I suppose, but nonetheless I enjoyed the new film.
It had a lot more humor than I recall from the past series, and Andrew Garfield is a bit more wiry, making him more visually akin to a spider, compared with Maguire’s more muscular frame. Plus, as much as I liked the web-shooting as an biological mechanism, I did enjoy a return to the mechanical explanation (which I remembered from the animated Spider-Man!).
I bring all of this up because I heard two familiar songs in the film. It actually opens with one of the better tracks off of the brand-new Shins recrod Port Of Morrow.
‘No Way Down’
[ mp3 ♫ ]
I don’t know that the song has any real bearing on the story other than serving as an upbeat backing to the introductory high school scenes, but it fit well.
The other was a far more surprising inclusion. Fading in just as Peter and Gwen starting making a little headway on getting together, we hear the opening strums of Coldplay’s ‘Kingdom Come‘.
[ mp3 ♫ ]
I thought it was weird that this segued into the obligatory “Peter Parker learns to use his powers scene,” because the song is much more a touchy-feely tune about being in love with somebody. It was unconventional, but I was so happy to hear the song at all that I found myself on board with it.
‘Kingdom Come’ was the hidden track at the end of 2005′s X&Y, Coldplay’s most underrated effort that laid the groundwork for the epic success of Viva La Lida. In my mind it’s one of the cleanest, most earnest coda’s to a album I’ve ever heard, not to mention just a really touching track in its own right.
I was glad to hear it in The Amazing Spider-Man, and to know that it wasn’t just me who really dug it!
At the end of the day though, if we’re going to put together a ‘greatest songs in the Spider-Man movies’, it’s really no contest. At the end of the day,
…how can any song ever compete with that? Huh?!