Following in the footsteps of the 2002, 2004 and 2007 movies... the 2012 "The Amazing Spider-Man" motion picture now receives its own "Movie Storybook".
Published before the film screened, and apparently written based on the script (not the final film) this book features large photographs taken from the movie. It is 8.5" x 11", square bound glossy cardboard cover with 48 pages. Production values are high, but that's where the good news ends.
Sadly, this book shares all of the problems of the junior novelization (see our review of Amazing Spider-Man: Tangled Webs/Tales of Spider-Man (Junior Novelization)). It also suffers from some additional difficulties.
Let's start with the plot. It roughly follows the movie, but then again it doesn't. The entire second half is missing - there is no reference to the Lizard other than a quick passing mention to a "reptilian creature" which causes havok on the Williamsburg bridge. Similarly, Uncle Ben's death gets short-changed, with a passing mention that he died while going out to look for Peter.
Other key elements from the film are mangled or inaccurate. In this version of the story, Peter doesn't actually reveal his identity to Gwen. Major characters are missing - the "bad boss" at Oscorp is absent. Peter doesn't help Dr. Connors become the Lizard. In summary, the entire plot is utterly zombified - present in a withered form, but any soul or intelligence is long gone.
Despite the low standard of these kinds of books, the writing is also bad enough to deserve a special mention. It is every bit as insipid as the novelization text, suffering terribly from the desire to "tell" the events of the film, rather than "show" them.
To put the final nail in this books coffin, the photography which forms the heart of the book is equally deficient. While it is suitably high resolution and clearly taken from final film production, it is utterly soul-less. There are plenty of mid/close-up shots of Peter Parker, in various stages of his character development. Ben, May, Gwen, and her father all get a look-in, and there are various shots of Spider-Man too.
What is lacking is any dynamicism or vibrancy. There's also no shots of any of the impressive background scenery, nor any hint of the CGI work. The Lizard himself is entirely absent.
I really don't know why these books exist. They don't accurately represent the movie at all. They're disappointing photographic exercises, and utter failures as prose.
This book is absolutely ineffectual as a substitute for the movie, it's not particularly suitable for reading before you see the movie, and it's entirely disappointing after you've seen the movie. For what is it good? Beats me!
I really enjoyed the film. I thought it was clever, thoughtful and visually effective.
This book is the utter opposite. One web.