I just saw Amazing Spiderman not in 2D, not in 3D, but in 4D!

Ever been to Disney Land or another theme park where you can go into a theater with a short film, but as you watch the film the entire room moves, maybe they spray water on you at an appropriate moment? Well, they have that here in Korea, except they add those effects to legitimate, full-length summer blockbusters. It’s called 4D.

A few of my friends on Facebook have been bragging about going to midnight showings of The Amazing Spiderman, but I think I’ve got the movie watching brag trump card: I just saw it in 4D! It was my first 4D movie of the feature film variety (I had wanted to see Avengers in 4D, but the tickets were sold out on the day my friends and I were going.)

I’m really glad I saw this movie in 4D. The 4D effects went well beyond what you’d get at Disney Land. There were often puffs of air coinciding with characters getting hit (or almost hit), which sounds weird but it works. Sometimes a blow would be accompanied by something in your seat… well, neither “poking” nor “hitting” is quite the right word, but again, it was weird but it worked. There was even a whiff of perfume that was released in one romantic scene.

Also, I should mention that the Korean friend I saw it with said it was better than 4D Avengers, and I understand why. The 4D effects felt a bit odd early on when they were only getting sparse use, but other scenes later in the movie, where Spidey is doing really cool acrobatics on his webs, seemed made for 4D.

In short: two thumbs up for Korea’s 4D feature films. But what about the film itself? A friend on Facebook said it made the previous Spiderman films look like Batman Forever, and I agree. And not just because I wasn’t as enthusiastic as everyone else about the previous Spiderman films. The movie was in many ways the Batman Begins of Spiderman movies.

For one thing, the origin story blended seamlessly with the conflict with the villain, so that each part felt like it got enough time. It helped, I think, that some aspects of the story were clearly being saved for a future film. It was heavily implied, for example, that Peter’s parents were actually murdered, but we don’t find out what really happened to them. And without giving too much away, the movie makes clear that the villain Spidey ends up fighting is just a prelude to what we’ll see in the next installment.

The movie wasn’t perfect. Several parts felt contrived, and the CGI used for the villain became obvious at some points (though I seem to be unusual in my loathing of CGI). But the really important thing about the movie is it made you care about the characters in a way that no superhero movie I’d seen before managed to. So yeah, two thumbs up for Amazing Spiderman. Go see it, in 4D if possible.

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