The Amazing Spider-Man Review I have always enjoyed action films. I would state that this fact does make me somewhat biased for this review. Fictional characters that are super heroes only made them better for me. I went into this movie knowing it was going to be one that I would enjoy. This year has had a few different super hero films such as The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. The Avengers released May 4th, 2012, was a box office hit, topping the charts for weeks. The Amazing Spider-Man was released just two months afterward on July 3rd.
The super hero fan world was still in awe with The Avengers, myself included. I still wanted to watch The Amazing Spider-Man because I love super heroes. I give this movie 4. 5 stars out of 5 stars. I just did not think Sony could top The Avengers. Both films far exceeded the expectations I had built up for them. The Amazing Spider-Man will never measure up to the sheer scale and epic action of The Avengers, but it was still an action packed film. The plot for The Amazing Spider-Man is a different sort of story altogether from that of The Avengers.
The Amazing Spider-Man movie is not trying to tell a different story than Sony’s previous expedition into the Spider-Man realm, just simply a different spin on the story. The biggest question I asked myself was will the new story stand up against the previous trilogy. It is the story of Peter Parker, an average, though brilliant, teen trying to make it through high school. Peter’s father, with his secretive work, caused both of his parents to disappear one night, leaving him with his aunt and uncle to be an orphan of sorts.
He has since grown up, but he unexpectedly begins uncovering clues about his father and his work. This chance discovery of his dads’ old research into cross-species genetics sends Peter searching for clues at Oscorp, his father’s old employer. There, while he is snooping around, he accidentally comes into contact with a genetically engineered spider. Peters’ high school crush, Gwen Stacy interns alongside the brilliant, but disabled Curt Connors, who was his father’s closest associate before he disappeared. That introduction to Dr.
Connors results in Connors and young Parker bonding over scientific theory. Peter hands over parts of his father’s work that was thought to be lost. From there the experiments Dr. Connors has been working on are able to work, creating formulas and serums that allow rats to regrow their limbs. Things quickly spiral out of control. The doctor finds himself opposite Spider-Man before too long. In the middle of this conflict, there is a budding romance between Peter and the girl he has secretly admired for years. Andrew Garfield plays a fairly different Peter Parker than Tobey Maguire did.
Despite being rather good-looking and decently dressed, he is more socially awkward, has zero friends and is more inept around girls than Tobey’s was. It feels more in line with what I believe Peter Parker was like from the comics, although perhaps a bit more modern-day. The bottom line is that it just works. Peter is much more likable and feels much more fleshed out. It is not that Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker was not executed well, it was. In the previous releases the story and characters in Raimi’s original three movies were all so idyllic.
Everyone, in his movies, was a good person and no one made mistakes. The emotional tone and serious nature of the story is not quite driven down your throat as much in this film, thanks in large part to the humor sprinkled liberally throughout the film. The drama comes from the Lizard, as he is known in the comics. The creature is at least eight to nine feet tall, with massive, retractable, razor-sharp claws, seemingly unlimited strength and a powerful prehensile tail. Spider-Man fights it three or four times through the film, using his agility, speed and powerful webbing to full advantage. And he needs to.
The Lizard is absolutely fearsome, cold-blooded, and terrifying. The Lizard is much more monster than super villain and the critical injuries constantly inflicted upon Peter made me wonder if this film should have been rated higher than PG-13. The action is very tense due to the violent nature of the villain, but that simply moves the plot line along. A lot of things help tell the story in this version, especially the budding romance between Parker and Gwen Stacy. His original girlfriend from the comics is cast as a very genuine teenager and becomes very likable when played by the talented Emma Stone.
Gwen is an intern that works directly with Dr. Connors, further complicating the already intricate web of relationships in the story. Her family, only briefly shown are not very memorable, with special exception to her father, the Chief of Police. Dennis Leary, in this role, plays a dry, sarcastic, impatient man to perfection here, as he hunts down Spider-Man to stop his string of vigilante crimes. Martin Sheen and Sally Field embody the loving, caring, wise Uncle Ben and Aunt May, respectively. This movie gives them both much more vitality and character than in the original series.
Putting life into the movie took on an entirely different view with the special effects being among the best you can see in such a film. Notable praise goes to the film’s 3-D work. This is one of three films, the other two being Avatar and Prometheus, to be filmed in and then released in 3-D, rather than filmed in 2-D and converted to 3-D. The CGI (computer-generated imagery) characters are animated brilliantly and move like they were alive. Spider-Man succeeds in hitting all of those strange poses that are his signature moves on the flashy covers of his comics.
It helps add more “comic authenticity” that Garfield himself is very tall, nimble and lanky. All traits I think Maguire does not really possess, being a little shorter in stature and a bit more ripped and bulky. If the film falls short in one category, it is the soundtrack, which I thought was serviceable, but not very memorable. All together it was better thought out film with more insight into Peter’s motivation and his turmoil. Gone are the nerdy narrations from Tobey Maguire. Gone are the idyllic people populating the original franchise.
Raimi’s Spider-Man bounced headlong into danger from the get-go to save the innocent and protect those who could not protect themselves. Webb’s Spider-Man is not trying to save anyone so much as get revenge, until the point where he decides to save a boy trapped in a burning car. His actions and heroics from then on, speak more volumes than the original three films combined. Peter feels responsible for protecting people because he both chooses to be and because has to be. That is what a super hero is made of. Therefore I give this movie 4. 5 stars out of 5 stars.