[REVIEW] The Amazing Spider-man

Although it has been only 10 years since the first Spider-Man movie debuted in theaters, Sony Pictures felt the need to reboot the franchise. The news came as a shock to fans of the Sam Raimi trilogy. On one hand you had a trilogy that helped redefine the superhero genre, and gave audiences something they had never seen before, but on the other hand, you had a trilogy that some felt made fun of Spider-man. That picked and choose what they liked and didn’t like about Spider-man, changed characters (They turned Gwen Stacy into Mary Jane. And vice versa), and with the mixed feelings about the 3rd movie, it made sense that they wanted to go another way with the character.

Production had already begun on the 4th Spider-Man movie, which when it first was announced, they announced that it was going to star the Vulture as the villain, and John Malkovich was announced to be the Vulture.

But the idea was scrapped. Production halted. And Sony decided it was time for a reboot.

Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) came in to direct a new, fresh take on Spider-man. When Webb announced that he chose Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) many quickly began to speculate what the movie would be like with him in the leads shoes. And IT WORKED. The Amazing Spider-man offers a rare view on how it can and does work when you try to modernize a character, especially one that had previously been seen on screen in a completely different way.

While the Amazing Spider-man is indeed a reboot, it shows Spider-man’s origin in a very different way. The story this time around heavily relies on the inclusion of Peter Parker’s  parents (whom if i recall correctly didn’t even get mentioned in the last movies) and his high school love, Gwen Stacy (played by Emma Stone). Some parts of this movie felt like Deja Vu, seeing peter get bullied by Flash Thompson, lectured about responsibility by Uncle Ben, etc. But what it did change, was very welcomed. The character felt fresh, new, exciting again. And I found myself getting upset about halfway through the movie because I knew that I would have to wait several years for the sequel, which was set up for in several ways throughout the movie.

Rhys Ifans (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1) plays Dr. Curt Conners aka The Lizard. The role heavily plays on the ideas that Conners isn’t the bad guy he starts out to be. Like all great villains, you feel for him, you understand him and why hes doing what he is doing. And when he falls into the darkness, you sympathize with him he plays this role perfectly. The character is played very mysteriously, obviously knowing much more about Peter’s parents than he lets on.

The movie takes a very realistic approach to all the characters involved. From the awkward scene where Peter asks Gwen out on a date, to Spider-man playing video games on his phone while waiting for the Lizard to appear. It all felt very real.

Bottom line: The movie was easily the best Spider-man yet, and personally the only thing that takes away from the movie, is it being compared to the last 3.

The Amazing Spider-man 4.5/5 – A

 

 

Below the break is a Longer Spoiler-Filled Review

*If you do not want key moments of the movie ruined for you, do not read any further.*

 

 

The Amazing Spider-man takes a whole new approach at the character, one that is very welcomed. Taking its cues from the pages of The Amazing Spider-man comics and Ultimate Spider-man comics, as well as some very new ideas,  this version of Spider-man is one that actually feels real, and relevant.

The movie starts with Peter’s parents. A friendly game of hide and seek, where a young Peter discovers that his dads office has been broken into. Calling for help, his father rushes in. Upon seeing his office torn apart, his frantically searches for a file, hidden in a desk drawer. Finally he finds it. Then tells his wife its time to go. They arrive at Uncle Ben’s, say there goodbyes to Peter. Then they’re gone forever.

The movie’s introduction sets the stage for a Spider-man movie like nothing ever seen before. Peter feels like he was abandoned. Years later, he finds something his father had hidden, a briefcase with the file his father was so frantically searching for, which sets him on a quest for answers.

Everything is connected to this moment. Peter’s meeting this Dr. Conners, getting bit by the spider that later gives him his powers, his connection with Gwen, and even Uncle Ben’s death. All stemmed from the single moment Peter decided to find out what happened to his parents.

What I liked:

  • Web Shooters. Easily a huge staple to Spider-man’s Mythos. I’m not sure why they needed to remove them from the last movie, my guess was it was prob too hard to explain, but in this movie, they did it well, and the idea he built them out of a watch made sense.
  • Gwen Stacy. She felt like the girl next door. Watching them on screen made you really understand why she was Peter Parker’s one great love.
  • The Cast. The casting was amazing. Dennis Leary, Martin Sheen, Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Sally Field, Rhys Ifans, and many others. The best cast of a Spider-man movie ever. Everyone did their roles perfectly. I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
  • The Story. It made sense, it had twists. It left you with wondering what happened to his parents. It gave need for a sequel, not because it left things unresolved, but it made you want answers.
  • The changes. From the spider bite, web shooters, uncle Ben’s death, no wrestling, etc. Every change they made to Spider-mans origin made sense, and it helped make for a better story.
  • The conspiracy factor. What happened to peter’s parents? what does Oscorp know? whats the deal with Norman Osborn dying and needing a miracle cure?
  • The humor. We FINALLY got a Spider-man that was funny.

 

What I didn’t like:

  • Plot issues. If Gwen is just a lab tech, how does she have access to this entire lab, and all these multi-million dollar pieces of equipment? Where did peter get the web fluid? I mean i know from Oscorp, but did he buy it? did he steal it? I HAVE NO IDEA. He couldn’t have bought it, it would be too expensive for a poor kid from queens to buy…
  • Slo-mo shots. I loved the action. I loved the way he looked. But why… why end this movie on a super cheesy slo-mo shot… its one thing when the shots are needed in the movie, but just for kicks and style? no….

 

Bottom line: The movie was easily the best Spider-man yet, and personally the only thing that takes away from the movie, is it being compared to the last 3.

The Amazing Spider-man 4.5/5 – A

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