I Saw A Film Today… The Amazing Spider-Man

A while back I watched the original Spider-man from 2002 and… it just doesn’t hold up all that well. Not knocking Sam Raimi, but for some reason it is just too goofy and comical. The New York City in it is just too polished, even when it is supposed to be gritty. You remember the famous scene where Maguire and Dunst kiss in the alley? Well it is still a good scene but unfortunately all I could think about during it was “wow, I bet there isn’t a single alley in New York City that looks that clean”. Quite frankly, I was glad when a reboot was announced, more so when the cast was announced.

Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is a high-school student with a heavy past. When he was just a kid his parents (Campbell Scott and Embeth Davidtz) left him with his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field) and then mysteriously vanishes.

Now Pete is just trying to survive the terrors of high school, from dealing with a bully named Flash (a little gift for comic fans, portrayed by Chris Zylka) to crushing on the gorgeous Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). But this all changes one day when Peter is lead to meeting Dr. Curt Conners (Rhys Ifans), a man who used to work with Peter’s father. While visiting and snooping around, Peter is bitten by a spider which gives him unusual powers.

One night Uncle Ben is murdered in the streets of the city and Peter decides it’s time take a stand against crime using his new-found powers. But shortly after taking to the streets at night, both worlds of Peter’s regular life and night life collide when a giant lizard begins terrorize the City. Can Peter protect his love, his family, and save the city at the same time?

The Amazing Spider-Man is everything you would want or expect from it. It truly gives justice to the story of Peter Parker and gives him a grittier and truer New ‘Ork City to play in. There is plenty of web slinging here and the action has a fantastic pace. Best examples of this are the scenes that take place on the bridge and inside Peter’s school. Yet instead of merely action and visuals, it has a stronger story and depth, which was something rather lacking from its predecessors.

There were a few minor problems. For one, the villain for this film doesn’t feel very inspired. Sure, he has a bit of back story but in the end he is still just a lizard. One with quick regeneration of limbs and a crazed scientist under its scaly skin, but it was still just a lizard. There is just not a terrible amount of work that can be done with a villain of that caliber. Although I personally enjoyed the attention given to the Peter/Gwen love story line, I can see it being rather off-putting to movie goers who are wanting pure web slingin’ and lizard kickin’. And for those expecting a little appearance by Nick Fury or a nibble of Avengers 2, you are going to be rather disappointed.

As for performances, comparisons are unavoidable. Andrew Garfield is, quite simply, a brilliant and better Peter Parker. I never really liked Tobey Maguire because when it came to emotions, he was comatose. Garfield is the opposite. He has plenty of comedic moments as well as plenty of heart-felt moments, and he does them all fantastically. His opposite, Emma Stone, is great as well. She is sassy and smart as Gwen Stacy, which isn’t much of a stretch for her I’m guessing. The chemistry between the two was at times hypnotic, which is what you expect when dealing with such beloved characters.

The supporting cast is great as well. Rhys Ifans is a brilliant actor who I think is slightly underrated in Hollywood. Thankfully he gets to showcase his talents here. I thought Martin Sheen was decently well cast as Uncle Ben but I’m not really impressed with Aunt May being Sally Fields. She does a good job, no denying that, but I don’t know how she’ll do in the unavoidable sequels. As for Denis Leary, he is his usual schmucky self. And you may miss him but it was nice to see C. Thomas Howard make an appearance.

I didn’t see Spidey in 3-D so I can’t really tell you how it looks in stereoscopic photography. But the film itself is a fantastic reboot of one of Marvel’s most beloved heroes. This Spider-man has heart and truly earns his title of hero. I have a new-found love for the web-slinger. As for spiders themselves, they are still the spawn of Satan himself in my eyes.

Verdict: SEE IT!

*Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence.

**Poster by Matt Ferguson.

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One Response to “I Saw A Film Today… The Amazing Spider-Man”

  1. Glad to see you liked it, I’ve got to say I agree. very much so.
    I knew that Marc Webb wasn’t going to deliver a bad movie, especially since I had seen “(500) Days of Summer,” which I really, really enjoyed.
    I was going to actually ask you if you had seen it in 3D. I saw it in 2D myself, and I might just go see it in 3D if I can get some free time.
    Anyways, great reviews as always.

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