-The Amazing Spider-Man is directed by Marc Webb and Mr. Webb made an effort to make a movie that is fresh and yet faithful to the franchise. Did he succeed? I answer that in this movie review.
The Amazing Spider-Man stars Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Emma Stone plays the perfect Gwen Stacy, Rhys Ifans portrays Dr. Curt Connors and Denis Leary plays the ever adamant police Captain Stacy. (Gwen’s father)
Other players include Martin Sheen (Uncle Ben), Sally Field (Aunt May), Chris Zylka (Flash Thompson) and Irrfan Khan plays Rajit Ratha, the right-hand man to Norman Osborne.
Oh, and yes, Stan Lee‘s usual short cameo. (It will be a very sad day when we don’t get a Marvel movie without that mug of his being somewhere in a movie.)
The movie kicks the story in with Peter Parker’s parents finding their home office ransacked and the parents freak out, scoop up the 4-yr-old Peter and drop him off with his aunt and uncle.
His dad used to work for Oscorp and with Dr. Connors, but something made him leave town. He was also the brains behind a specific type of research that Dr. Connors is not quite able to pull off, even though he strives to continue in the field.
Connors is diligently working on a cure for his missing limb, trying to figure out how to combine animal regenerative properties with the human biology. He’s close and gets closer with the help of Peter, but his boss wants more, and wants it now.
And Peter has a bit of guilt later about helping out.
And that’s how the story is moved along!
I wasn’t sure that Andrew Garfield could pull off Peter Parker, but his portrayal of our high school photographer seemed pretty spot-on. It was much better than I had expected. He’s skinny but not scrawny, shy but his mask brings out another side of the man. I liked it. And there are actually a few emotional moments that worked.
Gwen Stacy in the comics wore a lot of boots and so too, does Emma Stone… I found it curious that Webb didn’t deviate from that look. That was not a complaint! And unlike the women in Raimi’s movies, who do nothing but scream and distract, not so in Webb’s movie.
I felt like a few other characters suffered in development because of how much time was spent with Peter’s family and relationships, but I’m not sure that was avoidable. We needed to see his origin story, yet again, one more time…
But the true magic of the film is the skill-set of Peter Parker as he first changes into the web-slinger and as he learns his new abilities and limits. The skirmishes with people are a gem to experience and his fights with the Lizard seem pretty on-mark as he uses his agility, snark and webbing to battle the Lizard. I was surprised in some of the moves and tactics Spidey demonstrates, taking me straight back to the comic books.
I think this film hits it out of the park in the portrayal of Spider-Man… back in the Raimi/Maguire movies, I wasn’t ecstatic, but I had to accept what we had. Though Raimi did have an eye that set the bar for the web-slinging through town scenes.
Here in Webb’s version, he had to match up with the comic much like Raimi did. And Webb does hit the template you might have in your mind’s eye of Spider-Man slinging through town, but he does it with different camera angles and nuances and it was very fun to experience.
And no, I haven’t avoided one of the obvious marketing pitches… about this being a different kind of Spider-Man. Like I said, you won’t be disappointed as we are presented with the age-old origin tale, done slightly differently, again. Different and yet, with similar elements.
You’ll see what I mean if you go see it.
If you’re a franchise fan, I don’t think you will be disappointed with Marc Webb’s movie, The Amazing Spider-Man. I hit up the 2D version and felt this movie was easily worth the price of admission! This is also the first of three movies, as Sony as announced of late.
(Psst: There is an extra scene during the credits. It’s nothing but a teaser, but it’s in the style of Marvel!)