One of things I try to do as a reviewer is to be objective. I try not to read any reviews before hand, or watch many trailers. When buying my tickets online, I saw that “The Amazing Spider-Man” had an average score. This led me to believe that I was going to see a mediocre movie. I am happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised!
I am going to attempt to refrain from comparing “The Amazing Spider-Man” to it’s original trilogy
or to the comic books. The story focuses on Peter Parker’s (Andrew Garfield) quest to find the truth regarding the tragic and mysterious death of his parents. His search leads him to Oscorp and his Father’s (Campbell Scott) old partner Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans).
This edition of Spider-Man is a reboot of the franchise and the slate is basically wiped clean from what you know from before. “The Amazing Spider-Man” is an origin story that takes us through the creation and evolution of Peter Parker into Spider-Man. Garfield does an excellent job of portraying the webslinger, but with a different take. Perhaps pulling from his portrayal of Eduardo Saverin (“The Social Network
“) he plays a bit of a hip, geek chic, nerd. Gone are the days of his Richie Cunningham side part, he skateboards, and his intelligence is really undersold as he is often scolded in school for misbehavior or lack of attention in class.
Although a departure, I enjoyed the change. Parker is still picked on, and is still awkward around his crush, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). Stacy is also meant to be a bit of a awkward geek, but with her character constantly wearing thigh highs and mini skirts, it really doesn’t translate well.
The special effects are amazing with many moments where we forget when we are watching a CGI sequence and when we are watching real stunts. Some of you know I have a little issue with the over use of CGI. One of the great scenes takes place on a subway and Parker is just starting to discover his powers. It has incredible fight choreography, with some special effects revealing to the audience his “Spidey Senses.”
I am excited to learn more about Parker’s parents, but one flaw is that the importance of Peter’s Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field) is a bit diminished. Even the “Uncle Ben Scene” fell a bit flat. Perhaps they felt fans had were already familiar with the relationship and didn’t feel the need to emphasize it.
One of the most moving scenes though in the film is when Spider-Man comes to terms with his responsibilities as a person of great power. He is forced to make hard choices in an attempt to save a young boy trapped in a car, about to fall into a river as it becomes engulfed in flames. Garfield perfectly delivers the emotions and feelings that let us know Peter Parker understands what it means to be Spider-Man.
It is always a good sign when the worst swear word in a movie is “Mother Hubbard!” There actually are a few PG words used and a handful of the name of deity in vain. There are also a few bloody attacks that made us notch it down one star.
Now hopefully I didn’t get your hopes up too high for you to now be disappointed when you see
“The Amazing Spider-Man” this week. Despite a few minor flaws I thoroughly enjoyed this new telling. At first I thought 10 years was too soon for a reboot, but it seems it was just right.