Theatrical Review for 'The Amazing Spider-Man' is now up!Posted: July 09, 2012
by Iggy Michniacki
Sony knew they had to keep the Spider-Man franchise rolling if they wanted to retain the rights with the fear that Disney had purchased Marvel and was going to rope in all of its powerful names if left on the table. Instead of continuing where the last three Spidey movies left off, Sony decided to take it an entirely new direction. Basically, The Amazing Spider-Man is a fresh new look at the web-slinging hero just a few years after the dreadful Spider-Man 3 brought the Tobey Maguire franchise to a halt.
Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is a typical teenage kid; well, typical in the fact that he goes to high school and has a crush on a girl, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). Not typical in the fact that he lives with his Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) because his parents went on the run with a plethora of scientific secrets. As Peter starts to uncover some secrets about his father, and the research he was doing at Oscorp, he decides to pay the company a visit to see if he can uncover any dirt.
During a visit to Oscorp he stumbles across some genetically engineered spiders and gets bitten. On his way home he learns he has some new abilities that closely resemble that of his arachnid friend (or not really friend). He tries to learn more so he builds a relationship with Dr. Conners (Rhys Ifans), who just so happened to be his dad’s partner and Gwen’s mentor. Peter helps Dr. Conners progress on the research he and his father had been working on, which leads to more bad than good.
The story continues in typical Spider-Man fashion. Peter develops his abilities as Spider-Man, masks himself and tries to avenge the loss of his uncle while he looks for answers about his parents. This pushes the plot forward early on but a dreadful mistake on Peter’s part is what carries the movie the rest of the way. Peter Parker’s web becomes a twisted entanglement that affects all of the players in the movie, and there is no resolve until the very end... and even then there still might not be.
The Amazing Spider-Man is a fresh treat for those still trying to handle the sour taste of Spider-Man 3 (aka Emo Spider-Man) that was left in everybody’s mouths, and more importantly everybody’s minds. Andrew Garfield is a welcome replacement to Tobey Maguire. Not only is he a better Peter Parker, hes a better Spider-Man. His ability to portray a young broken boy who must embrace this new found power is much more convincing and real than what we saw in the previous trilogy. He acts beaten at times, but rebounds by lashing out until he learns to embrace the change in his life.
As for Emma Stone, I've never thought badly of her, but she had never really wowed me before this portrayal of Gwen Stacy. She doesn’t really do anything amazing in the movie, but her performance is pretty decent and is also a welcome replacement of Kirsten Dunst as the love interest. Stone is very attractive in this role, wearing some interesting thigh high socks with stylish leather boots, but at the same time she inherits the essence of being a nerd and is believable as the shy and awkward high schooler.
The rest of the cast is pretty great too, with The Amazing Spider-Man showing the best cast for a Spider-Man movie to date. Both Sally Field and Martin Sheen are great as Peter’s Aunt and Uncle, and they both play their small, yet important, roles nicely. Rhys Ifans' portrayal as Dr. Conners and The Lizard is very strong. He plays a very convincing villain in the appropriate scenes while still remaining a mentor-like character in other moments of the movie. Even Denis Leary’s role as Captain Stacey of the NYPD was portrayed well to help round out the casting very nicely.
The Amazing Spider-Man did a fantastic job in playing more into a specific Marvel Universe than I had expected. It follows tightly along with the Amazing Spider-Man comics, giving Parker a relationship with Stacy as opposed to Mary Jane and also introducing the web slinging mechanisms to the theatrical world for the first time. The mystery of Oscorps built up for a good trilogy arc, and not everything was thrown out at the audience at once.
The movie is a slow burning build-up for what the new franchise will be, and that's more than acceptable. The Amazing Spider-Man introduced us to Spider-Man just as much as it did Peter Parker, and it was able to do so without thick eyeliner, an awkward dance number, or Tobey Maguire’s mask being removed every three point four seconds. Basically, The Amazing Spider-Man is a better movie than the other Spider-Mans and is more than worthy of being released in the same summer of The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises.
Overall Score: 8/10