Spiderman just isn’t what he used to be. The recent games have been mediocre (not including the Amazing Spider-Man tie-in game) and the last batch of movies didn’t strike my fancy, to put it mildly. So does this most recent web-slinging adventure starring Andrew Garfield bring something new to the table? Read on to find out!
The reboot is centered around Peter Parker’s (Garfield) origin story and his evolution to becoming the masked Spider-Man, a topic only briefly covered in the Sam Raimi films.
The villain of the movie is incorporated quite well by being Dr. Curtis Connors (Rhys Ifans), Richard Parker’s old lab partner who has a history with the Parker family. Of course, later in the film the story drifts from daddy troubles to combating a giant mutant lizard, but the two are perfectly intertwined and share the spotlight in equal measure. This makes for a story with realistic moral values, extremely interesting Spider-Man lore and of course lots of gruesome reptile slashing.
Theatrical adaptations of beloved movie characters are always a gamble, but what makes this movie great is that it isn’t mainstream. It sticks to the comics perfectly, with Peter inventing his own web shooters (versus Toby McGuire’s organic web fluid) and the first love interest being Gwen Stacy (played by Emma Stone). Personally, I love this as to some extent I am a Spider-Man purist, and I rest easier knowing that Peter’s body isn’t miraculously generating its own sticky… white… “web” fluid. And as an added bonus, there’s a pretty great cameo appearance that really clarifies the whole comic book theme.
The real charm in the movie isn’t in its visuals, although those are pretty eye-dazzling by themselves. No, it’s the character bonding. The relationships and acting are the best I’ve ever seen in a superhero movie, and possibly the best of all time. Andrew Garfield plays the role of an arrogant yet shy nerdy teenager perfectly, and acts just as anyone in their right mind would when endowed with the amazing physical abilities of a spider. Because of these powers, he manages to wind up in some pretty funny situations as well (A.K.A the alarm clock scene). But the real attention-grabbing relationship is between Peter and Gwen, a couple who really takes realism in movies to the next level. They’re awkward at first, but increase in both intimacy and looseness rapidly as time progresses, accurate to how a real highschool relationship would. It’s heartfelt, and there were a couple of scenes that rival movies like “Gone With the Wind”.
Another example of the impressive (because I lack a stronger word) acting and portrayal of a character would be Ifans’ Dr. Connors. Unlike most movies where the bad guy undergoes complete transformation into evil natured activities, the Lizard isn’t ever truly evil, instead he’s just making one major mistake over and over. It’s because of this that you feel sympathetic towards his plight and understand where he’s coming from, considering he manages to solve his problem (curing his disability of a missing limb) but just takes things too far.
Amazing Spider-Man is every Spidey fan’s dream. It emerges victorious over the previous films, and after seeing it I feel that it is completely justified in rebooting the series. It’s closer to the comics, it’s got phenomenal acting and great writing, not to mention some extremely clever quips. And although the movie is light on cinematic action, when the fights do happen they’re well-coordinated to Spider-Man and really stick out in the 3D version (especially the scene from the end of the third trailer). I highly recommend this to any avid fan of the series or someone just wanting a more involved and higher quality superhero movie.