By this point we all know the story of Spider-man through countless cartoons comics movies and so on. There is not much they can surprise us with at this point. In this film the focus is on Peter Parker’s faint memory of his parents. A stormy night when someone had broken into the Parker residence no doubtingly to steal the work of Richard Parker. Richard and Mary Parker leave there home immediately after with their young son Peter. Visibly frightened for their family and in a moment of desperation they leave Peter with his Aunt and Uncle, Peter not knowing if he will see his parents again.
Fast forward to the present day peter is a young teenager in high-school facing regular bullying and public ridicule. The only light at the end of the tunnel is his infatuation with the beautiful Gwen Stacy who takes a liking to Peter after he helps a student from a face full of vegetables. Peter later finds himself at home with his Aunt and Uncle and stumbles upon a briefcase in the basement, recognizing the briefcase Peter brings it up to examine its contents. Peters Aunt & Uncle immediately recognize the briefcase and go on to tell Peter that it was his fathers who had bought the briefcase from his mother and that was how they met.
Peter looking for answers finds only a picture of his father with a man in a lab, coat his aunt and uncle clueless to who the man is. Later peter finds a side pocket with files from Oscorp and a interesting formula put together by his father. This leads Peter to Oscorp the next day where he unexpectedly runs into Gwen Stacy on a tour, who also happens to work there as a lab assistant. Peter also runs into the man he was searching for Dr. Curt Conners and manages to impress him briefly in a Q&A. Later peter seeks out Connors at his home revealing that he is Richard Parker’s son Peter.
The Amazing Spider-man was directed by Marc Webb who’s only real triumph in film have been 500 Days of Summer. It comes as no suprise that the blossoming relationship between Parker and Gwen was portrayed so well, being that Webb has proven to be a master of unraveling a relationship before. My only problem was the not so Spidey version of Spider-man that I experienced in the film. Spider-man looked great but his character didn’t shine through as much as i would’ve liked. Despite my problems with this film I feel it will mature as the trilogy continues and we will most definitely be in for a treat when we get to see Peter Parker fall for the love of his life Mary Jane Parker.
I found the roles of Peter’s Aunt and Uncle to be a bit shallow, it seemed like the film was trying way too hard to solidify the loving Aunt May & Uncle Ben. Their lackluster performance inevitably led to a somewhat lackluster death of Peters Uncle Ben. Now the big one which I’m sure everyone is wondering about is Andrew Garfield Is he a better Spiderman then Toby McGuire? As far as Peter Parker goes yes! He plays the younger years of Parker very well capturing his dorky side and kind hearted nature. My gripe comes from his portrayal of Spider-man the man in the suit.
He was nowhere near as witty and believable as Toby McGuire’s version. A huge part of Spider-man has always been his banter while he’s in the suit always coming up with clever quips especially so when engaged with a villain. This Spider-man was lacking that completely, the scene where he discovers his powers in a subway was especially cringe-worthy. Now I must point out this comic book series is especially known for its campy quirky demeanor and that’s part of the reason why Spider-man has always been such a beloved character in the comic book realm, but there is a fine line you must walk to execute it flawlessly. This movie was able to grasp it briefly throughout the film, but overall it fell short of what Spider-man 1 & 2 achieved.
Emma Stones portrayal of Gwen Stacy was right on the money blowing away Kirsten Dunst’s not so great Mary Jane performance and overall leading to a great dynamic between her and Peter Parker. The way their relationship played out was perfect with plenty of tastefully done awkwardness included. As for the villain of the movie” The Lizzard” played by Rhys Ifans, there wasn’t much there to like, it was a forgettable performance and I really couldn’t find empathy for him when the movie grasped for it towards the end. I may be alone in this but I loved the portrayal of Doctor Octavius in Spider-man 2 because I actually felt for the character when the movie called for it and I really felt the bond between Dr. Octavius and Peter Parker. In this movie there was no sense of camaraderie between the two character’s I didn’t feel like they gave a dam about one another.
The visual effects in this film were actually great , where as the previous Spider-man’s failed with their destructive use of CGI overall leading to an unnatural looking Spidey and overall shoddy product. This film had none of those problems, the way Spidey moved was great thanks to the fact that the majority of the shots were all shots of the actor in costume. Come to think of it I don’t think I recognized any CGI for Spider-man in this feature.
The Lizzard looked surprisingly good even if I couldn’t get over the fact that he looked very similar to the Goomba’s in Super Mario Brothers The Movie. The effects in this movie never took me out of the experience which is a very important part of using visual effects in a movie and can overall make or break it. By far the most beautiful scene in the movie is at the end when a cloud of anti serum rains down on New York City and Spiderman and The Lizzard plummet below. My second favorite being the sequence where the giant cranes of New York City are lined up to help Spider-man web-sling his way to Oscorp.
All in all I enjoyed the movie, I have always been a huge fan of Spider-man all my life and in my eyes he has been the greatest super-hero in the comic book genre. Spider-man holds a close part to my heart and because of this I have high expectations, I went in the theaters wanting to be blown away. Sadly though I was not, Spider-man 1 completely blew me away when I first saw it. I think many people forget how big the original was it was the largest grossing movie of all time and was also one of the first comic book movies to pull in such huge numbers. It embodied everything Spider-man was in the cartoons and comics.
The first half of The Amazing Spider-man I sat thinking wow is this it? I was hoping the second half would get better and you know what it did! The second half was exquisite and hit hard. Despite the strong finish the movie didn’t have enough to fulfill my high expectations. Not to say I don’t have high expectations for this rebooted franchise. I really think it’s only going to get better but for now The Amazing Spider-man was just good. I would most definitely encourage others to see this film but I cannot give this movie the privilege of saying this is the best Spider-man movie ever, it falls short of that, but I truly believe in the future potential of this franchise and think it has a bright future ahead of it.
I Just need to see better acting better villains and Andrew Garfield needs to encompass not just Peter Parker but Spider-man as well. They say something’s are better with age and I think that will be the case with this franchise I look forward to what they have in store for us down the road.
- Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy
- Captures the essence of Peter Parker’s youth brilliantly
- Great visual effects & costume design
- captivating portrayal of Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy’s romance
- Dr. Curt Connors lack of character development
- weak performances by Aunt May and Uncle Ben
- Spider-man lacked the character that we’ve come to expect from the web slinger