Monday, August 27, 2012

Theater Review: The Amazing Spider-Man

I have to admit that when I first heard of the reboot I was pretty upset about it. What the heck is the point? The last Spider-Man films were decent, with the last one not being released all that long ago. I really had no intentions of ever seeing this film in the theater - I may have checked it out on DVD.

But, early reviews of word-of-mouth began to get me interested, and the trailer wasn't that horrible. Then, I found myself out of work early one night and decided to give it a chance. Plus, I got to see the movie with just one other person in the entire theater, which was amazing.

The Amazing Spider-Man is a reboot all the way through. What we get here in the first film is another origin story, and if I hadn't already seen this origin story 10 years earlier with Tobey Maguire, I would have been drooling over it.

There is no doubt it my mind, this one is a much better telling of the story. It's darker, but also supplies more humor if you can believe that. When Maguire was announced as Spider-Man I had my doubts, but then I couldn't see anyone else playing him. Now, I see I was wrong again. Andrew Garfield did a marvelous job playing both Spider-Man and Peter Parker.

Though in this first film of what will probably be many, Uncle Ben and Aunt May aren't much of a factor - I am happy that they went out and got some well-known actors for the parts. In the first trilogy the two of them had tons of screen time, and I had no idea who they were. Happy to see both Martin Sheen and Sally Field fill the roles.

Being about the same age as her, I have sort of grown up with Kirsten Dunst and had developed a crush on her at an early age - so I was very happy having her in the original trilogy. However, even I can admit she didn't really do much but complain and get kidnapped. Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy looks like a much better yang to Spider-Man's ying. Already she was given much more to do than Dunst in any of the three films prior. Plus, she just has great screen presence and I liked her chemistry with Garfield.

Denis Leary plays Gwen's father and also happens to be the captain of the police force. He plays a sort of mix of J. Jonah Jameson (in that he feels Spider-Man is a menace to the city and needs to be captured) and Batman's Jim Gordon to Spider-Man.

Finally, we have the villain. With Doc Octopuss, Green Goblin, Sandman and Venom already having screen time in the first trilogy - they went with The Lizard for the big baddy in this film, which as a non-comic book reader I wasn't really that aware of, but looked like a Hulkish character (in that when he is The Lizard, Dr. Connors (Rhys Ifans) really doesn't know what he is doing).

Overall, I really liked the movie. It had everything that a good superhero should have. A good leading man, a decent villain, a solid leading lady and a nice story (which for the most part had already been told). But, I am definitely excited for the films to come - every time a new superhero movie comes out we have to have this origin story and now it's over, but they better have newer and better stories in the films to come.

The Amazing Spider-Man suffered this year mainly due to the fact that it's a superhero film (a reboot nonetheless) that came out during the same summer that The Avengers was released, when we have been building up to it for so many years with its previous films, and the final installation of Christopher Nolan's trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises. So, it already was coming out as the third best superhero film of the summer without even being released.

If you haven't seen it, I'd give it a shot. It has all of the makings of a great new franchise if they are able to make new and exciting stories in the next films that are released.



  1. Good review. Yeah, I *really* liked the movie, too. It had its flaws (mainly in the villain, I feel)... but was overall done very well. I do disagree with you on one point, though. I actually feel Uncle Ben was a better presence here than he was in the original. I actually felt sad when he died here, as opposed to Raimi's version which... which just another plot point to hit. I felt they built up the relationship between the two very well and spent quite a bit of time (at least 45 minutes) on it.