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Review: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

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With Hollywood always out for an easy buck, the question of “How much time do you need for a reboot?” isn’t really asked all that often. And when you have in your hands a commodity that will always sell well (in tickets, toys, apparel, etc.), you’re gonna try you’re hardest to keep said commodity front and center. So, 10 years after Sam Rami directed Spider-Man and just 5 years after Toby Maguire donned the suit in Spider-Man 3, we have the team of Marc Webb and Andrew Garfield enter the scene.

It’s the same old story, with a few twists. High-schooler Peter Parker (Garfield), isn’t the nerd or the jock, but one of the countless ones that doesn’t even get a genre of student. His parents died several years earlier due to some shady circumstances. Parker, the epitome of teen angst now lives with his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field). While snooping around the Oscorp lab that his father’s friend and co-worker works at, he is bitten by a enhanced spider, and yadda yadda yadda, you know the deal. Some differences are made from the original when the villain is shown to be Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) , aforementioned pal of Papa Parker. In an effort to regenerate his lost arm, he is transformed into the Lizard. Oh, and there’s also daughter of Police Chief,  Oscorp intern, and love interest of Peter, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone).

Let’s start from the top. In my own opinion, Andrew Garfield is the perfect choice for Spider-Man. He has the realistically awkward social life but transforms into the quick-witted, web slinging, Spider-Man when he is in costume. Garfield only caps off a great cast which includes Sheen, Field, and Stone. The off-camera chemistry the two leads apparently have off camera, carry onto the set, making them electrifying on film. Sheen gives the stern but proud Uncle to a tea, and you can feel Aunt May’s pain during the events that unfold. And come on, can you pick a better man in uniform that Dennis Leary? Although Rhys Ifans did a good job as Dr. Connors/The Lizard, I feel that his character was kind of one dimensional. Yes, he is missing an arm, but he doesn’t have the emotional drive such as Doc Oc and his wife or the Green Goblin being Parker’s best friend’s dad. Still excellent cast.

The story is slow at times, but never lost my interest. Obviously, we’ve seen most of the origin story, but Marc Webb and company needed to put their mark on that plot. The special effects are extraordinary. We finally get the scope of Spidey’s antics, seeing the danger of possibly falling 100 stories, or the grand size of these buildings. If you’re planning on waiting for it to come out on Blu-Ray or DVD, don’t. The Amazing Spider-Man deserves to be seen on the big screen. It doesn’t have the humor as The Avengers, but Spider-Man isn’t really playing the same game. His movie’s have their own style and need to be judged for that. Take away the Sam Rami/ Tobey Maguire trilogy, and the film world would be abuzz about this film. Let’s not let comparisons ruin this great movie.

My Rating: A

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  1. Pingback: New Year Optimism « Weekday Matinee

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