The Amazing Spider Man
There was quite a lot of hype going on for the reboot of Spider Man in the cinema world. Maybe not as anticipated as DC’s The Dark Knight Rises, but still enough hype to catch many peoples’ interests. Crowds were definitely flocking to the theater, a lot of them people who disliked the Rami trilogy especially 3, hoping to see a much better Spider Man movie.
The question is, does The Amazing Spider Man deliver a solid experience that is better than Sam Rami’s first Spider Man movie?
The Amazing Spider Man introduces a similar setting initially to the beginning of Sam Rami’s movie. Peter’s in high school and he is being bullied. Typical. And if you know the comics, or even Rami’s film, certain aspects of the plot will seem familiar. To try not spoil too much about the story, I’m just going to go straight into my thoughts on the characters, acting, and plot points.
The way the characters are done is one of the diverging points of this movie compared to Rami’s. Spider Man/ Peter Parker, for example, is still a nerd, and almost is more developed as a scientist in this movie then he was in the original Spider Man trilogy. However, in many ways, he’s a bit more typical as a teen and is less mature, and has a much more severe case of angst then Toby Maguire’s Spider Man. A LOT more angst than Toby Maguire’s Spider Man. He’s rebellious, gets into fights with his Aunt and Uncle, and even rides a skateboard to school. This certainly does flesh him out more as a character, but every time I saw him on-screen, I kept comparing him to Toby Maguire’s Spider Man, who is a very different character overall, and there isn’t really much of a comparison in their characters as they are done very differently. And then we have Gwen Stacy, the love interest of Peter Parker (duh), in the comics she was renowned as being a lot more likeable than her counterpart in Mary Jane Watson. This is certainly true in this movie as well. She’s smart, brainy, and good-looking all at the same time. A luxury Peter Parker wishes he had in the movie. Her romance scenes with Peter in the movie are as mushy as you would expect coming from director Marc Webb (500 Days of summer). But for those who aren’t into romance, they are bearable. There are other characters as well including Uncle Ben, Aunt May, Flash Thompson, and Gwen’s protective father who are all written very well as characters, and people in this movie can now actually like Flash Thompson. (GASP!) Aunt May is probably the weakest of the bunch, but the way she is done still works for her.
The acting, for the most part, is done very well. Andrew Garfield’s Spider Man, while very different from Toby Maguire’s, does an excellent job at playing Peter Parker and his alter ego. Emma Stone does a dazzling performance as his crush Gwen Stacy. Rhys Ifans, who plays Doctor Connors/Lizard, is decent, but he doesn’t feel as developed as he could have been. Meanwhile, Dennis Leary’s act as Captain Stacy is spectacular job, and is definitely an actor you can appreciate in the film, even if you didn’t like his drama television series “Rescue Me”. Martin Sheen does a different, but still believable Uncle Ben. And Sally Field, while definitely not one of the best acts on-screen, can still come across as Aunt May.
Certain aspects of the film, however, feel awkwardly placed and blown out of proportion. Certain plot points are discarded by the middle of the film, presumably to pick up with the next movie. The villain’s main goal is a bit wild, and feels a bit more dangerous than it actually would be. The climax is FAR too predictable, and could have been done in a different, newer way. However, the most cringe worthy part of the movie has got to be the ending. After a scene, you expect it to end, and then it drags on, and then you expect it to end again, and then it continues to drag on. It just feels so off the wall odd that you can’t really appreciate anything it’s trying to convey. It really feels that odd.
Overall though, any fan of Marvel Comics, or Sam Rami’s Spider Man trilogy should go see The Amazing Spider Man. Its plot may feel underwhelming sometimes, but the characters and the acting are excellent, and it’s definitely worth watching.