Spiderman is a series that has had its ups and downs. From comic books and cartoons, to movies and TV shows, the webbed wonder has constantly peaked and fallen over the decades. This 4th of July, Stan Lee’s heroic web slinger returns in a new movie that has faced countless scrutiny ever since the first trailer was shown last summer. So now you may be asking, “Robbie was this movie good to see in the theater? Did it revive a series that I thought died with the third movie? Was it full of action?” I will do my best to answer these questions, but to find out about this movie you must keep reading.
The plot of The Amazing Spiderman is essentially just a reset of the classic storyline about Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) a wise cracking high school with a tragic past. After losing his parents at a young age, Peter grows up under the care of his aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) who have hidden a secret from him for many years. The only who may hold the secret to his past is Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) a man with a mission to change the world and regain what was lost so long ago.
I guess to start this review off I’ll say that I indeed did enjoy this movie, and its unique approach to the classic tale. The crew did a nice job developing Peter and gave him more of a story and life outside of being a nerd/hero. In this tale you see countless scenes of confusion, identity, love, and much more that for the most part was absent in the preceding movies. Unfortunately this character development takes a lot of time in the movie and at first made the movie slower than I expected. Luckily the dialog of Parker helped bring some life into these roles, as the writers infused some spunk, wit, and smart alekness that is very entertaining. Yes, Parker has finally gotten that rebellious nature back and most will find his humor funny to see. Despite the slow pace though, the amount of detail they went into Peter’s story was quite well done, though a tad rushed. Many of the comic book arcs are rushed and compacted into this movie and while it helps provide a lot detail in a short amount of time, it can be a tad overwhelming to those unfamiliar with the story. Also the humor is a little more science oriented than the others, so some of the people may not understand the humor.
However what really brings the story to life is the phenomenal cast in this movie. Garfield was a great choice for Peter seeming to have an innate talent for being a back talking teenager with a lot of emotional drama. As a result, Garfield doesn’t have to try too hard to play the character and this Peter is definitely more fun than the last. However, what is a leading man without a leading lady and miss Emma Stone was a great pick for the independent Gwen Stacy. Stone has that ability to play a wide range of emotions that assists with making Gwen feel like a normal teenager instead of a large crybaby like they made Mary Jane. Yet these two lovers aren’t the only two characters worth talking about. Denis Leary as Captain Stacy, Gwen’s father, was a good match for the carefree/serious nature of Gwen. Leary’s concerned father persona and rough natured voice were attributes well suited for a cop dad who cared a lot about his little girl. As for the main villain The Lizard, the British actor Ifans was another good choice. In a manner similar to Jekyll and Hide, Mr. Ifans had the pleasant nature and vernacular of a proper scientist, yet still had a cruel malice to make the CGI lizard an even bigger threat. The other actors did a good job too, but I need to talk about a few more things before we wrap this up.
I guess the action lovers are wondering if this movie is up to standards and for the most part I will say yes. At first the only action shots are a couple of bully fights and a few web swinging gallivants across the city. However, when things start to heat up, the stunt team picks up as well combining acrobats with quick paced moves to keep the action fast. Eventually the team got creative with Parker’s web shooting skills and was able to make countless traps and moves that would give any video game a run for its money. My only complaints with the action are that it took a while to get to the cool stuff, and a few times it was a little hard to keep up with the quickness of it. Yet the team does stand true to the comics and keep Parker’s wise cracking nature alive as he battles his enemies. The computer work for the battle scenes is also well done, though not the most realistic work I’ve seen. Regardless the web mechanics are fluid; the camera keeps up nicely with the digital hero and captures a lot of detail.
The Amazing Spiderman is definitely a good revival of the series and has a lot of things the previous movies were lacking. With decent action, good acting, and some rather in depth character development this may be one of the better Spiderman movies I’ve seen. It’s definitely the best movie of Marvel, but it’s also not the worst, so ignore the scrutiny that the film has been getting and enjoy yourself. Is it worthy of a theater trip? Yes, but I would suggest avoiding 3-D if you can. My scores for the movie are the following:
Movie Overall: 7.5-8.0
This is Robbie K signing off!