REVIEW: NJFerns Reviews THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
TASM released out here in India on June 29. Hit the jump for my spoiler-free review!
Director Marc Webb, successfully serves up a movie that is a seamless amalgam of action, drama, humor, romance, special effects & good story. Webb does a commendable job of executing the story, bringing a more real, grittier Manhattan than the one we’ve witnessed before. He’s also made good use of the 3D especially in the action & web-slinging scenes. The fights are slick & fast-paced, which is great for a Spidey movie, but I found the quick action hard to follow in some places due to the 3D. What's great about the action here though is that unlike Raimi's trilogy, Webb has employed a lot of practical effects to pull off the web-slinging & most of the action is not computer generated & definitely feel very real.
The writers & director have done well to try & distance this film from the original trilogy & it’s like they put in whatever was missing in those three OG movies. I love that they've involved Peter’s parents in the story. I also like the different reactions Spidey gets from the general public here than in the OG films. AND there is a slight nod to the first Spiderman movie & you’ll will know it when you’ll see it. It's great to see the contrast of the post-spider bite scene in this movie than in Spiderman- a train-load of hilarious moments set to a brilliant soundtrack (I need to know the name of that song that plays!!)
About the acting- when you got Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben & Sally Field as Aunt May, you know you can’t go wrong, but I’ll focus on our two leads- Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) as Peter Parker aka Spiderman & Emma Stone (Zombieland, Easy A, The Help) as Gwen. Andrew is perfect for the role- he may have unconventional looks & a much leaner physique than Tobey Maguire did, but I think he brings his own charm to the character- in my opinion, this is exactly how Spidey was meant to be portrayed in the first place! An awkward kid who hides his emotions with his (entertaining) wise-cracks. He’s simply trying to find his place in his crazy new world. Garfield is fantastic in his emotional & dramatic scenes! Unlike Maguire’s sappy, goody-two-shoes act, this Parker definitely feels more real, human & vulnerable. Andrew does a great job nailing the comedy as well & I love how the tension of dramatic or action packed scenes in the movie is interjected with some great laughs.
Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. Ah! We all know she’s an awesome actress & she’s constantly proven her mettle with every film she’s done. You can see why she decided to do this film- TASM’s Gwen is not simply a damsel in distress who needs to be saved by Spidey every friggin time (a la Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane). No, no, this Gwen is a sexy, sassy AND intelligent gal. Well, she has been all those things in the comics so it should come as no surprise. With both being science nerds, it’s great to see Peter get a partner in Gwen who’s on the same wavelength as he is. Gwen definitely has her moments & Stone’s acting, as is the case with Garfield, is top-notch, portraying a girl torn between her superhero boyfriend & her police captain father. It’s an absolute delight to watch the amazing chemistry between Stone & Garfield as we witness a cute teenage love story within the whole scheme of things (which is sure to keep your girlfriend engrossed in the movie lol).
Onto the villain- the Lizard! FINALLY fans get to see the (long-awaited) reptilian menace on the silver screen! Though many have been cribbing about the look & effects of the Lizard in the movie I thought he looked great, though I do admit the CG is slightly distracting & iffy in a few places, especially on his facial close-ups. The humanoid face however, makes him more realistic & in my opinion, it would’ve been silly to see a proper Lizard with snout et al speak, in a live-action film. The threat feels very real for Spidey here, not too cartoony like Green Goblin from Spiderman. There are times when you definitely feel like he’s more than Parker can handle! The fact that motion capture was used out here, means all the movements & expressions of the Lizard are of Rhys Ifhans himself, who has done a good job overall as well.
If you are a comic book &/or comic book movie nerd you’d definitely enjoy this movie, but if your knowledge of Spiderman is restricted only to the OG Spidey trilogy, I suggest not going in with too many expectations & just aim at enjoying a fresh take on the Spidey-verse. This is definitely not a rehash of the OG (thank god!) & it’s a more realistic take, as is lately becoming a trend in CBMs ever since Nolan’s Bat-verse.
And before I forget- wait for an after-credits scene. It's supposed to highlight the villain for the next film, but I still don't have a clue who it is! Anyone who knows do lemme know!
So my final verdict? I give it a 7/10. Good story, brilliant acting, great villain. BUT some rushed action & slightly iffy CG doesn’t make me go gaga enough to have a second go at it in theaters. I was also let down with that whole "Spiderman POV" scene that we saw in the trailer(see below). I thought there was more to it- there isn't.
Wanna read my thoughts on the costume, Stan Lee's cameo & (especially for all you Indian CBM readers) Irrfan Khan...? Click the link at the end of this article.
Hey, check out the Avengers poster & the The Wolverine minimalist poster I created!
And all you X-Men fans can get your fix of X-media related news, reviews, discussions, & artwork from my blog (with it's "Schism-y" look)! Do subscribe via your Google/Yahoo/Blogger account!
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