The Amazing Spider-Man: Movie Review
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Did the new Spider-Man movie work?
The release of the Amazing Spider-Man launched a reboot of series that many felt did not need to be redone. However, Sony felt otherwise and a brand new Spider-Man is what we received. It dominated the opening week on the big screen clearing over $62 million in the United States alone. With such big box office numbers from such a popular character it was interesting to see how the movie played out and developed with all new actors playing all of the roles. But did the relaunch work?
No new Spider-Man movie would work unless the man wearing the red and blue tights could pull it off. Cast in the role of Peter Parker was actor Andrew Garfield. Despite being in his mid-twenties he played a high-school aged nerdy super-hero. Nothing against him but I was surprised by how well he played the iconic web-slinger. He really managed to pull off being the extremely intelligent, but slightly awkward Peter Parker, as well as the witty Spider-Man perfectly. If you are familiar at all with the Spider-Man character in the comics, cartoons, or even the previous movies you can instantly see how well he played the role. The intricate nuances he brought to his movements while in costume and the geeky awkwardness of his alter ego captured the essence of the character perfectly. He was joined by a great cast of actors. Sally Fields and Martin Sheen played Aunt May and Uncle Ben, and delivered a performances one would expect from such accomplished actors. Peter coming home regularly beat up and bleeding from his exploits as Spider-Man and seeing his Aunt and Uncle's reaction was a great part of the movie. Denis Leary played the gruff Police Captain George Stacy and I thought he really stole the show with some great lines and dialogue with both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. Actor Rhys Ifans played the role of Dr. Curt Connors and ends up being the Lizard in the movie. I really liked Ifans portrayal of Dr. Connors and brought a lot of intrigue into the movie being friends with Peter Parker's parents. The movie had many good points but by no means was it perfect.
My biggest problem in this movie was with two of the key roles in the movie and how they were handled. First of all I think Emma Stone is cute as a button and is a really good actress, I just did not like her in the role of Gwen Stacy. It was already a reach having Andrew Garfield play a teenager, and I just did not think Emma Stone was able to pull off being the high-school sweetheart despite the fact she is younger in age. Any scene where she was in it at school just didn't work to me. The scenes they had together away from school were pretty good. In fact there is a scene where Peter Parker appears on her window ledge, wounded from fighting the Lizard for the first time and that was done really well. It just seemed to me that their relationship was disjointed by what happened in school compared to what happened out of school. Hopefully the sequel will take place after the high-school years and their relationship will work better. The disjointed affect carried over to Dr. Curt Connors and the Lizard as well. There was a real spark on screen when Peter Parker interacted with Dr. Connors. Andrew Garfield and Rhys Ifans played off each other well. But that spark ended once the Lizard started taking over. While the action scenes were done pretty well with the Lizard they seemed to lose the dynamic that existed between their alter egos and that was a shame. One mention as well of a bad scene is where Peter is discovering his new abilities, all while riding his skateboard. Is that the best way to show him learning about his new abilities by jumping a skateboard off of different objects? Really? There had to be a way to do that better and I thought that was a bad part of the movie.
There were some things that happened in this movie that drove me nuts. First of all consistency in a movie is a big deal to me. At least try not to flagrantly make mistakes. In the movie Peter Parker carries a backpack that contains his suit and web-shooters. The backpack throughout the movie regularly disappears and then suddenly reappears somewhere. I counted at least five times this happened just during my first viewing of the movie! Does it break the movie? No. It is just one of those things I find irritating. The other Spider-Man problem was how often he took his mask off. There is supposed to be a heart touching scene in the movie with a young boy putting his mask on and it just ended up being cheesy. A heroes mask stays on his head, period. The other real disappointment to me in the movie was the Lizard. Curt Connors was great, the Lizard wasn't. The fight scenes between Spider-Man and the Lizard were pretty good, it was the parts where Dr. Connors turned into the Lizard or was partially transformed that just didn't look right or had terrible dialogue. There were quite a few scenes, mainly the ones where the Lizard talked that were done poorly with the CGI. I was disappointed in that.
Overall the movie was very entertaining. It was fun to see. It did not have the epic scale of the Avengers nor is it as intense as the Dark Knight Rises appears that it will be. It is a fun summer action movie. Andrew Garfield was fantastic as both Spider-Man and Peter Parker. If he continues in the role I think the Spider-Man franchise will be in good hands. The movie has its faults and is by no means perfect, but yet it delivers a fun web-slinging experience. It was pretty good and is worth a watch.
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