The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Much better Spider-Man, good cast

Needless retelling of the origin, tries to be dark but isn't

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Amazing Spider-Man

Studio:  Marvel Entertainment

Genre(s):  Superhero/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  July 3, 2012

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

amazing-spider-man-peter-parker

Worst cover of secret identity…ever.

When Peter Parker’s parents are forced to flee, he is left with his Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen).  As Peter (Andrew Garfield) grows up, he feels like an outsider among his classmates.  In love with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) and the target of Flash Thompson (Chris Zylka), Peter’s life changes when he learns that his father’s former lab partner Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) is alive and working for Oscorp.  While investigating the lab, Peter is bitten by a genetically engineered spider and things begin to change for him.  Peter’s uncle is killed in a robbery that Peter could have prevented, and Peter wants revenge.  Adopting a masked identity, Peter becomes the target of Gwen’s father Captain Stacy (Denis Leary) and at the same time faces a new threat from the Lizard…a result of Peter’s attempts to help Dr. Connors.

amazing-spider-man-lizard

Nooooooo!!!! (In best Darth Vader at the end of Revenge of the Sith voice)

Directed by Mark Webb (irony noted), The Amazing Spider-Man is the relaunch of the Spider-Man franchise.  With the entire cast recast, The Amazing Spider-Man was met with mostly positive reviews and is set to be the first part of a trilogy.  It opened to record breaking numbers for a Tuesday (4th of July “weekend”) premiere.

Being a comic book fan, I have to go into The Amazing Spider-Man with skepticism.  I am a bit of a purist, and I worry when origins are tampered with though I am glad they brought back the mechanical webbing instead of the genetic webbing.  I also believe since it was released so soon after the Sam Raimi’s it cannot help be compared (and they had problems too…especially the third film).  You can argue as much as you like that it needs to be treated as an individual film, but if that is the case, the producers should have waited longer.  I tried to look at the film as if I knew nothing of Spider-Man and tried to determine if I would like it.

amazing-spider-man-gwen-stacy

Honey, I’m thinking about gluing your mask on because everytime you fight it gets ripped off.

The Amazing Spider-Man attempts to make Batman Begins with the Marvel character.  It doesn’t necessarily streamline his origin as well as the Raimi.  The attack on Ben was more random, but the movie also made it random (every criminal could be the criminal that killed Ben…aka the “Joe Chill” character who killed Bruce Wayne’s parents).  Spider-Man isn’t a dark character…It is hard to make him dark.  All of Batman’s villains (as presented in the first two movies) have been “real” villains that could exist in real life…Spider-Man and the Lizard are fantasy characters so to make them dark and “real” doesn’t necessarily work.  The story is still long and flawed with it taking too much time for stuff to really get going.  The ending was “meh”, but like Spider-Man 2, a sequel could be quite good now that the necessities of the origin are away.

amazing-spider-man-may-ben

I get it, I get it responsiblity, greatness…yeah just don’t hit me over the head with it!

I do commend the casting of The Amazing Spider-Man.  I always had a problem with the Toby Maguire Spider-Man…he was too mopey.  I’ve been a fan of Garfield for a while with stuff like Red Riding, Never Let Me Go, and The Social Network, he’s shown great range…It is a bit hard to picture him as a high school student after this however.  He does bring more fun to Spider-Man and that is what the first Sam Raimi films needed (plus less pompous “oh Peter” dialogue).  Choosing Emma Stone to be Gwen Stacy instead of Mary Jane was also an interesting choice, but at least the writers didn’t bog the movie down with a love triangle (though why she was Ifans lab assistant, I didn’t get).  Sally Field was a good modern Aunt May, but Ben Parker continues to be overly sappy as Martin Sheen.

amazing-spider-man-lizard-2

Peek-a-Boo!

I love the Lizard and would have loved to have seen Dylan Baker from the original films portray him, but Ifans is good (he almost seemed to be channeling James Spader at points).  The character design was a bit strange and felt like a mesh of the Lizard’s original appearance with the body of the bigger Lizard…He almost reminded me of Stegron (comic book geek coming out here) by being too big, bulky, and strong.  I always imaged him strong but sleeker…must like Spider-Man.

I can’t say I loved The Amazing Spider-Man.  It kept going and going, sometimes inspiring, sometimes slow.  I kind of expected more Spider-Man perspective from the previews (which looks like it was stolen from the video game Mirror’s Edge), but it was pretty minimal.  I do look forward to Spider-Man sequels and I am interested in the direction the story goes.  The Amazing Spider-Man was followed by The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in 2014.

Related Links:

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Spider-Man (2002)

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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