The Amazing Spider-Man Review
We are living in a nerd-fandom world where superheroes movies dominate the box-office, and also where remakes barely wait the ten-year mark. The Amazing Spider-Man raised a lot of hope and suspicion (especially since its first attempt came out only in 2002), but let me reassure you guys, it’s all good.
Without deviating too much of its original comic-book premise and its 2002 predecessor, Spider-Man kept a straight and forward story focused on Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) before he got to be the lovable wall-crawler we know, and not the other way around. A lot of backstory is dropped on Peter’s parents and his scientific background and it wasn’t a bad thing, since it worked for the believability of the story’s sake. Plus, it felt like the character was finally fleshed-out like the wiz-geek science-lover he should’ve always been from the start.
Young Peter Parker got separated from his parents when they both dropped him at his uncle Ben and aunt May’s house. The reasons were still mysterious at the time, but Peter never got to see his parents again, leaving him scarred and always oblivious to why they left him without any words of explanation. Raised by his uncle and aunt, one day he finds his father’s old briefcase, leading him to Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), his father’s former partner.
When he finally decided to investigate Dr. Connors’ workplace, he was bit from one of the spiders that were contained for scientific experiments on cross-species genetics. He discovers his newfound abilities and finds his path to becoming Spider-Man, and finds himself to face his now-alter ego, Lizard, facing the death of his uncle seeking revenge and trying to score with the girl of his dreams, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone).
Of course, many of the movie’s aspect reflect slightly what we’ve all seen before, but it is an origin story after all and there is so much one can alter to avoid redundancy to screwing up a character’s immersion story. Many would see as the length and pace as a down part, but I tend to disagree for this movie. Yes, it does take a good bit (almost an hour) before getting to the juice and a lot of the action, but it’s made with good intentions and realistic expectations.
Look at it this way: picture it as savoring the most delicious piece of cheesecake and just shoving it in your mouth as fast as possible to eat it. Result: its taste will repulse you to a point where it’ll sicken you. Now, the same cake will taste way better for way long if you can just keep a good pace, even if it takes you forever (not that it would, but indulge my analogy). Many movies made this mistake (cough-Green Lantern-cough), but here, the pacing remains stable, with always enough intrigue and comic relief that will entertain you for sure.
Also, the character’s development is taken at a much more realistic approach where its moral are always floating in the back but without making a sudden and drastic decision. It makes it progressively and its path always enlightens him toward what he later choses what’s right or what’s wrong.
Besides the seriousness of the plot-line, the movie offered quite a few laughs and comic-relief moments and were done quite nicely. Sony obviously followed the Marvel recipe that’s been working so far, and hey, they weren’t wrong.
Andrew Garfield is a delight (and a surprise) as Spidey. Completely invigorating and refreshing take on the character, mirroring a reclusive, geeky and goofy teenager (despite his real age), Garfield managed to look very natural, making his role feel very organic. Bringing a very heartfelt and hopeless romantic side to his shy interpretation made the movie shine like I never thought it would.
Emma Stone was just a sweetheart and kept her head on her shoulder. Her character was in the right place and felt like the right choice for Peter’s (rightful) first love. Ifans was a cool adversary, even though his character wasn’t at his best if we compare to its original source material, but they can’t win them all. Reminding that half of his role’s screen time was replaced by his Lizard’s CG animation which was sadly, only ok. Closed to being poor though.
The movie’s special effects were somewhat neat, except the rendering of the Lizard, and the useless first-person view it occasionally showed, clearly meant to glorify the 3D aspect of the movie’s marketing.
All in all, The Amazing Spider-Man will treat all Marvel and Spidey fans with an enjoyable twist on re-taken story and an adorable and at times darker approach on the well-known franchise. Don’t expect to see “Dark Knight dark” because it is not the case here at all, but expect to see a richer and well-woven background (pun intended) on the character and a much better origin story that was expected from it.
Theatrical release date: July 3, 2012
Director: Marc Webb
Run time: 136 minutes