Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man
I'm not going to lie, July 3 absolutely snuck up on me. I fully realized that The Amazing Spider-Man was being released the day before Independence Day, but I still somehow let it creep up. So, on a whim, I decided to attend the midnight premiere of the film and boy am I glad that I did. Let met first say, and I am definitely sure that I am echoing the thoughts of others when I say that Marc Webb's take on Spider-Man is extremely detatched from the Sam Raimi venture which began a decade ago. (Digression: Wow, it came out the Spring of my Freshman year of high school. I saw it at the drive-in and it was awesome. Now, back to the regularly scheduled review.)
Of the many great choices Webb made, starting with a clean slate was probably the best. We have all new actors and he used them well. The ensemble, including Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, and Sally Field, worked quite well together. The villain, Lizard/Dr. Connors, portrayed by Rhys Ifans, was well-rounded. There were equal parts humanity and something ... more. I also enjoyed the interplay between Sheen and Field as Uncle Ben and Aunt May. However, the true testiment to Webb's new take on the story was Peter's parents. If there was one thing that I wish Raimi had explored, the disappearance/death of Richard and Mary Parker would be it. It is not hard to guess from the previews that Peter does indeed go on a quest to find some shred of information about his father and his work. The relationship of this to the driving action of the story is extremely interesting. Oh, and The Daily Bugle gets a nice 21st century twist.
There are moments which are humorous, touching, contemplative, and fast-paced. The beginning was a bit slow, but once it took off there was really no stopping it and it definitely ended on a strong note.
Why should you see it: Andrew Garfield's perfectly timed jokes, Emma Stone's strong character, Rhys Ifans' portrayal of Dr. Connors. There's a good balance of the romance between Stone and Garfield and the action. Hell, sometimes it goes hand in hand. The way in which Uncle Ben communicates with Peter is extremely heartfelt. It's a movie that will be fun for the whole family. Skip the 3D. I saw it in 2D and it was just fine. Be sure to stay after the credits!
Please, and I mean this truly, do not try to compare The Amazing Spider-Man to The Dark Knight Rises. They are two completely different film. Maybe they in some way share a common audience, but the darker twinges of The Amazing Spider-Man do not in any way overshadow the campy fun that makes Spider-Man what it is.