Friday, July 6, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man (Marc Webb, 2012) Review

I lied! WHAHAHA! Big was just a trick! Here's the film you were expecting...right? I could sum up the the film right here, right now...a clue to how good it is is in the title. You know, 'amazing'. I was as reluctant as the next person when this film was announced. It was too soon, the new cast didn't look as good but I am glad I was wrong. Oh so very glad. Why? Let's find out.

Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), while being looked after by his uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and his aunt May (Sally Field) after his parents go missing, is a nerdy highschool student as well as an accomplished photographer. While researching what happened to his parents, he discovers that his father worked with Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), a scientist working for Oscorp. While there, he ends up bitten by a radioactive spider. He later discovers that he has new abilities such as strength, spider sense and the ability to climb walls. Meanwhile, Connors is experimenting on a way to cross lizard DNA so that humans can regrow limbs like they do. When he tests it on him self in order to grow his arm back, it doesn't quite work as he planned and ends up becoming the ferocious Lizard.

Yes, the film does reenact certain scenes from the Sam Raini Spider-Man trilogy such as Uncle Ben's death (don't act surprised, it happens every time) which is taken to a tear jerker level. The film is much darker that the last and certain scenes like that really show the change. In contrast, some scenes are made much funnier as well. The scene where Peter discovers his new powers is just hysterical. I was laughing throughout the entire scene. The film does a great job of balancing funny scenes and sad scenes together. It's helped by the new rebooted Peter Parker. When he's Spider-Man, he is a wisecracking smartass. That is how he was in the comics and that's how he should be. That was one of my biggest complaints in the old trilogy and I am glad it's here.

The actors in this version are much better. Of course, Andrew Garfield is compared to Tobey Mcguire...he's better. Don't argue, Garfield is much better because he is more accurate to the comic. Mcguire was good but he was a better Peter Parker than he was a Spider-Man. Can't compare Emma Stone to Kirsten Dunst because they are different characters. Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) is the RIGHT love interest to start with which always bugged me that Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) was in the last films before her. Rhys Ifans blew me away. For someone that generally does British comedies, he really pulled through as Connors and creates an excellent Jekyll and Hyde character (better than Willem Dafoe in Spider-Man). Martin Sheen does an excellent job as Uncle Ben and greats a much more developed character who you actually feel remorse for when he dies. While I didn't think Sally Field would make a good Aunt May, he surprised me and is a really sincere character. It's the little things. Captain George Stacy's (Dennis Leary) best quality is his rivalry with Spider-Man and you can feel the tension when he's talking with Peter. There's some great acting involved in this film and it's much better than the last...and there's no J. Jonah Jameson. Sad, I know. I guess if I had ONE major issue that stops in from being truly amazing is that the world is way small. It's full of coincidences and moments of 'just so happens'. Hopefully the sequels will expand the world...and maybe so J.J. Jameson, huh?

The Amazing Spider-Man is a much improved reboot of the last trilogy. Many people say it wasn't needed but I disagree. It improves all the problems with the last film and the new cast is fantastic. The writing is a lot less silly and it's more believable...except one small detail: would a nerdy highschool student like Peter use Bing? No...he wouldn't. Bad product placment. When the worst part of the film is the search engine the protagonist is using, I'd say that this is a damn good film. It also features hands down the best Stan Lee cameo to date. These details are important. The Amazing Spider-Man is everything the last films should have been!

A well needed reboot. I'm impressed one film can be more enjoyable than a whole trilogy.

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