The Amazing Spider-Man – 136Min – PG-13
I have been anti reboot for a long time. Spider-man’s origin is well known and we don’t discover anything new. Even if the third movie should have never been made, they do not need to start fresh. However you should know that this was a really good film. It took some of the mistakes in the first films and started fresh with a more traditional storyline from the comic books. They modernize the story but kept the spirit of the elements true. They convinced me that a reboot was a good idea, and worth a green light.
I am not going to go into a full synopsis, here are the high points. Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) has a crush on Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). Her mentor, Doctor Connors (Rhys Ifans) is working with cross species genetics. Peter lives with his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and his Aunt May (Sally Fields) because his parents were mysteriously killed. Peter digs into his parents' past and meets up with Dr. Connors who worked with Peter's father. Peter gets bitten by a lab spider and gets super powers. Peter and Dr. Connors work out a formula that gives Dr. Connors a hand (pun intended) and he inadvertently unleashes the creature known as The Lizard.
This does a complete reset of everything from characters to story elements. They take their time to fully develop the characters. I felt the time dragging but I was still entertained that was a new movie watching experience for me.
Using the Avengers model of dedicating the first film on origin gives you a leaping off point for more films that jump directly into the action. The two most important changes are the use of the web shooters to highlights the intelligence and creativity of Peter and Gwen Stacy as Peters love interest like the original story.
Sally Fields as Aunt May is new because she is not silver-haired old bitty but a modern update to the old frail Aunt May of previous stories. She is a strong and supportive character and is someone who will be interesting to watch as the series progresses. We all know what happens to Uncle Ben but having someone as charming as Martin Sheen take on the role made me dread the inevitability of what has to happen to make Spider-Man who he is.
It feels a bit of a cheat to have a British actor playing an American hero but he does an excellent job. He captures the adolescent elements of the character and makes him an endearing teenager that is just learning that with great power comes great responsibility.
Emma Stone does a great job of giving Gwen life. I am impressed with her diversity of characters. Looking over her filmography she has taken a number of teenager roles but each of them is so different. I enjoy watching what nuances she brings to her characters.
This origin story had two very poignant lessons to be learned that help build the hero we know as Spiderman. The death of Ben gives Peter the drive to right what he did wrong. The death of Captain Stacy gives him the knowledge to keep his identity secret. The second message comes not a moment too soon, because he seems to walk around a lot without his mask on.
When the web shooters don’t work because he is under water or when the Lizard destroys them is awesome. I am glad they finally went back to the origin on this because it gives Spider-Man a limiting factor. He had to use his considerable intelligence to outwit some of his opponents.
I loved the fact that Peter was a kid thorough this entire movie. He did not change into a brooding personality to compensate for the loss of his uncle. He was constantly an adolescent through the entire move. I love the air parkour that he did through the city. I think I was the only one but I liked the first person perspective of the swinging from building to building.
What Spider-Man villain is your favorite, and why?