After years of suffering through the vapid droning of Tobey, the flat charisma of Kirsten and the misguided attempts of Sam, Spider-Man finally has a movie that is worthy of his character. The Amazing Spider-Man released a week ago and has already swung up to over $140 million in sales earning it two more sequels, the first of which will be released in May 2014.
Now before I go on you have to understand something: I legally changed my middle name to Parker a few years ago out of my love for the Spider-Man franchise. I’m not saying I’m the biggest fan ever but I do love me some Spidey and I’m thus rather critical of anything thing that attempts to cash in on the web head outside of the comics themselves. That being said, The Amazing Spider-Man was one of the best films I have ever seen.
The pacing was quick but deliberate about giving even new fans the necessary information about the Lizard, Gwen, Peter’s parents and his origin story. Sure there were some liberties taken for the sake of time and interpretation but they were done so with a nod and care of their respective roots. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were flat out awesome. They nailed their characters: from their awkward teenage attraction to the serious with a dash of silly confrontations with the Lizard or the law, both actors simply knocked it out of the park. Martin Sheen and Sally Field also did a great job as Ben and May. Even though their screen time was rather limited, they wonderfully encapsulated the familial love of the characters and the profound effect that they had on Peter’s growth.
As a fan, I was extremely excited to see the level of care that went into the battle scenes between Spidey and the Lizard. You really got a feeling of the bulk of the Lizard and the agility of Spider-Man. The acrobatics and one-liners were wonderful and the scene with Stan Lee was his best cameo to date. Everything felt deliberate and fluid and it was clear that a significant amount of care went into faithfully portraying fight scenes that reflected their illustrated origins.
But by far the best part about The Amazing Spider-Man is that Andrew Garfield wonderfully portrayed how Peter is just a normal teenager. Sure he has super powers, but he still messes around on his phone while waiting for the lizard or smarts off in the middle of a fight. Sure he is stronger than his peers by far, but he still is meek at school. Sure he has super healing, but he still get self conscious about hiding the scrapes and bruises while they mend. In Garfield’s portrayal Peter is Spider-Man but more importantly Spider-Man is Peter. That is something that Tobey never seemed to quite get down and the impact of it is that for the first time Spider-Man really comes alive on the big screen just as much as he has in the comics and animated series.
I’m excited to see a step up in the computer graphics with the inevitable increase in budget for the next film and for the ways that the script writers start to flesh out Peter’s parents and his other foes. The Amazing Spider-Man is easily the best film of the summer (at least until July 20th) and I would highly recommend that you check it out, particularly in IMAX 3D.
Now get out there and enjoy it True Believers!