Amazing Spider-Man Movie
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Andrew Garfield as The Amazing Spider-Man
The Amazing Spider-Man Movie
Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-ManThe re-boot of the Spider-Man movie franchise is now in theaters, and this Spider-Man fan can say without any hesitation: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) is a rip-roaring, web-slinging, Lizard-stomping good time. While I truly enjoyed the previous three Spidey flicks (starring Toby Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and directed by Sam Raimi), I am glad that the new movie returns to Spider-Man's comic-book roots in several key instances.
This newest version of the wall-crawling Spider-Man featuring British actor Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, and the lovely doe-eyed Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, the blonde girlfriend from Peter Parker's high school days. What this new story leaves out however, is Mary Jane Watson, who in the comics would appear as Peter's love interest long after high school, and long after Gwen Stacy was, shall we say, out of the picture. Peter and Gwen's dorky, yet sweetly budding teen romance is one of the fun pleasures in this film. The chemistry between Peter and Gwen seems very real (and, if media stories are true, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are romantically involved IRL). Both actors turn in superb performances.
Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy and Andrew Garfield as a wounded Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man Movie
My only complaint about the Peter Parker character in this film, is an early scene (which of course is the fault of the script writers and the director, not the actor), where Peter confronts bully Flash Thompson in the school courtyard. Without giving too much away in terms of scene details, I feel while this scene would be accurate for a Peter who had been playing the hero as Spider-Man for a while and had gained confidence and a sense of responsibility toward others, having him stand up to a bully like he does in this part of the film really ignores who Peter is supposed to be as a non-powered science nerd/geek.
One thing I really liked about this new version of Spider-Man relates to one of my pet peeves about the Maguire/Raimi version of the old web-slinger. One of the things that always left an old-school Spidey fan like me somewhat off-kilter, was the plot device whereby the Toby Maguire version of the wall-crawler developed a natural, biological web-creating and web-slinging ability, as opposed to the mechanical web-shooter that Spidey employs in this film. But these are fairly petty points compared to the great acting, action, and the story itself in Amazing Spider-Man.
The acting is quite good. Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker is a credible science geek, and making him into a skateboarding hoodie-wearer in this film adds a good modern touch to it all. Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy is just beautiful, and is also quite convincing as the smart daughter of a top police official. Dennis Leary plays her father, and does a good job of being the protective cop-father. Perhaps the best job of acting in this movie, and the best job of bringing an iconic character to life belongs to the incomparable Martin Sheen (whose acting chops put his son Charlie Sheen to shame). Aunt May is played by Sally Field, and while she was clearly outshone by her "husband" Uncle Ben, she should be more than capable in the next two planned Spider-Man movies. The villain of this piece is Dr. Curtis Connors, whose scientific discovery turns him into the reptilian Lizard. As a villain, this film version of The Lizard is okay, but (SPIDEY SPOILER HERE) he discovers Spider-Man's identity far too easily (though the Spidey of this movie is a relative rookie at the superhero thing, and mistakes do happen), and while the Lizard is defeated by Spider-Man in the end, the movie shows Dr. Connors sitting in a cell, with knowledge of who Spider-Man is in real life. This creates possible complications in future Spider-Man films, which could actually help make things interesting.
The Lizard (looking through a grate) in Amazing Spider-Man
While some reviewers have complained that this film spends too much time re-telling Spider-Man's well-known origin story, which of course was done in the first Toby Maguire Spider-Man film ten years ago, this reviewer sees it as an important part of this movie's storyline. With the added mystery of what happened to Peter's parents, plus the bravo performance of Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben, and a few other fun origin-story details, this version of Spider-Man's origin is a fun and vital part of this movie. Oh, and, one more thing, Spidey-Fans: The requisite Stan Lee cameo is belly-laugh inducingly hilarious! I will not say any more, as you have to experience it full volume in person to truly enjoy the Lee cameo as I enjoyed it!
As a long-time Spider-Man fan, I can say without reservation, that this is a move to go see. It is worth the price of admission. In fact, I liked it so much, I saw it twice, once in 3D, and the second time in 2D.
Movie Review Summary:
Movies and TV Historyguy.com Reviewed by Moviesandtvhistoryguy.com on July 14. Spider-Man is Amazingly Good! The Amazing Spider-Man, starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, while a reboot, is certainly a hoot. Spidey fans will enjoy it!. Rating: 4.5
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