Movie Review: 'The Amazing Spider-Man' (2012).
'The Amazing Spider-Man'
I think that regardless as to how old I may get in years, I believe that I'm always going to be a fan of certain comic book movies. My level of excitement always rises whenever a comic book series or a cartoon from my childhood that I'm familiar with hits the big screen. It appears that Marvel Comics is the current leader of the pack when it comes to bringing many of our comic book heroes to live action life. Not saying that DC Comics hasn't produced hit comic book franchise movies, but Marvel seems to do it with more regularity.
Marvel Comics' level of popularity is almost unrivaled in the realm of comic book movies. Some of Marvel's popular comic series that have become big screen favorites include: 'X-Men', 'The Hulk', 'Wolverine', 'Thor', and 'The Avengers'. Lets see, am I forgetting another popular hero from the Marvel series? Ah yes, the web slinging hero, Spider-Man. How could I forget right? Ha! Spider-Man has been one of Marvel's most popular heroes for many decades now.
When I heard that in 2012, another Spider-Man film was coming out, that personal level of excitement and anticipation that I mentioned earlier came back once again. Normally whenever a comic book series that I enjoy hits theaters, I'm all over it within the first week of it's release. However, I unfortunately wasn't able catch 'The Amazing Spider-Man' movie while it was in theaters. But, with a little patience on my part and the help of Netflix, I was finally able to see the film that I had been anticipating on seeing. I'm going to give my thoughts on what I thought of The Amazing Spider-Man in the coming paragraphs. Lets find out if the movie lived up to my anticipation.
Franchise Reboot, and Plot.
Fans of Spider-Man in general are already most likely familiar with the previous Spider-Man trilogy of movies from Marvel. That particular series of movies starred actors Tobey Macquire, Kirsten Dunst, and James Franco among others. The first movie simply titled 'Spider-Man' was released in 2002. It's sequel 'Spider-Man 2' was released in 2004, and the last film of the trilogy titled 'Spider-Man 3', hit theaters in the year 2007. A fourth film was in development, however, the idea was dropped after director Sam Raimi withdrew from the project. With the exception of the first movie, I saw the other two sequels in the theater when they came out.
In 2012, we found ourselves with 'The Amazing Spider-Man', which is a reboot of the entire series, and completely disconnects itself from the previous three movies. Andrew Garfield steps into the role of high school teenager Peter Parker, who becomes the wall-crawling hero Spider-Man. Other cast members of this film include Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors, and Denis Leary as Captain George Stacy. Martin Sheen and Sally Field also appear in the film as Peter's Uncle Ben, and Aunt May.
The plot of The Amazing Spider-Man revolves around the story of rebellious high school teenager, Peter Parker, who while as a young boy found himself being raised by his Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Peter's parents left his then young life for unknown reasons to him. Peter grows up not understanding why his parents left him, but continues to have hope that they will return. Unfortunately, they've yet up until this point. Similar to other adaptations of Spider-Man, Peter is considered to be somewhat of an outcast at school, and often finds himself being bullied by the other students.
After discovering some hidden documents that his father left behind, Peter goes to the Oscorp Lab to visit Dr. Curt Connors, who was once a colleague of Peter's father. During their brief visit, Connors is impressed by the young Parker's level of knowledge when it comes to science related matters. Following his visit with the doctor, Peter sneaks into a lab in the building, where he is accidentally bitten by a genetically modified spider.
The spider bite gives Peter superhuman speed, senses, strength, and the ability to stick to and climb surfaces like a spider. Spider-Man is now born. Peter attempts to keep his life as normal as possible following the incident, but his new found abilities makes this increasingly difficult for him. One of the attributes that the awkward Parker gains from his new powers is an added sense of confidence, which leads to him attempting to gain the affection of his classmate, Gwen Stacy.
Peter maintains his secret identity as Spider-Man, and makes progress in winning over Gwen Stacy. However, things take a turn for the worse when Peter suffers a personal tragedy close to home that starts a chain of events that causes his still young life to begin to unravel. Peters struggles to maintain his life at school with being a super hero, and this begins to test his new relationship with Gwen. As if Peter/Spider-Man's life hasn't become complicated enough, he must also contend with a villain called 'The Lizard'. The Lizard is a gigantic lizard with similar abilities to that of Spider-Man, but is content on making everyone in New York city similar to him.
For all of the good that Spider-Man done up until this point, there are many citizens who aren't receptive to a vigilante like Spider-Man. One of those citizens is police captain George Stacy, who is the father is Gwen Stacy. The elder Stacy considers Spider-Man to be a criminal that needs to be brought to justice. Peter now finds himself faced with balancing vengeance, stopping The Lizard, and maintaining his relationship and school life.
Personal Thoughts on 'The Amazing Spider-Man'.
'The Amazing Spider-Man' was a very solid movie in my opinion. Unlike the previous trilogy of Spider-Man films, this is much more darker and updated version of Spider-Man. I personally felt that the darker tone works well, especially with the more mature audiences. Andrew Garfield's portrayal of Peter Parker is much more different than Tobey Macquire's Peter Parker.
Garfield portrays his version as a much more bolder and troubled Peter Parker compared to Macquire. I like the original Spider-Man trilogy of movies, but lets face it, they were extremely cheesy at times when it came to some of the acting and dialogue. The first quarter of The Amazing Spider-Man was somewhat slow as the film sets up the primary characters and how they cross mesh later in the film. However, the movie became very interesting and action oriented around the midway point.
I thought that the acting and performances in this movie were great. I especially give a huge kudos to the veteran actors Dennis Leary, Martin Sheen, and Sally Field. This movie definitely wasn't about them, and their screen time was fairly limited. However, their performances were key, and kept the young actors performances honest in my opinion.
So what is the verdict on 'The Amazing Spider-Man'? This movie gets a big thumbs up from me. It's a must watch for anyone who enjoys comic book movies, and an even bigger must watch for anyone that considers themselves a fan of Spider-Man. I would definitely recommend anyone to check out this movie.
Although I finally got to see this movie, I'm still somewhat disappointed that I wasn't able to experience seeing it on the big screen last year. I guess it's better late than never right? Overall, I think that rebooting the Spider-Man series was a good idea, and it appears that most people are in agreement. The sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man is already in the works, and there are at least two other sequels that are supposed to follow in 2016, and 2018. Looks like we can expect to see more wall-crawling and web-slinging for years to come.
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