ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man

Updated on August 12, 2013

I’ll admit it; I went into The Amazing Spider-Man ready to hate the movie. Had the movie been as bad as I had prepared for, I would have some wisecracks to make about it. As it turned out, I’m the one with egg on my face. The movie, while not perfect, continues the tradition of making Spider-Man a character we care about and keeping him at the top of comic book films.

Spider-Man came out ten years ago and, as hard as it is to admit, that’s a long time. On the other hand, Spider-Man 3 came out five years ago. So, it’s been a while since we’ve seen Spider-Man’s origin, but not too long since we’ve seen him. But the original Sam Raimi movies constantly reminded us about his origin; the third one even brought it back as a plot element. With that, we don’t really need another origin story for Peter Parker. With cartoons, musicals, and comics doing it every day, we should be able to skip that element of the story. Look at The Incredible Hulk . It rebooted a character five years after, one less popular than Spider-Man, and did it without telling an origin story. Spider-Man can be done the same way. During the opening credit, show Peter getting bitten by the spider, show him make the suit, show him become Spider-Man, start your reboot.

Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker
Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker

The Amazing Spider-Man doesn’t go that route, and it both helps and hurts the film. It’s not that they’re just trying to make a Spider-Man movie with a new cast, Sony is trying to make it younger and bring in a different tone. In a way, you have to start at square one. If we don’t see Peter before he’s bitten by the spider, we miss out on seeing how different Andrew Garfield is to Tobey Maguire’s character. Peter isn’t so much a nerd as he is an outsider. He’s a bit more confident in this movie, but he’s still socially awkward and on his own. Yet, Spider-Man’s origin isn’t as flexible as other heroes, and much of the beginning of the movie begins to feel like a déjà vu.

There are moments where Marc Webb shows Peter using his new power in ways we haven’t seen before. Watching Peter practice in the warehouse on his skateboard is an interesting way of revealing his powers, as are both the subway and bathroom scenes. Unfortunately, the scenes with Peter practicing his webbing and him making his suit are right out of the Sam Raimi films. I had to feel bad for Webb at some points; there are just moments when he couldn’t get out of the original film’s shadow.

Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy
Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy

Andrew Garfield is a great Peter Parker and I could see many people preferring him over Maguire. He’s snarkier, and much more quick with a joke. One the biggest faults of Maguire’s Spider-Man was that, when the mask was on, he didn’t joke or quip. Garfield is funny and likable, though not as down and out as Maguire. The benefit to both actors is that Peter is one of the most likable characters out there. No matter if it’s Raimi’s cheese or Webb’s grit, Peter Parker is easy to love.

Emma Stone is charming as Gwen Stacy, though the character left little impact on me. To me, Gwen is Peter’s first but not true love. Mary Jane, no matter how you may feel about Kirsten Dunst, is a stronger character. The other problem I had is that Peter and Gwen seem to get together much faster than they should have. There’s little to no longing after the girl next door. Though, they are teenagers living in the big city. I suppose things just move faster there. When you compare them to Maguire and Dunst, it's not that the new kids have better chemistry, they're just different. Both couples having something to add, and neither seems to argue for one or the other.

Martin Sheen is decent as Uncle Ben, but Sally Field doesn’t work as Aunt May. Maybe it’s the script for giving her nothing to do, but she doesn’t seem to fit. I can see the producers wanting to go for a younger aunt, but she doesn’t even come across as endearing. Denis Leary makes for a perfect Captain Stacy with his hard look and tough demeanor. You can see Peter being intimidated by him and he actually has a great story arch. This movie does a much better job with the character than Spider-Man 3. I also enjoyed seeing Flash Thompson getting more screen time and a proper character.

Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Conners
Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Conners

Rhys Ifans is a mixed bag as the Lizard. For an origin movie, you could do worse than Curt Conners. He’s not as connected to Peter as the Green Goblin, but he’s still a scientist that Peter can relate to and trust. As Conner, Ifans is good; he’s convicted, he likes Peter, and he has a motive. When he’s the Lizard, it’s less than impressive. The CGI is middle of the road, which doesn’t make much sense in this day and age, and the design is lacking. The Lizard without a snout looks more like a green Voldemort than a human reptile. They give him his lab coat and let him talk, and the fact that he beats on Peter with his tail is impressive, it’s just a shame that the character doesn’t get to be all that he could. I’ve been waiting to see him since the original trilogy, but the Lizard is underwhelming when he could have been scary.

At times, the movie seems to be aware that it’s fighting an uphill battle. No one says the power and responsibility line, but they dance around it so much it’s almost painful. But for the majority of the movie, it works. The new suit is fine; the mechanical web shooters are cool and add some humor. The scene with Peter hunting the Lizard in the sewer is great. Keeping Peter in high school was a good call. The fight in the school wouldn’t have happened in Raimi’s films and it’s a great scene, with a perfect cameo. Moments that might not have worked in the original trilogy, such as the members of New York lending a hand are done well in this film. The idea of Spider-Man being on the run from the cops adds plenty of weight to the movie and helps separate it as new franchise. The bits about Peter’s parents are decent, though not as mysterious as the trailers have led you to believe. The opening is strong and it helps that Peter was old enough to remember his father.

The Amazing Spider-Man is much better than I expected. I was ready to watch the film and move on but it actually proves its worth. While it does many of the things we’ve seen before, it does some of them better. It might be trying too hard at times, and the balance between telling an origin story and dealing with a super villain is off, but it’s still a great movie. It's not the best Spider-Man film, that title still belongs to Spider-Man 2, but the new film has earned its place. In a lot of ways, it’s just nice to see Spider-Man back on the big screen.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • GetitScene profile image

      Dale Anderson 

      5 years ago from The High Seas

      Excellent review. Voted up.

    • Eric Mikols profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Mikols 

      6 years ago from New England

      I think I'm less in love with this movie then when I wrote this review, but it was still good. I was still less impressed with the romance but what are you going to do?

      As for the credit scene, it was poorly done, giving no information what-so-ever. My guess is that it's the Spider-Man character known as Ezekiel, but that's a blind guess. We'll see.

    • CrazedNovelist profile image

      A.E. Williams 

      6 years ago from Hampton, GA

      I liked this interpretation, Eric. I saw the movie just Saturday and I fairly enjoyed the origin story. It was familiar of course, but it was quite different from the original Spider-Man trilogy. I wanted to go in and watch it as if I hadn't seen the others to get a really good fee of the movie as a whole. It had a great deal of comedy and romance in it. And I think that's because audiences generally love those two things. I really liked the action, some of which was better than any of the original Spider-Man movies. I do have a question, at the ending credits, who was Conner talking to in his cell? Was I supposed to know who that was?


    • Eric Mikols profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Mikols 

      6 years ago from New England

      Hope you enjoy the movie!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Loved your review! Thanks for the critique and insight.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)