The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Origin and history of Spider-Man
The Amazing Spider-Man
Director: Marc Webb
Writers: James Vanderbilt, Alvin Sargent, Steve Kloves, Stan Lee, Steve Ditko
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Denis Leary, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Irrfan Khan, Campbell Scott, Embeth Davidtz, Chris Zylka, Max Charles, C. Thomas Howell, Jake Keiffer, Kari Coleman, Skyler Gisondo, Charlie DePew, Jacob Rodier, Stan Lee
Synopsis: Peter Parker finds a clue that might help him understand why his parents disappeared when he was young. His path puts him on a collision course with Dr. Curt Connors, his father's former partner.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence
Origin and history of the Lizard
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.
When it comes to making movies in general, it takes a tremendous amount of responsibility on the film maker's part to give the audience the experience they come to expect; while sometimes surprising them with a few nice touches to make the movie stand out on it's own merit. Plus, it's not like a major film studio like Sony doesn't have the power to make a great "Spider-Man" movie; hence why Uncle Ben's infamous line from the "Spider-Man" comics seems to ring so well when it comes to determining whether, or not, Sony did all it could to make up for the follies of "Spider-Man 3." Hence the term, "With great power comes great responsibility."
As most movie goers know, "Spider-Man 3" underwhelmed most audiences upon it's release, contrary to it's successful box office results; which inevitably led to the franchise being rebooted. Some have argued saying that the "Spider-Man 3" film wasn't that bad, and demanded that Raimi would've been allowed to do a "Spider-Man 4." While others, they claim that Raimi's trilogy never did justice to "Spider-Man" at all, and they used "Spider-Man 3" as the primary example. Granted, there's more to the story, but in the end, Sony decided to reboot the franchise completely. Whether we like it or not, this is the result. Having said all that, how do you reintroduce a character's origins when the last movie that did it was released almost a mere ten years ago? Wouldn't audiences be tired of hearing the same origin story again twice?
Luckily, "The Amazing Spider-Man" puts all fears to bed upon it's release, as I can safely say that this is probably the best "Spider-Man" film that I've ever seen. Don't get me wrong, I loved Sam Raimi's first "Spider-Man" movie, and I liked how he choose to introduce the character. Plus, I was one of the few old school comic book fans that really liked the ingenuous idea of Spidey having organic web shooters versus mechanical ones. In fact, I still consider "Spider-Man 2" one of the best superhero films ever made. However, as much as I enjoyed the first two Raimi films, I have to admit Marc Webb does a damn good job reintroducing the character.
Not only did he manage convey the character's origin in a more grounded yet plausible tone, but he also manages to make the villain more intricate to the plot; which is something even Raimi's trilogy struggled with sometimes.
However, that isn't the case with "The Amazing Spider-Man" film. I know some people are still thinking that this is probably just some darker toned rehash of Raimi's first "Spider-Man" movie, but you'd be wrong to assume such a thing. Granted, it does go back to the beginning, and it does serve as something of an origin story for "Spider-Man", but there's more to it than that. This film serves to have somewhat of a deeper insight into Peter Parker's past. Not only delving in the mysteries about Peter Parker's parents, but it also keeps the character in high school this time; which is already a huge difference from the first Sam Raimi "Spider-Man" film, where it took the character from high school into college in one movie.
Heck, even the circumstances on how Peter (Andrew Garfield) got bitten by a radioactive spider are completely different than the Sam Raimi version of it. I won't go into detail about that, as I wouldn't want to give away too much, but these are just some of the examples of how this film differentiates itself from the previous "Spider-Man" movies produced in the past. And, for all you comic book fans out there, this version of Spider-Man goes back to the mechanical web shooters; which should put an end to the classic debate of "organic web shooters" vs. "mechanical web shooters."
The film delves deeper into Peter Parker's past concerning the mysterious disappearance of his parents. As the movie plays out, it leads to a series of events that inevitably cause Peter Parker to turn into Spider-Man, while simultaneously creating a deadly adversary simply known as the Lizard. And, that's pretty much all you need to know about the plot without spoiling anything major for most fans.
Although I would hesitate to call any "Spider-Man" film realistic, I would say that "The Amazing Spider-Man" comes damn near close to presenting as plausible of adaptation of the character as humanly possible. Unlike the Raimi version that wasn't shy at incorporating tidbits of camp elements, Marc Webb's version seems to go for more of a darker, and grounded route; while adding bits of mystery for good measure. Avoiding the camp elements if were like the wrestling scene, as it was portrayed in the original comic book origin, for example.
Peter Parker isn't so much nerdy like he was in Raimi's version, but he's more of a loner and outcast this time. Sure, he may not be the most popular kid in school, but he still has the mannerism of a teenager. He's smart and kind, but he's also reckless and sometimes a bit selfish. Although Garfield is way too old in real life to be deemed a teenager, he certainly did his homework to mimic the behavior of teenagers of today's generation.
Another thing that impressed me about Andrew Garfield was his performance as "Spider-Man" himself. Granted, I thought both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield have done a great job portraying Peter Parker; while each actor was able to put their own relative spin on the character. Unfortunately, as much as I loved Tobey as Peter Parker, he was never able to capture the mannerism of his alter ego in Raimi's trilogy. Sure, it wasn't his fault that Raimi never gave him too many lines as Spider-Man, to portray his sarcastic humor he dishes out to his adversaries like the character does in comics. However, that doesn't seem to be the case in this reboot, as Garfield not only manages to capture the human side of Peter Parker, but he also manages to portray the other side of the character quite well.
As for the rest of the cast, I thought everyone played their parts rather well. Plus, the special effects were great, as to be expected. Fortunately, most of the web slinging scenes in this movie were not shot in "first person perspective", as it was originally feared. Although, I have to admit when it was used to show the appearance of Spider-Man in the movie, for the first time, that it was kind of clever.
Sadly, this isn't to say the film doesn't have it's share of flaws. For starters, the pacing of the film tends to drag a bit around the beginning, and the "3-D" cinematography is barely noticeable most of the time, so I wouldn't bother seeing the "3-D" version of this film.
Overall, "The Amazing Spider-Man" is arguably the best adaptation that I've seen of the character on the big screen, and it's definitely worth seeing the "2-D" version in theaters. In the end, I would have to give this movie a three and a half out of four. Also, I would highly recommend staying midway through the credits, as there's definitely room for a possible sequel.