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The Amazing Spider-Man is one of the better movies that didn't need to be made

Updated on April 16, 2014

Don't misinterpret what I'm going to say, but, as I said in the title of this hub, The Amazing Spider-Man may be one of the better movies that really didn't need to be made.

Now, I will freely admit that Spider-Man 3 had major problems. Most of all, it tried to do way too much. Get rid of at least one of your villains. Split the thing into two movies. Do something to spread out your story and keep it from being a big muddy mess.

But it really didn't need a reboot.

They didn't reboot Star Trek after movies 1, 3, 5, or 7. Sometimes a franchise just makes a misstep. But reinventing it from the ground up means you lose so much of the benifit of making a franchise movie in the first place.

Now, that being said, The Amazing Spider-Man is actually a great, very well-made version of the story. It'll suffer from the fact that people will be comparing it to the first Spider-Man origin movie, but there are actually several things that set this one apart.

But first, the story:

The movie starts while Peter Parker is a little kid (Max Charles). He finds that someone has broken into his father's study and this causes his parents to panic. We're never given any clear answers regarding it all, but young Peter is given to his Aunt May (Sally Fields) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) to care for until his parents return from some mysterious mission. Which, clearly, they never do.

Fast forward.

A teenage Peter (Andrew Garfield) is having an awkward time at high-school. He's tongue tied around the girl he likes—Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone)—he gets beaten up by the school tough-guy—Flash (Chris Zylka)—and he's just uncovered some mysterious key to his parent's past. That key leads him to Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans).

While visiting Connors' lab, Peter wanders off in search of answers. Either that or the bathroom. Either one. But instead he finds ... dun dun duuuunnnnn ... his destiny.

The effects are great and the action is well shot. This one was actually filmed in 3D, rather than converted, so if you're a fan of the format, it's competently done. But most of the movie really doesn't take full advantage of the added dimension. Now, there are a number shots and sequences that really pop in 3D, but the movie works perfectly well in 2D.

One of the things that sets this movie apart from its competition in the franchise is that it does seem to move much more deliberately through the story. It takes a good while before we see the real meat of the conflict. Not that the movie's boring up to that point. The more deliberate pace allows them to work on a more nuanced character development.

Which leads to the second thing I'd point out.

This one definitely plays up the "teen angst" aspect more fully. Not that the Toby Maguire movies don't have angst in them as well. But if Toby Maguire's angst were Hugh Jackman, Andrew Garfield's angst is Arnold Schwarzenegger. And that's "original Terminator" Schwarzenegger, not "flabby governator with too-much-face-work" Schwarzenegger.

Now, I've been hoping for the Lizard to appear in the movies ever since Dr. Connors was mentioned in the first Spider-Man. So it's great to finally see him in all his scaly glory. It takes a good long while before we do, but he's there nonetheless.

But one thing that I actually liked in the first movies was the fact that Parker's web shooters were part of his Spider-Man transformation. It just doesn't make sense that a teenager would, basically on a whim, invent such a sophisticated and amazing device as the web shooters. It makes more sense for them to be part of his "does whatever a spider can" package deal. But while this movie makes the web shooters a technological development once more, it's done much more believably than "lookie lookie what I made with my home chemistry set!"

But what do you think?

4.5 out of 5 stars from 2 ratings of The Amazing Spider-Man

It's hard for me to rank this one without comparing it to the previous movies, but in general I'd probably give it an 8 / 10. (Maybe a 7, but I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt here.)

The Amazing Spider-Man is rated PG-13 for action violence (with a little bit of blood, but really not that much), a bit of teen sensuality and mild language.


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    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 5 years ago

      We are definitely on similar pages with this film, and you make very good points about how some people will be comparing this film to the other films (which in turn could cause problems for some enjoying the film). I think that this was a well made film, with major flaws as well as its strengths (like the scene with the boy in the car that was on fire had me gripping the edge of my seat in suspense, that was well done) so all in all this is one of the best reviews of the film I have seen so far and hope you keep up the great work as always, vote Up, Useful, Awesome, Funny, and Interesting.

    • Garlonuss profile image

      Garlonuss 5 years ago from Saratoga Springs, Utah

      Yope you have a good time. Come back and add your vote when you're done.

    • Garlonuss profile image

      Garlonuss 5 years ago from Saratoga Springs, Utah

      First off, I review and critique movies. That's the whole point of these hubs. It doesn't matter what happens in the comics. What matters is how it plays out in the movies. And I do actually have some Spider-Man comics myself. In Portuguese even. It's just that suspension of disbelief works differently in movies than in comics.

      Plus, I never once said or implied that the organic web shooters were in the comic book, now did I? In fact, they were introduced when James Cameron did his script treatment before Raimi was even brought in. (How's that for doing my homework?) But the idea stuck and I think it worked.

      All I said was that I couldn't get behind a teenager developing the web shooters himself. And in this movie, he still doesn't. Not exactly.

      And just because the director changes doesn't mean you have to reboot the series. There are 8 directors of the 11 Star Trek movies out there. The original Star Wars trilogy (i.e. the good ones) had a new director each time. And the Mission: Impossible movies are 4 for 4. Forget Raimi. The franchise was still working so far as I'm concerned.

      Let's see, your accusation of my not knowing what I'm talking about has been addressed, and the dumb idea that replacing the director means rebooting the franchise has been addressed too.

      Seems like ya need to do a little more research before posting critical things.

      (All in good fun, of course.)

    • profile image

      Cody 5 years ago

      Well, obviously most don't know that sony & Raimi couldn't agree on a direction and Sony told Raimi they would take Spider-man to someone else so Raimi could move on to other projects.

      It appears that this blogger doesn't do his comic book home work. Organic web shooters that developed in McGuire's wrists was 100% creative liberty to the character. The comic Spider-man NEVER had organic web shooters.

      The mechanical web shooters being developed by Parker is another way to portray how brilliant Parker is.

      Let's see, a reboot, instead of a contination of the Raimi's films has been addressed and the dumb choice of organic web shooters has been addressed too.

      Seems like ya need to do a little more research before posting critical things.

    • nicred profile image

      nicred 5 years ago from Cape Town South Africa

      hahaha !

      Well, man I can't wait to go and see this. My movie senses are tingeling!

    • Garlonuss profile image

      Garlonuss 5 years ago from Saratoga Springs, Utah

      Oh, well, didn't every kid?

      I don't have a problem with recasting the roles. Just let the new movies continue from where the first left off. But maybe they have plans to use the Goblin or Doc Oc or whatever and they needed to reboot so they'd be alive again. We'll see what they do from here on in.

      Because it really looks like they've definitely got some kind of plan for where the story will be going. If you stay to watch the scene they place during the credits, it's clear they're trying to tease up another movie, just like what Marvel did with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and such.

    • nicred profile image

      nicred 5 years ago from Cape Town South Africa

      Ye I see your point, why fix something that's not broken. I enjoyed the first movies with Toby although I did think that they pushed the love angle a little to much.

      I still wish I could climb walls though. :)

    • Garlonuss profile image

      Garlonuss 5 years ago from Saratoga Springs, Utah

      Yeah, I enjoyed it. The style is different from the Sam Raimi movies, but it's still quite Spider-Man. This would have been a great first movie. Like I said in my hub, I just don't quite see why they felt they needed to start over again.

    • nicred profile image

      nicred 5 years ago from Cape Town South Africa

      Great review I can't wait to watch it.