One decade after the first Spider-man movie hit theaters, audiences are treated to a reboot of the wall-crawler. Many may be a bit peeved at the idea of a fresh start for the series instead of a continuation, but rest assured, The Amazing Spider-man is an entertaining and heart-felt film that captures the character of Peter Parker and brings him into a new light.
Director Marc Webb was an interesting, yet slightly strange choice for this film. With one film under his belt (the indie romantic comedy (500) Days of Summer), Webb had fans worried about the direction and tone of the movie. It turns out that he was fit for the position; for the director adds some much needed character and style to the Spider-man franchise. Webb allows Peter Parker to grow into his role as a superhero, highlighting his relationships, personality, tragedies, and motivations.
Andrew Garfield takes on the role of Peter Parker/Spider-man. The British actor does a fine job with the awkward nerd shtick, but he adds an emotional depth to the character that was absent in the Raimi films. Emma Stone plays Gwen Stacy, Peter’s classmate and love interest. Stone clearly has fun with the role, making Gwen smart, fun, and somewhat playful. Rhys Ifans portrays the scientist-turned-monster Dr. Curt Connors, while Dennis Leary, Sally Field, and Martin Sheen round out the cast.
Of course, this would not be a Spider-man film without tons of web-slinging action, right? Well, this movie delivers just that during the third act. It’s Spider-man vs. the NYPD, Spider-man vs. street thugs, and Spiderman vs. the Lizard, all complete with acrobatic fight sequences. But the thing that stands out about this movie is not the action. The brief character moments really make this movie shine – the scene with Peter attempting to ask out Gwen is one of the best in film. Watching Spider-man knock around thugs is fun, but watching Peter Parker learn how to use his powers, deal with his relationships, and try to be the superhero we all know and love is what separates this from the first trilogy.
The Amazing Spider-man is, well, amazing. Marc Webb has made a Spider-man that
audiences can connect with. Having a stellar cast that play their parts perfectly help make this Spider-venture enjoyable, fun, and meaningful. One piece of advice: do not spend the extra four dollars on 3D. There are some decent 3D moments sprinkled throughout, but nothing that justifies the price. See it in a regular theater, buy popcorn and a drink, bring a friend, and enjoy.