REVIEW: THE AMAZING SPIDER MAN
SYNOPSIS: One of the world’s most popular characters is back on the big screen as a new chapter in the Spider-Man legacy is revealed in The Amazing Spider-Man™. Focusing on an untold story that tells a different side of the Peter Parker story,
REVIEW: Amazing, Amazing, Amazing. What a reboot! The Amazing Spiderman is absolutely well deserving of all the prestigious praises any top-notch Hollywood blockbuster movie would normally receive. Quite often we ask the question “why a reboot?” and more often than not there isn’t a logical explanation other than simple economics. However, in this case, it is quite obvious as to why a reboot is sometimes necessary. Is it a fresh take on an old set of ideas and circumstances? The answer is certainly an overwhelming “yes!” The decision on not going with an additional installment to the Sam Raimi, Tobey McGuire “Spider-Man” trilogy installation seems to have paid off with this fresh installment of the franchise.
Director Marc Webb [(500) Days of Summer – 2009] has done a superb job taking the overly redone franchise to the next level. He seems to have an eye for relationships and romance, and spends the first hour creating a believable and, more importantly, a fresh-feeling to the development and evolution of the characters in the film. He starts with a notable focus on the parents of young Peter Parker and follows through with the blossoming romance of Parker and Emma Stone’s character, Gwen Stacy. Webb deserves credit for hitting some familiar story points without succumbing to redundancy. Some notable successes is his ability to weave together all of the elements we know to expect (the spider bite, the discovery of powers, the death of Uncle Ben, the creation of the costume and the crime-fighting persona) in new and exciting ways. I would not expect this to be an easy feat considering this being a character whose origins have been told and retold umpteen times in various media over the past half century.
The amazing lineup of celebs in this flick is headed by relatively new-comer Andrew Garfield (The Social Network - 2010). Admittedly, his ability to assume Tobey McGuire’s legacy in the role, was a major question mark in my mind. However, I must admit that the US-born “Brit” has delivered remarkably on every level. He exudes all the known characteristics of Peter Parker and is very convincing in his transformation from high school wimpy teen to crime-fighting superhero.
“The Amazing Spider-Man” is dark, gritty and overall beautifully done. It takes the viewer on what seems like a virtual roller coaster ride and becomes, at times, refreshingly playful and never corny. They cram together an origin story, a love story, a tortured-adolescence story and a monster movie with a surprising amount of finesse. The movie has depth and purpose, if not total freshness and is entertaining from beginning to end.
If I had to identify a downside to this movie, it could only be the obvious setup pitch made for a part two to this installment. Unfortunately, they made this quite obvious by spending more than half of the movie on character and plot development. In other words, more than half way through the movie I found myself questioning why we were still witnessing Parker learning about his new-found abilities. Nevertheless, I still give “The Amazing Spider-Man” four out of five stars.
By Movie-Man Stan
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