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My Review of The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

When I first heard that they were rebooting Spider-Man, I’ll be honest, I wasn’t happy about it. I thought that maybe in a few more years it would be a smart idea, but it seemed too soon. There was nothing I could do, though. The movie was going to be made and since Spider-Man movies can only be made by Sony (So far…), it didn’t seem like this movie would be part of the Marvel series of movies. I was happy that they decided to cast Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker. I mean, he was the only likable person in The Social Network, so at least that worked out for me.

The Amazing Spider-Man is about… Well, you know what it’s about. Peter Parker gets bitten by a radioactive spider and gets powers, he misuses his powers and because of that is partially responsible for the death of his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen). This time Peter battles Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) whose works in genetics have caused him to re-grow an arm. It has also caused him to transform into a lizard. So, as Peter begins to fight crime in New York, he meets up with Connors as the Lizard and battles him to stop his plan to turn all of New York into man-sized lizards.

Comic book movies work on a different level than most movies. While a good story works for most of the movie going audience, for comic fans it won’t work unless it stays close to the comic book. The Amazing Spider-Man works because it’s a retelling of the Spider-Man along with the fact that it stays close to what happened in the comics. This is something that adds to the movie for obnoxious fanboys like me.

The Amazing Spider-Man finds itself in somewhat of a nice middle ground between the original Spider-Man trilogy and the new Batman trilogy. What I mean is that the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films were very stylized and looked like a comic book, it stayed true the over the top kind of things that you would see if you opened a Spider-Man comic. Compare that to Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies that are serious action films that have Batman as the main character, but doesn’t really feel like it’s from the comic.

Marc Webb was able to work The Amazing Spider-Man so that while it does try to act more serious than the original Spider-Man movies, it never reaches the same tone as any of the Nolan Batman movies. This is for the best since Spider-Man actually has a sense of humor when compared to Batman.

Andrew Garfield pulls off both Peter Parker and Spider-Man perfectly. The duality of the character is captured in the film perfectly since Peter still has to act weak when he’s in public, but can be a whole other person when he is in his Spider-Man costume.

The great thing about Spider-Man is that all of the principal actors do a great job in the film. Emma Stone does a great job as Gwen Stacy and is really likable, it’s a shame she must die. Denis Leary even does a pretty awesome job with his interpretation of Captain Stacy. All around The Amazing Spider-Man has a good cast that works well with each other.

One thing that I have a problem with in a lot of movies is forced romance. In every movie they have to make the main character fall in love for some reason, it’s very tedious and has been done a million times. With The Amazing Spider-Man the romance doesn’t feel too forced or fake. Instead it kind of blossoms on screen. It’s not a slow blossoming though, as it seems like Peter and Gwen have a sort of magnetism to each other when the film begins. Romance has always been a part of Spider-Man in some way, it’s good to see it work on the big screen. (I didn’t particularly like how it was done in the Raimi movies.)

All together The Amazing Spider-Man does a really good job of retelling the Spider-Man mythos for a new(er) age, and while I don’t think it’s the best comic book movie ever (let alone the best Spider-Man movie ever), I do think it’s worth watching for comic fans or anyone who likes action movies.