Zoë's Movie Review: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
Published: July 2, 2012 - 8:13am
In the much anticipated reboot of the Spider-Man franchise, movie goers are being faced with poor reviews that lash out angrily against the film's mere existence. As a New Yoker and avid fan Spidey comic books I firmly think my opinion is the closest to the intended audience, and I think that this film is one of the truest comic book movies we have ever had.
Andrew Garfield of The Social Network fame has captured the character of Peter Parker with perfection. Tobey Maguire's portrayal in the previous films focused more on the whiny and overly self-conscious elements of Spider-Man's alter ego, which are only a small facet of the longstanding comic book character and did not do him justice. Garfield's performance brought out the snarky wit and under dog charm that has made Peter lovable for decades. I can not think of a better actor to have played this part.
In equally enjoyable performances, Emma Stone played Gwen Stacy with grace and her chemistry with Garfield was undeniable. Sally Field and Martin Sheen as Aunt May and Uncle Ben approached their characters much differently from the Sam Rami films, which added more life and spark to this movie. Welsh actor Rhys Ifans surprised me with his performance of an mild mannered Doctor Curtis Conners, but I feel failed to make a truly terrifying villain post transformation.
The story found within The Amazing Spider-Man is very sentimental -- a love letter of sorts to both the character and the city of New York -- which may not appeal to a bulk of audience members. However, I thought this film captured the essence of Spider-Man comics perfectly, for Spidey is a rather sentimental and reflective super hero. I also found the writing throughout the film to be solid, in spite of the familiar story line. After a second viewing I did however find a few parts to unnecessarily drawn out. The opening of the film and several fights scenes felt much too long and tedious, and could have benefited from being edited down a bit.
This is the first film I've seen where the 3D actually enhanced my viewing experience without resorting to gimmicks and it thankfully did not give me a headache. It played well with the sweeping views of New York City and made the action sequences more vivid. The cinematography accompanied by James Horner's wonderful score completed the ensemble, giving audiences the full package in a summer block buster. I do not see how anyone could not enjoy this movie.
As a comic book fan and as a lover of movies, this film met every need I had for a story about a character I love. The biggest difference between The Amazing Spider-Man and the previous Spider-Man movies is that this story does not focus on a superhero in spandex, but is grounded in Peter Parker's plight and journey of self discovery. The film is very much a true Spider-Man comic book adaptation, one that fans will love but may fail to connect with many movie goers.
The Amazing Spider-Man stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Campbell Scott, Irrfan Khan, with Martin Sheen and Sally Field. The film is directed by Marc Webb from a screenplay written by James Vanderbilt, based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Laura Ziskin, Avi Arad, and Matt Tolmach are producing the film in association with Marvel Entertainment for Columbia Pictures, which will open in theaters everywhere in 3D on July 3, 2012.
The Amazing Spider-Man is the story of Peter Parker (Garfield), an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Sheen) and Aunt May (Field). Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Stone), and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents' disappearance – leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors (Ifans), his father's former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors' alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.