Review: A Solid Webb Weaves 'The Amazing Spider-Man'
Ten years ago, SONY’s release of Spider-Man took the world by unexpected storm. With Toby Maguire holding down the lead role, along some pretty good casting among villains, Spider-Man was a hit. While all three films displayed awesome cinematic magic, it was only the first two I felt presented a solid form of good vs. bad, as well as some pretty good writing substance. The last one (Where SONY drew the line and decided on a reboot) had it-factor – perhaps it was because it dabbled within a bit of darkness (who knows!), but wasn’t quite there for me.
Huge fan of Venom, but wasn’t too thrilled with the character’s layout nor the Sand-man. I enjoyed the tease between the second goblin, but that too didn’t feel complete. Overall, MARVEL’s arachnid baby-faced-man-boy (Maguire) carried the film-based franchise. A fourth film was mentioned – which was due to star Anne Hathaway (The Vulturess) and John Malkovich (The Vulture) – but it was flushed away and never happened.
When the current reboot was completely green-lit, director Marc (500 Days of Summer) got his chance to sling his Webb (get it) at the rebooted franchise SONY doesn’t plan on giving up.
The verdict is in, boys and girls – I enjoyed it!
I’m not the BIGGEST fan of rehashes, but considering three Hulks, a “prequel” with X-Men, Dark Knight, and next year’s Man of Steel… Even more we have long awaited reboots of Fantastic Four and what seems to be one on Dare Devil…if done well, why not?
Cutting to the chase: the difference between Webb’s and Raimi’s is the sense of harsher emotions within the film’s core. The Amazing Spider-Man is totally different (which was/is expected) and is based on a shadowy cinematography, edgier dialogue, limitless special effects and authentic romantic chemistry – obviously!
I’m not sure how some will take it but I didn’t miss Toby Maguire or Kirsten Dunst in the least bit. I enjoyed their work in previous installments, but it seemed to me as they really didn’t matter much. The film stars Andrew Garfield as unassuming Peter Parker-turned-superhero Spider-Man, opposite Emma Stone as his love interest, Gwen Stacy. At the point of shift from its original adventure, he’s still just a weakling being bullied in school and secretly enduring a crush on a classmate (Stone).
Not steering too far from the past, we learn the obvious – Peter has been raised by his Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen), but severely consumed with looking into the mystery of the disappearance of his parents (Campbell Scott and Embeth Davidtz) years ago. So, he pays a visit to a former colleague of his father, Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans). Connors is a heavy-hitting research scientist at Oscorp – a bio-technician currently attempting to develop the utmost revolutionary limb regenerating serum – claiming trying to create a world without weakness by splicing human genes with those of other species, his interest isn’t entirely just that!
I won’t get any deeper as most of you have an idea what develops, but what makes this rehash interesting is the fact that Webb has taken some freedom with Spidey, opening up doors on a level which I found quite interesting.
Where there’s good, there’s obviously not-so-good as I found the film slow in certain scenes and also iffy on The Lizard. I found him to be a bit dull at times. He looked pretty cool and found his motives to be abnormally appealing, but considering his third tier-like force among the Spider-man story-line, it really wasn’t my first choice in terms of antagonistic purposes. I enjoyed the link between him and Peter Parker – quite frankly what helped the film tie in pretty decently – but during times of minor lows, I was taken aback by him. I wouldn’t say in terms of Ryhs being cast, but just the overall feeling of a villain. I think there could have been a much harsher character – Carnage! (That’s just me!)
Flinging from one end of the city to another, cinematically Webb allows us to venture out on Spider-man’s crime-fighting crusades. The feeling I generated from this piece was quite unique considering Raimi’s. Not hating on Raimi’s, but the minor goofiness imposed by both Peter and Spider-man is pretty much taken down a bit. There are moments of awkward humor, as it’s pretty common among any superhero film, but it’s all about Peter’s story from high ends, to low – teen angst.
Also starring Denis Leary, The Amazing Spider-Man will hold its own this year among big money-making comic-book flicks. Marvel’s The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises are both gems on different levels among story, substance, feeling and aura, but Spidey will remain in the minds of many whether hated or loved. And also, just like Joss Whedon and Christopher Nolan, I believe Marc Webb has made a name for himself among this genre. With a tease of who the villain will be for the obvious sequel, it’ll be interesting to see if SONY looks to fling their recent Webb again – either way, I’ll be there!
Overall, like ANY film, it has its moments of “eh,” but it’s worth the watch and respect it’ll earn – clearly a fun, adventurous flick to have checked off during summer 2012!
Grade: B+ / Genre: Drama, Action/Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Adaptation / Rated: PG-13 / Run Time: 2 Hrs. 16 Min.
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Sally Field, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen
Director: Marc Webb
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