Movie Review: “The Amazing Spider-Man”

I am a gigantic nerd, as anyone who reads this blog should know. Part of my nerdiness has always, from the time I was eight years old, been my love of Spider-Man. I really, really love this character. He always felt so human, so relatable. He goes through so much, but through it all he does what’s right and responsible. So I was greatly looking forward to this movie even with my initial reservations about the fact that it’s a reboot of the movie franchise. As always, beware! There be spoilers ahead.

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before. Peter Parker is an awkward teen trying to make his way through the emotional, and sometimes physical, war zone that is high school. He lives with his Aunt and Uncle, and feels a longing for parents he hasn’t seen since he was about six years old. In the process of trying to figure out more about his father, he’s bitten by a genetically altered spider and develops amazing powers! He connects with one of his father’s old colleagues, Curt Conners, giving him a crucial piece of information that he needs for his research. But in the process of discovering more about his father and learning his powers, his beloved Uncle Ben is murdered! Now with a new goal in mind, Peter Parker strives to live a responsible life with his amazing powers. But trouble is brewing, and with pressures mounting Conners may make a mistake he will regret for the rest of his life.

So, how does it all hold up?

Remarkably well, actually. Let’s face the honest truth here, Spidey’s reboot is coming from the fact that Spider-Man 3 was such an utter clusterfuck of a movie. With that movie line ending on such a low note, it actually helps this one up. Not that this movie doesn’t hold up perfectly well on its own. Andrew Garfield does a fantastic job as Peter Parker, playing the awkward teen better than Tobey Maquire, in my opinion. Seriously, it’s almost painful to watch in some instances. Emma Stone plays the role of Gwen Stacey really well, and I enjoyed every moment she was on screen. I am a little scared about the character’s role in any future movies, though. It’s… Well, Gwen Stacy’s history doesn’t turn out well. Rhys Ifans does a splendid job playing Curt Conners, and I could really empathize with his reasons in the beginning and understand how they could all go spiraling out of control. But the role I found a surprising amount of enjoyment with was Martin Sheen’s portrayal as Uncle Ben. Seriously, this is how I always thought of Uncle Ben! He’s patient, caring and wanting to help direct Peter onto the right path. I absolutely adored every time he was on screen.

There are some things I’m iffy about, though. I think they could have done more with Conners. He had understandable motives in the beginning, but his motives later quickly became kinda silly. He also began talking to himself, much like Norman Obsorn in the other films. I think there was a lot of potential that they missed out on there. I also think they didn’t really play up Peter’s intelligence quite enough. Now, it was a close thing in that regard. While he may not have invented the web fluid, he did design the firing mechanism. Still, I think there’s a bit more they could have done in that regard. But considering time restraints, this is pretty forgivable.

So, how does it hold up to the other movie franchise? That’s actually a tough question. I liked Spider-Man 1 and 2 quite a bit. I also liked this movie quite a bit. Is one better than the other? I’m gonna have to say they’re about equal, really. They each go in their own way, so making flat comparisons is a little difficult. Andrew Garfield plays a much younger Peter Parker than Tobey Maquire did, and I think that shifts the whole movie in a different direction than that of the 2002 movie. In any case, this movie was good and I’m looking forward to any future films. If you want a good super-hero flick, The Amazing Spider-Man is right up your alley. Seriously, go give this movie a look.

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