Marcus Reviews The Amazing Spider-Man

3 Jul

Synopsis:

 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. 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.

What I Liked:

 My favorite thing about this movie by far is Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spiderman. I’m well aware that Tobey Macguire was supposed to be portraying a more adult version of Spidey but he never quite felt like the Spiderman that I’d fallen in love when in the comics. Garfield’s Spidey on the other hand felt every bit like the lovable jackass that’s always been one of my favorite Marvel superheros. His portrayal of Peter was more akin to Ultimate Spiderman (which I’m admittedly more partial to) where he was less of a typical nerd and more of an outcast which felt more genuine to me due to his inherent social awkwardness, the lack of closure that he felt regarding his parents death years ago and ultimately the guilt over Uncle Ben’s death. He was so raw and genuine that at times I’d almost forgotten what kind of movie that I was watching. My favorite thing about Garfield in this though is the fact that he fully understood that Spiderman was everything that Peter wishes that he could be in public. As Peter Parker he was this tortured and awkward loner with a chip on his shoulder but when he donned the mask he became this snarky, brash hero who said whatever came to his mind at that moment and could kick your ass while he did it. I’m probably spending too much time on this particular part of the review but it was just so refreshing to see what Garfield brought to Spiderman.

The other performances in the film were also pretty great as well, Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy and Rhys Ifran’s Curt Connors/The Lizard being the two standouts. One of my biggest gripes about Sam Raimi’s Spiderman movies was that Mary Jane was too much of a damsel in distress and really never did much of anything besides be a broken woman. It’s because of this that Emma’s Gwen Stacy was such a refreshing (don’t be surprised if you see that word alot) change from that. She was intelligent, supportive and resilient and even when things got dangerous she did what she could to help. I always appreciate seeing a strong and useful female protagonist in superhero movies because the damsel in distress thing is such a tired concept. Now for Dr. Curt Connors, he may not overshadow Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin in the memorable villain category but he was still the perfect adversary for Marc Webb’s incarnation of Spiderman. Much like Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock, Curt Connors was less of a bad guy and more of a victim of his own initially good ambitions going terribly wrong. It was an inspired choice to put him in this movie as the antagonist not only due to him being a redeemable villain but also for him having direct ties to Peter’s parents and Norman Osbourne. He was the perfect antagonist to start Marc Webb’s Spiderman saga and serves as a great launching pad into future plot lines.

Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield had loads of chemistry in this movie, so much so that I was completely able to overlook how underdeveloped Gwen and Peter’s relationship was in the movie. They were so good together that there were times during the movie that I thought I was watching some sort of indie rom-com instead of a superhero flick. Even though we all know what’s inevitably going to come of this pairing, I’m still very interested in seeing more of these two in the future.

Marc Webb also deserves much praise for his confident direction in the film. Not only did he bring the best out of the actors, but he also was able to set a tone of the film that had the right amount of familiarity while still making it his own which is important since he’s basically retelling a story that we all know by now. His Spiderman universe is a bit more rough around the edges but it’s not so gritty that it makes the lighthearted moments in the film seem jarring. There’s a certain moxie that Webb’s version of Spiderman has that I really appreciated.

The dialogue was another strong point of these movie. While everyone did a great job performance-wise, the dialogue definitely helped reinforce the characters. The script was snappy, intelligent and really did a great job of keeping each character true to who they were in the comics.

There were little things throughout the movie that fans of the comic books (like myself) will really appreciate. Even though it’s more influenced by Ultimate Spiderman there are things from the 616 universe that were thrown in that really put a smile on my face.

It’d be hard to fully explain without giving a visual example but this incarnation of Spiderman really actually felt like a spider. There were certain things that he did throughout the film that was extremely reminiscent of actual spider behavior. You can tell that time was spent actually researching spiders to make this as accurate as possible which I really appreciated.

The fight scenes in this movie were VERY well done and truly had me on the edge of my seat (Especially in the third act of the movie). There were a lot of moments where I felt like I was actually watching pages of the comic books come to life.

The Amazing Spiderman makes the first time in the Spiderman saga where New York actually FELLS like New York. Everything from the accents (Tobey Macguire almost made me forget that Peter’s from Queens) to the “same shit, different day” attitude was present and I loved it.

What I Didn’t Like:

There were a couple of scenes in the movie that were a bit TOO corny and over the top for my tastes, preferably the montage sequence where Peter was beginning to learn how to use his newfound powers which felt a little too much like 500 Days of Summer.

The after the credits stinger was a little TOO vague. I was left feeling more confused than intrigued.

Overall:

The Amazing Spiderman is a movie that didn’t NEED to be made but works because instead of trying replace the past Spidey films, it strives to establish it’s own identity and the results are very positive. It’s a movie that’s less about it being Peter’s “destiny” to be Spiderman and more about how he finds purpose in his chaotic life through donning the mask. Backed by a well-written script filled with dialogue that’s both intelligent and genuinely hilarious, a pitch perfect performance from Andrew Garfield, a strong supporting cast and Marc Webb’s confident direction holding it all together, The Amazing Spiderman serves as my personal favorite Spiderman film and is only matched by the 2nd Sam Raimi movie as the best Spidey flick overall. I’d definitely recommend checking this one out, I guarantee that you’ll enjoy yourself.

Rating: B+

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One Response to “Marcus Reviews The Amazing Spider-Man”

  1. Sektos July 3, 2012 at 11:39 pm #

    Great review!!! Im still buzzing from the film myself (its 1 hr after seeing it)
    Prefer it to all raimi’s films combined 😛

    BUT i agree about warehouse scene- was alittle off from rest of movie 🙂 Thou i think corniness was alot less than in Raimi’s trilogy
    JUST posted my thoughts on SPILL.com audio review if like check out

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