The Amazing Spider-Man
Directed by Mark Webb (Like every other film critic, take a moment to acknowledge the ironic name. *shakes fist* ACKNOWLEDGE IT!)
Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, and Campbell Scott.
Like a lot of folks, I was skeptical when I first heard that they were re-booting Spider-Man. I mean, it’s been just 5 short years since Spider-Man 3. Why the need to start over again so soon? So, like many others, I started thinking, “Well, it’ll probably be OK if they don’t make us sit through the origin story again,” and then I heard that they were doing the origin story again. And especially now, between the hype for The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, it feels as though it may be getting lost in the shuffle. But still, I was a comic book geek in the 1990s, when a Spider-Man movie seemed like a distant dream, so because I new one came out, I knew I had to be there.
Peter Parker never knew his parents. When he was just six years old, they took him to his Uncle Ben and Aunt May, and then just disappeared into the night. Now a teenager, Peter is shy, quiet, but a brilliant young scientist. Peter stumbles across his father’s old briefcase one night, and its contents lead him to one of his father’s old friends and colleagues, Dr. Curt Conners. While visiting Dr. Conners in his lab, Peter gets bitten by a radioactive spider, thus granting him his spider-powers. One night, after a fight with his Uncle Ben, Uncle Ben is gunned down by a mugger, and Peter starts using his powers to track down Uncle Ben’s killer. But, it turns out Dr. Conners has been conducting experiments of his own, and the long-lost research that Peter brought him brings about a breakthrough in his genetic research. Can Peter use his newfound powers to stop the evil that Dr. Conners has unleashed? Will he learn that with great power comes great responsibility?
What I Liked
Ya know, in my plot description up there, I completely gloss over the entire Peter Parker/Gwen Stacy romance in the film. That is what sold this film for me. It just seems so much more genuine than the Peter Parker/Mary Jane Watson romance in the other trilogy. They’re these two, shy, awkward science nerds who find each other and attempt to break through the awkwardness. It’s great. I knew they’d be re-telling the origin story going in, and they re-tell it in a very unique way. It’s just fun seeing the choices they made to re-tell the story. And, as I expected when they first announced the casting, Denis Leary is perfect as Capt. George Stacy.
What I Didn’t Like
I don’t think we really got to know Curt Conners as a character. I would have liked a few more scenes with him just get to know him a little better. And again, I’m still kind of skeptical about the whole “mystery of Peter Parker’s parents” thing. They’re trying to build some over-arching mythology for the films (it’s been announced now they want it to be the start of a trilogy), and to me, it just seems kind of forced.
Well, the best of the original trilogy was Spider-Man 2. While it’s almost as good as Spider-Man 2, it’s tough to shake the feeling that you’ve seen it all before. But I still loved the heck out of it..