Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man - Movie Review

Why I enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man

When the original Spider-Man movie was released in 2002, I went crazy over it. Spider-Man was one of my favorite heroes growing up and it was a thrill to see him in live-action on the silver screen. I can remember buying a poster and a copy of the soundtrack as soon as we left the local movie theater.

Sadly, just like that soundtrack, the movie doesn’t hold up after a few more viewings.

It had heart, it had some of the classic elements of Spider-Man’s story, but there was something missing. Actually, after seeing The Amazing Spider-Man, the new rebooted version of the movie franchise, I can say that a few things missing.

What the original film and its sequels lacked was the character interactions that the new film nails from the get go. Not only does Andrew Garfield play a much more charismatic Peter Parker, but you actually care about what happens to him.

The original films were much more plot-based. Spider-Man has to get from here, to here, and then fight this bad guy. This new film gives Parker the time to breathe and a much deeper character history. We get Parker the scientist and not just Parker the nerd.

Emma Stone also gives us a reason to love this new incarnation of the web-slinger. I’ve always been a bigger Gwen Stacy fan than Mary Jane Watson fan, because Stacy and Parker actually have things in common. Not only is Stacy a character who can hold her own in a scientific debate, Stone plays her as a headstrong girl who isn’t afraid to be just as heroic as Spider-Man.

It’s not a perfect movie. Let’s just get that out of the way right now. There are a couple of little gaffs that I noticed, but nothing that pulled me out of the story. When it comes to superhero movies, people should relax on the logic problems. It’s a movie about someone with super powers that fights crime and a giant lizard, we can assume that Oscorp has canisters of liquid nitrogen lying around.

And speaking of The Lizard, he was a great choice as a villain for this movie. Rhys Ifans was a great Doctor Connors, and I never found his monster counterpart goofy or played out.

Comic purists might complain that it was the Green Goblin that defined Gwen and her father in the comics, but The Lizard makes more sense as a first villain. Both are created by similar means in genetic splicing, and it’s an element that the first series of movies ignored. With a continuous thread to create villains, instead of random chance encounters, it gives the movie universe it’s own rules and avenues to explore.

The bottom line is that I had a ton of fun at this movie. It’s definitely one that I plan on seeing again in the theater, as well as buying on Blu-Ray when it gets released. This is the Spider-Man movie I’ve been waiting for. I just hope other people feel the same way.

RATING: 8.5/10

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