Movie review: 'Amazing Spider-Man' a solid reboot of series
Rating: 4/5 stars
It has been 10 years since director Sam Rami brought the iconic hero Spider-Man to life on the silver screen. After making two sequels to the original Spider-Man movie, the public thought the legacy of Spider-Man was indeed over. However, to the public’s surprise, Sony decided the Spider-Man franchise was due for a reboot. Thus, “The Amazing Spider-Man” was born.
Even though I am a fan of the earlier “Spidey” films, I firmly believe this reboot has resparked my love for Spider-Man. Director Marc Webb’s ("500 Days of Summer") action-adventure is set in a recognizable reality for this generation but also is full of thrills. While being somewhat dark and mysterious, “The Amazing Spider-Man” doesn’t skimp on all the fun.
The new tone of the film begins when Peter Parker, only 7-years-old at the time, is given to his Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) for safety. Mysteriously, Parker's mom and dad never returned. Now a teen, Parker (Andrew Garfield) is a typical high school outcast who yearns for the affection of his classmate, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), all the while skateboarding and avoiding run-ins with bullies.
While researching the mysterious death of his parents, Parker learns Oscorp Labs hired his dad’s former co-worker, Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), whom Parker hopes has knowledge about his parents. However, after meeting Dr. Connors in the infamous Oscorp building, Parker learns Connors has been developing reptile serums to regrow his missing arm. Then, as fate would have it, an escaped spider from Connors' laboratory bites Parker.
We know the result of the infamous “bite,” and the transformation from normal teen to Spider-Man is refreshingly free from the silliness of the previous films. After Uncle Ben is shot during a robbery, Parker decides to use his newfound powers as a masked vigilante. The “new” Spider-Man costume is homemade, while his webbing comes from devices he makes, which is a nice nod to the comics.
Meanwhile, Oscorp fires Connors, which sends him into a spiral of madness. After injecting the untested reptile serum, Connors transforms into a giant lizard with a human mind and voice. As his reptilian side takes over, he devises a plan to turn all of NYC into the same scaly creatures he has become. Spider-Man must take on the evil Connors in a battle that will decide the fate of all those he loves, as well as the entire population his city.
“The Amazing Spider-Man” is just another superhero movie on the surface. However, there is just so much more to love about this movie other than its predictable good guy vs. bad guy story. For one, this movie is aesthetically enjoyable, complete with trippy special effects and a nighttime atmosphere that mimics the gritty underworld of NYC’s crime-ridden streets and alleys. In addition, Parker and Stacy’s chemistry was believable throughout, which makes for many heartfelt and funny moments.
Garfield brings the quirkiness of Parker to an all-time high and makes a superior performance compared to Tobey Maguire. Stone as Stacy is young, hip and funny, which makes her a likeable character on-screen. The supporting performances from Dennis Leary (as Stacy's policeman father) and Ifans add to the magic.
Although the movie stumbled when it came to the almost cliché fight scenes between Spider-Man and Connors "the Lizard" — which consisted of bad-guy monologues and good-guy perseverance — these missteps do nothing to take away the acting and breath-taking appeal of this re-imagining from Webb.
In short, “The Amazing Spider-Man” is full of gripping scenes of emotion and fun comic-book style action that will please audiences young and old.
Max Meier is a broadcasting and electronic media sophomore.