- Marc Webb
- Garfield and Stone's Chemistry
I‘m going to start off with a pun you have probably already heard countless times, so let’s get the groaning out of the way up front. The Amazing Spider-Man was AMAZING! After seeing The Avengers earlier this year, my standards for comic book movies have been set pretty high, so I was a little nervous going into the movie. This being director Marc Webb‘s second movie (previously directed (500) Days of Summer), I was curious as to why Sony would choose such a new and inexperienced director to reboot one of the world’s most popular superheroes. I admit, I went into the theater a little skeptical, but left the theater in awe.
Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a young boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field). Like most teenagers, Peter is attempting to figure out who he is and what made him to be the person he is today. Peter is also getting closer to his high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), while trying to keep his secrets. When Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he makes it his mission to understand his parents’ disappearance, which leads him to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), his father’s former partner. When Spider-Man encounters Connors’ alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.
Andrew Garfield is the perfect Peter Parker. Sure, Tobey Maguire was alright in the Sam Raimi trilogy, but Garfield goes above and beyond in his portrayal of the awkward teen. On the flip side, Garfield also captures the cockiness of his alter ego, Spider-Man. Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy looks like she was pulled straight out of the comic book, and the chemistry between Garfield and Stone is absolutely amazing. Rhys Ifans’ Jekyll and Hyde performance as Dr. Curt Connors and The Lizard is charming and creepy at the same time. Martin Sheen plays Uncle Ben stern but caring, and makes it easy for us to see why Peter looks up to him. Sally Field is a strong Aunt May. Sheen and Field play well off each other, and while they aren’t featured prominently in the film, their performances are fantastic. Honestly, this is the best cast I’ve seen for a Spider-Man film, and it’s hard for me to see anyone else in the roles now.
If you don’t remember anything else about this review, remember this: 3-D is the only way to watch this movie. Marc Webb uses it the way it should be used. 3-D really enhances the way Spider-Man’s web-swinging looks. Plus the effect of webbing coming towards you is really cool. I’m sure if you saw the film in 2-D it wouldn’t effect how much you liked the movie, but the experience is so much better in 3-D.
After The Credits Scene
Marvel has become known for putting extra scenes at the end of their movies to tie in with sequels. Sony continues that tradition in The Amazing Spider-Man. Without giving anything away, this scene is sure to leave people speculating until the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in 2014.
There are scenes in the movie where the CG is absolutely breathtaking. Like when Spider-Man is web-swinging through the city. It’s really tough to tell where the practical effects end and the CG effects begin. But there are also scenes where, unfortunately, the CG looks a little cartoony. Other than that, everything was great. Especially when the swinging shots were from Spider-Man’s point of view. It made you feel like you were Spider-Man!
“With great power comes…” Wait, What?
If you are even remotely familiar with comics, you have heard the iconic phrase, “With great power comes great responsibility.” It is probably the most recognizable quote in comic book history. While Uncle Ben wasn’t the first to say it in the comics, over the years the phrase has been attributed to him. When Uncle Ben dies, Peter realizes now that he has these powers, he has to use them responsibly, thus becoming the Spider-Man we know. So why wasn’t the quote used in the movie? Yes, the theme of responsibility was used throughout the film, but it would have been nice to hear Uncle Ben actually say it.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
So, does director Marc Webb live up to his name (Spider… Webb… Get it?)? Absolutely! Although I admittedly had my doubts about The Amazing Spider-Man, the movie more than exceeded my expectations! The perfect cast, stunning 3-D, and plenty of action made this film a cut above the rest. Webb delivers exactly what Spider-Man fans wanted: he captures the essence of Spider-Man. Even if you’re not a comic book reader you can enjoy The Amazing Spider-Man. If you weren’t a fan of the original trilogy, give this one a try. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. Seriously, this is the way a Spider-Man movie should be made.