With so many renditions of the classic web-slinger floating around, it can get a little confusing, if not frustrating. Experiencing the growth of Peter Parker in two forms can be sort of fun, though; in a completely Nerdy way, of course. Whether it be the comics or the films you love, this year’s The Amazing Spider-Man is sure to raise some eyebrows. Marc Webb had a unique opportunity to take a close look at the Sam Raimi Spider-Man series, and perhaps learn from some slight mistakes. Webb is certainly most known for his directing on 500 Days of Summer, a notably romantic and touching chronicle about personal growth in relationships. His experience in the genre is certainly evident within the webbing of The Amazing Spider-Man. Only with this one, he shows it’s possible to discreetly hide a genuinely deep love story inside a quick-witted superhero flick.
The story begins with a short flashback to Peter’s childhood – specifically the night his parents decided it would be safer to keep him at a distance while dealing with an unknown threat of their own. Richard Parker (Campbell Scott) seems to be the main target of a bigger conspiracy. In his older form, Andrew Garfield delivers a surprisingly aboveboard and impressive performance as the slightly anguished yet oddly self-aware Spider-Man. After his parents left, light-hearted Aunt May and Uncle Ben did their best to instill concrete values in the young boy and he ultimately becomes the “Good Man” he was destined to be. There’s no shortage of mystery in regards to his parents and it really makes for a nice diversion from the Raimi storyline that, when addressing Peters parents, nothing more is said besides “they are dead.” All this story needed to be different was more layers and deeper mystery.
James Vanderbilt, Alvin Sargent, and Steve Kloves were successful in providing such a multi-layered plot with a boisterous narrative. Sargent had experience working on a Spider-Man screenplay with his contributions to both Spider-Man 2 and 3. Kloves offered an intricate memoir weaved cleverly with clues for you to sit and chew over while waiting for the next film to arrive. His experience with all of the Harry Potter films is definitely crystal clear in the end of our new Spider-Man movie. The dark and mystified relationship between Parker and Dr. Curt Connors, A.K.A. Lizard (Rhys Ifans), was absolutely entrancing and it will be easy for you to become enthralled in the specifics of Connors’ connection to Peter’s father, Richard Parker. It is James Vanderbilt that brings his murder mystery familiarity with his participation in films like Zodiac. The team-up worked very well for contrasting plot lines.
Almost a decade after what some would call the disaster that is Spider-Man 3, Marc Webb has effectively picked up the pieces and formed a completely new genre film, one that has an ambiguous frame-up and keeps you guessing the entire ride. The love story was so involving that this reviewer even found himself falling for Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). Stone was unconditionally the best choice for the initial flame for our friendly neighborhood web-head. Her inculpability is incredibly alluring and its easy to imagine any man becoming head-over-heels just for her sheer magnetism. She steals every ounce of attention that would have otherwise gone to another attempt at the Mary Jane love interest. Using Gwen Stacy instead revives our attentiveness to the underlying romance and also keeps our hearts beating feverishly.
I saw The Amazing Spider-Man in 3D and while it didn’t have adverse effects on the outcome of the film, I did find it to be completely unnecessary and slightly unnerving. It wasted several opportunities to utilize the 3D with insane stunts and crowd-pleasing feats. The final scene’s use of 3D was so obvious that it seemed more like a jab for not using the technique more comprehensively. I don’t think it took away from the film aside from the hunger you feel for more of it. It was just such a throw-away feature of the film.
Those of us who originally conveyed malice on the subject of a Spider-Man reboot will start to experience conflicting emotions upon the viewing of this picture. Its creativeness and design may be elaborate, but it is clearly moving in the direction of a far grander scheme that may ultimately rival that of The Avengers. Portions of the blueprint can be seen in this film but it is painfully apparent that the next entry, like Spider-Man 2, will have much bigger moving parts and will channel a riotous demand for more Spidey.
This flick is the definition of a good date movie. It has something for every audience member to enjoy. From the youngest Spider-Fan, to the most uninterested girlfriend, this film will energize everyone for what’s to come from the new franchise. I anticipate extreme success both in the box office and in our hearts. I give The Amazing Spider-Man 5 out of 5 Nerdskulls.
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