OK… at the risk of sounding like a broken record: A) I love origin stories B) I don’t mind remakes/reboots C) Emma Stone can do no wrong. That just about sums up my feelings on The Amazing Spider-Man.
In addition to the sense of being a broken record, I also feel that sense of deja vu we are all becoming familiar with… not because this is a reboot of a franchise whose last outing was only five years ago… not because we’ve seen this origin story very recently… but because the critical and audience reaction to the news of a new Spider-Man story has been so bloody predictable. I’m growing weary of the arguments over reboots, remakes, 3D, and reimaginings. The question should simply be, is it a good movie and were you entertained? I will say without hesitation, yes to both counts.
Thanks to all of the discussion around The Amazing Spider-Man already floating around out there, this review will be a bit streamlined and short. You know the origin story, although there are a few tweaks to what we already know. You know who Peter Parker is, but as Linda Holmes of NPR’s Monkey See blog so astutely pointed out, Andrew Garfield plays Peter as a geek, not a nerd. You may not know who Gwen Stacy is, but you do know Emma Stone… that’s all you need to know. The chemistry between Garfield and Stone is palpable and that is what sets this film apart from what came before… chemistry… and a lack of stupid costuming for the Green Goblin. Rhys Ifans makes a fantastic Dr. Conners/The Lizard, and a wonderful baddie… and Dennis Leary as Captain Stacy is perfect casting. I honestly have very little to complain about.
Whether or not the film was “necessary” (as if any film is) is beside the point… this was a wonderful and fun summer film. I found the performances to be spot on and the pacing and exposition of the story to be stellar. Like the latest Batman franchise, Marc Webb, the director, moved the story away from the stylized images of Sam Raimi into a more realistic and gritty world. If I had any complaint, it would be the distracting boots and thigh high stockings Emma Stone wore throughout the film. I’m not complaining about how they looked… just that I found them distracting. That is hardly a complaint.
If you were looking for me to rip into this film, sorry to disappoint… but there are more than enough reviews ripping this film a new a-hole. I personally got into it and at one point (involving cranes, if you’ve seen it, you know what I mean) I leaned over to my daughter and told her, “this is why I love coming to the movies”. When I get excited and the goose bumps come out, a film has done it’s job. The Amazing Spider-Man did it’s job. Period.
It has amazing in the title, it must be good…
Cornelius J. Blahg
PS: Sorry for the shorter reviews, I’m simply playing catch-up. My usual long winded blathering will continue with the next review… which will probably be The Dark Knight Rises. Stay tuned.