I went and saw The Amazing Spider-Man over the weekend. Prior to its release, I really wasn’t sure that I wanted to see this movie. All the trailers indicated that this was a retelling of the origin story. I am rather familiar with the origin story of Spider-Man and had a difficult time becoming interested in seeing this particular story again. Sadly, I find it difficult to say no to a visit to the local cinema. I swiped my card, picked up my popcorn and Coke Zero, and headed in to what I believed would be a disappointment.
I was wrong.
The Amazing Spider-man was an entertaining geek movie. The casting choices worked really well for me. Andrew Garfield plays the quirky and intelligent outsider well. I really liked Emma Stone’s portrayal of Gwen Stacy. She came across as strong, smart, witty and approachable without wooden feel that came across in the previous movie’s Mary Jane. Instead of having J Jonah Jameson as the putative dog on Spider-Man’s heels, the movie introduces Captain Stacy, chief of Police, played by Denis Leary. I appreciated not having the over-the-top caricature that is J Jonah Jameson in the movie. Captain Stacy presents pragmatic reasoning behind wanting to apprehend Spider-Man. His conversations with Peter Parker provide a welcome counterpoint to Peter’s burgeoning idealism. This added depth to both characters.
The origin story was a little bit of a twist. The introduction of his parents was a little jarring for me as I do not remember them ever being mentioned in any of the Spider-Man stories that I have read. Other than this, I liked their addition. Instead of showing them to be callous or uncaring, we get shown that they care for Peter first and their work second. The scene where they leave him with Aunt May and Uncle Ben is poignant and informative. It provides a solid base for the movie to move forward from.
I particularly liked how they portrayed both Peter Parker and the Lizard. In the other movies, I never got the idea that Peter Parker was gifted scientist. They focused solely on his photography to the exclusion of everything else. In this movie, Photography is still in the foreground and Peter’s intelligence is slowly brought to the fore as the plot progresses. The scenes where he designed his web-spinners were hilarious, light-hearted, and sorely missed from the other movies. Hell, they are one of the more dramatic moments in the climax of the movie. The story of the Lizard was also excellent. Watching him being driven to test his dream on himself or risk losing it forever was great. I also appreciated that they kept him around to hopefully reappear in another movie. I am so tired of comic book movies killing off the villain when they really need to be reoccurring set-pieces.
All in all, I heartily recommend checking out Amazing Spider-Man. It is well worth your time. Don’t forget, it is a Marvel movie so remember to stay through till the end of the credits.