At this point in our “Spider-Man” re-watch, we have finally finished the Sam Raimi trilogy, and we now head over to the Marc Webb “Amazing Spider-Man” movies.
“The Amazing Spider-Man” which was released in 2012, which was directed by Marc Webb, was a complete reboot of the “Spider-Man” film franchise, with Andrew Garfield taking over the titular role from Tobey Maguire.
This time around, they tried to tell the origin story of everyone’s favorite web-slinger by updating the characters a little bit, and by trying hard not to make things seem too familiar, even though it had been a decade since the first “Spider-Man” movie was released. It also featured Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, Peter’s true first love interest in the comics, with no mentions of Mary Jane Watson at all for this film and the sequel.
After watching this movie, I came out of it being entertained and a little bit bored at a particular point. However, this had nothing to do with the performances that the actors gave, as I thought that the acting that the main actors gave was really good. I think that the problem here was the script, the direction, and a little bit with the editing, plus, the villain still couldn’t top what the Raimi trilogy villains had to offer.
At a certain point, I was checking how much time I still had left in the movie, which, for me, usually isn’t a good sign at all, especially if I check it multiple times during the course of the movie. I felt that there was a whole lot of unnecessary exposition, and that the first half dragged on a little bit too long. In fact, Spider-Man and the Lizard have their first encounter until around ninety or so minutes into the movie.
And then from there, all that set-up they put into Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) goes down the drain as he becomes less and less of an actual character from that moment on.
The fight scenes were good, but for me, it felt very choreographed, unlike the visceral action scenes of Raimi’s movies, and the fight sequences and even the web-slinging sequences were a little bit jarring as it seemed as if it was edited quickly and it was a little bit shaky.
However, if there’s one thing that does save the movie, it is Andrew Garfield, who is, in my opinion a better Spider-Man than a Peter Parker, but he did a good job in portraying this modern version of Peter. Garfield’s performance is a little bit more nuanced that Maguire’s, and you can tell that Garfield did his best to truly pay homage to this character that he does love.
The second thing that saves this movie is the electric chemistry that Stone and Garfield have with each other.
“The Amazing Spider-Man” is an interesting and more modern take on the story, with a good performance by Garfield, but for me, it still lacks the true heart and spirit that the Raimi movies had.
And now, before we move on, please be reminded that there will be spoilers from this point on!
Before we move on to what I didn’t like about this movie, let’s focus first on what I did like about it.
As I mentioned earlier, I thought that Garfield did a great job in portraying this version of Peter Parker/Spider-Man.
This is truly an updated version of Peter, as seen in the fact that he talks and behaves a little bit more like your average teenager, and the fact that even though his classmates make fun of him, he’s just that quiet hipster kid in class whose interests include photography, skateboarding, and science.
I thought Garfield put a lot of heart into his portrayal of Peter, and that he was able to run through the gamut of emotions that the story put him through. I also liked the fact that it took some time for him to figure out his powers, except for the fact that that exposition took too long and that his wrist web-shooters emitted strange white puffs of smoke every time he used them.
However, if you look at the character itself, this Peter was very different and he was a little bit out of character, as he could be a little bit of a jerk to his aunt and uncle and to others.
I also wasn’t fond of that skateboard montage when he was swinging on the chains hanging from the ceiling because it did look like a weird music video, and as I was expecting him to already start experimenting more with his powers at that point.
But, he did make a very good Spider-Man, although I don’t like his suit in this movie and that his quips to that car thief who was really a confidential informant for the police, went a little bit too overboard.
Garfield and Stone have such great chemistry together on screen, and did help that the two ended up falling in love with each other in real life thanks to these movies.
Stone also performed well, although I do wish that they were able to give her more of a character arc than what we were given.
I found it interesting that they chose a different route when it came to Peter’s family history, as this time around, they made Peter’s father connected to the genetic research at OSCORP.
In fact, the first half, with Peter trying to figure out his parent’s past, almost felt like a mystery story. I think maybe that’s what made it long- the fact that this movie is a mystery story, origin story, and an action movie all at the same time.
The rest of the performances in the movie were good, but they way it they were written didn’t hook me in too emotionally, to the point that I would feel something more for these character, and in particular for Martin Sheen’s Uncle Ben. I did like his performance, but it’s hard to top what Cliff Robertson did.
It is also pretty hard to top Willem Dafoe’s Norman Osborn/Green Goblin, which is why I think they chose not to show him in this movie. Instead, they mentioned that all this research was going to help him as he was dying. However, the fact that he does not show up in the movie lessened the urgency that Connors needed to motivate his character to turn into the Lizard.
Speaking of Connors, I actually felt that he was a good character until he turned into the Lizard. From then on, they did not give him an evil scheme that made sense, and all sense of his character arc just disappeared down the drain.
So, in the end, I felt that “The Amazing Spider-Man” was an entertaining movie with a Peter Parker that probably the younger generation can relate to better. However, I felt that it dragged on for quite a bit, and I wished that they introduced a better villain for Spider-Man to go against, and that certain elements of the story made sense.
Did you like “The Amazing Spider-Man”? Why did you or why didn’t you like it? Let me know what you think in the comments below!