The Amazing Spider-Man is a movie that effectively achieves its goal of rebooting a beloved franchise and making it different without ruining the character. If you’re a fan of Spider-Man then it’s very likely that you’ll enjoy this particular version of the popular super hero. Now the tricky part of reviewing this film is the fact that it’s very difficult to not compare ASM to the previous trilogy that was helmed by Sam Raimi, but I’m gonna attempt to do it anyway.
Now one of the things I find interesting about this movie is it’s retelling of Spider-Man’s origin. If you don’t know by now Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) gets bit by a genetically altered spider and it give him powers and so on and so forth. We know the drill already with this aspect of the hero’s genesis. What ASM does to make this more interesting is give us time to get to know Peter before he gets the powers. Once he does get them we also get some cool scenes of him being a teenager and genuinely enjoying the fact that he can finally get even with the school bully. And as much as I did like these scenes and getting an elaboration on Peter Parker’s high school struggles, I still feel like including the origin in the film was a big mistake.
The majority of the audience for this movie already know how Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man so us having to go through pivotal Spidey tropes like (*Spoiler Alert*) Uncle Ben dying or watching him actually get bit by the spider all start to feel like overkill. I think the movie would’ve benefited by just starting out with Peter already as Spider-Man and this way I wouldn’t have been so burned out on the movie by the time it moves into its second act.
The best aspect of ASM is absolutely the cast. Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy makes a standard love interest role feel real and fully fleshed out, while Andrew Garfield is totally a better fit for the Peter Parker role than Tobey Maguire ever was. Also I’ve been on a West Wing kick lately so seeing Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben was definitely great to see. Denis Leary does the most he can with his small role as Captain Stacy, and Sally Field finally brings us an Aunt May who doesn’t seem like an old geezer. The actors in this movie really give depth to their characters and if it wasn’t for them this movie would definitely fall flat.
You can probably guess how this movie turns out. It’s your standard super villian hatches an evil plan and our hero has to stop him type story. We’ve seen it time and time again and honestly ASM doesn’t do anything all that unique to tell the story, but director Marc Webb’s focus on character moments help elevate the movie beyond its mediocre plot and fight scenes.
It probably sounds like I’m being harsh on this movie at times but I really did enjoy it. Do I think it’s completely necessary right now? Not so much, but I’m not mad it was made. I think general audiences will like the flick and obviously it’s going to make Sony some money before they get crushed by The Dark Knight Rises in two weeks.
I give this movie 7.5 out of 10 web shooting skeet sounds.