Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Movie Review: "The Amazing Spider-Man"

When it was announced that they were restarting the Spider-Man franchise with a reboot of the first movie, I was really skeptical. Why would a movie that was super popular and released only 10 years ago (with the last movie in the series released only five years ago) need to be remade so soon? Was there really something different that director Marc Webb ((500) Days of Summer) and Andrew Garfield could bring to Spider-Man?

Now that I've seen The Amazing Spider-Man, I can absolutely say yes. While there are definite similarities between this movie and Sam Raimi's movie starring Tobey Maguire which originally launched the franchise, I thought that this movie went a little deeper into Peter Parker's emotional journey and his recognition of the responsibilities that came with the red and blue suit. But don't get me wrong, there's plenty of high-flying action, great fight sequences, and peril to save the citizens of New York from.

In this version, Peter, who has been living with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben (Sally Field and Martin Sheen) since his scientist father and mother disappeared, stumbles upon his father's old briefcase, which contains some old files he hid. He shares this information with his father's old partner, Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), who thinks this might be the link he needs to regenerate people's limbs and make their lives better. After an encounter with an irradiated spider, he discovers his newfound powers and feels bold enough to pursue his crush on super-smart Gwen Stacy (the always-cool Emma Stone). And as his escapades raise the ire of police, including Gwen's police chief father (Denis Leary), Dr. Connors' transformation into a giant lizard causes the greatest threat.

While I really enjoyed Tobey Maguire's performance in the original movies, I thought Andrew Garfield did a terrific job, partially because I think his acting has a sensitivity and a power that Maguire lacks. The movie may not be as flashy as Sam Raimi's, but it is a fun summer movie without a doubt, a thoughtful one, with some strong performances and great action thrown in. (Plus it has Emma Stone, which is often enough for me to buy a ticket.) Can't wait for the next one!

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