Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Amazing Spider-man Review

A Stellar Reboot, With Few Things Lacking *Updated*


After seeing The Amazing Spider-man, I can rest easy knowing that my favorite superhero is in good hands. I was unsure about a few things, after hearing certain plot details and seeing certain reviews, so I figured I'd just have to see what I thought for myself. In short: Marc Webb and his fantastic cast and crew made a reboot that will make me never want to watch the previous Spider-man movies again.

What was good? The characters. By-and-large the actors nailed down great adaptations of their comic-book counterparts. Someone is always stealing the scene, and it's almost always someone different. Martin Sheen takes over the role of Uncle Ben like he was born for it, and Aunt May, portrayed by Sally Field, only had one drawback: she didn't have enough screen-time. We got to know her character a bit, and I'm sure we'll see her more in the sequel that is basically guaranteed. Dennis Leary does Captain Stacy justice, and tends to command the stage whenever he's on. Emma does a great job portraying Peter's love interest, Gwen Stacy. Last, but certainly not least, is Andrew Garfield.

In my opinion, pitch-perfect casting
The reason I can't watch the previous Spider-man movies again is because Andrew Garfield has given us such an incredible Peter Parker, that I don't believe Toby Mcguire can hold any stature as Spider-man anymore. Peter is nerdy, awkward, and has his faults, but he's also charming, responsible, and as Aunt May tells us, completely good. Andrew has set a bar that will be hard for any future Spider-men to reach, but that won't be a worry any time soon.

In previous posts, I've described their stunts, and none of them disappointed. The script was witty, sharp, natural, emotional, and epic. The score was a surprise to me. After seeing clips, I was worried it was going to be a bit campy, but when the whole thing is put together, the music adds a rich layer to the film.

What didn't I like? I wanted more of some things. Curt Connors didn't get a ton of development, but the little we saw of him showed a lot of potential for character depth. He was the only character I thought needed more. There wasn't enough Aunt May, which I already mentioned. The relationship between Gwen and Peter is rushed. It starts out very shallow, but in the final act of the film we have two very deep and emotional scenes. Having never been moved much by Tobey and Kirsten in Raimi's Spider-man movies, I loved that Andrew and Emma were able to bring me into their relationship and really get me to feel emotion. Having said that, if it weren't for those scenes, the whole thing would have felt very superficial. I wanted some more of the depth in their relationship.

Chop him up a few more times and we'll call it good

That's about all I have to say for now. I'll be adding to this review as my excitement dies down, but for now, I give The Amazing Spiderman 4 out of 5 stars, for superb acting, incredible effects, and an amazing story. It loses one star for lack of villain development, and because I would have liked more of Peter and Gwen's relationship, as well as Aunt May.


I have to say, now that my hype has died down, and it's time for The Dark Knight Rises to take over the move world, I think I like this movie more now than I did right after I saw it. The reason for that is the little details that Webb threw in. To truly appreciate this film, we need to go to his main inspiration: Ultimate Spider-man. What he uses from the first 40 issues or so is remarkable. Here's a list of tiny things that really brought this movie front-and-center to all other superhero movies. Remember I'm not saying it's better than the other ones, just that I myself enjoyed and appreciated The Amazing Spider-man most.

Peter has an Einstein Poster in his room. I'm hoping in the sequel that Peter moves out of his room and into the basement, just like in Ultimate Spider-man. It becomes his "HQ" where he works on his costumes, does research on baddies, and stays locked up in most of the time.

Aunt May makes meatloaf. It's not hinted at that the meatloaf is bad, but Peter makes jokes about how he'd much rather have Pizza.

Curt Connors oversaw a project that Richard Parker and Ed Brock Sr. worked on and Eddie Brock Jr. continued. So in a way, he knew and worked with Richard Parker. I'd like to see Marc Webb bring in the "Venom Suit" in the style of Ultimate Spider-man as well. It would be fitting, since apparently Norman Osborn is dying, and the suit was originally designed to cure cancer within the host body.

Peter's warehouse fun. This scene is where Peter tries out his powers in an abandoned warehouse. This comes straight out of the comics as well, although then it was at night, not after school.

Uncle Ben's words on responsibility-In the comics, when Peter is getting lectured on being responsible, Uncle Ben never says "with great power there must also come great responsibility", the way he does in The Amazing Spider-man comics. Instead, he tells Peter that his "father lived by a principle...", and then proceeds to paraphrase the famous mantra. This was a surprise because I had forgotten it completely, and I feel much better about that scene now.

I'd like to keep a running list going as I go through the series again. Check back for more of the details that made this movie amazing.


  1. Just saw this. Andrew Garfield was seriously great. He'd better be in the next Avengers movie.

  2. No reason to exist whatsoever, but it’s still a fun,
    superhero flick that’s being released at a perfect time. However, I kept on
    being reminded of the original series every single time the film would touch on
    a plot-point. Too distracting for me at times, but I still had fun none the
    less. Solid review Zack. 

  3. The only time I was distracted in that way was when Peter said "Not my policy." I've read the comics so much now that anything that was similar to Raimi's doesn't remind me of them, instead it reminds me of the comics. I felt the same way for a while about it's existence, because there really was no need to make this film so soon. However, after seeing the film, especially Garfield's performance, it definitely earned the right to exist.

  4. Just rediscovered this.  In Ultimate Spider-man 4, Uncle Ben doesn't directly say "with great power comes great responsibility".  It's the whole "Your father had a philosophy", and then he paraphrases it. Marc Webb gets massive props.  Seriously the truest adaption of a comic book series ever.

  5. Also he spends time messing around in a warehouse in Ultimate Spider-man 3

  6. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

  7. If they bring Nova into GOTG, it would be awesome to see the friction between Spidey and Nova that was in the Ultimate Spider-man tv show. It also would be a great starting point for the Avengers reserve team, or New Avengers,


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