Forget dreary Tobey Maguire. Forget melodramatic Kirsten Dunst. Forget depressing spidey. The world’s most popular superhero is back.
The Amazing Spider-Man is more or less the same story of the first Spider-Man movie that saw light in 2002. Peter Parker, a 17 year old high school student who lost both of his parents years before, gets bitten by a spider while visiting a high-tech lab and develops spider-related abilities such as cunning senses and extra sticky digits. He is the victim of radical biological experiments involving cross species hybridization, which his father had started before his death. Soon enough, this research takes a bad turn when its power begins to be used for purposes other than the one it was intended for.
Andrew Garfield, at 28, is far more convincing as a teenager than Maguire, who was even younger when he acted in the first Spider-Man movie. You’d think Garfield just had his growth spurt and is still getting accustomed to his new self. He’s extra shy around the girl he likes: Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), he’s awkward and agitated. He’s also great to watch on screen.
Emma Stone is great as well as Spidey’s love interest in this movie. What’s interesting about her character is that it doesn’t melt in the whole love-aspect of things but stands alone as a credible female character that can surprise you, entertain you and stand up for herself when needed.
Garfield and Stone have stunning chemistry together on screen. They work so well together you can’t but wonder at times where this combo had been hiding for years. Of course, they are helped by a terrific supporting cast in the form of Sally Field and Martin Sheen as Peter’s aunt May and uncle Ben, respectively.
Director Mark Webb, yes that is his real name fitting as it is, does a great job in breathing new life into a story we all know and giving it another dimension we hadn’t been exposed to before. His previous work is the very entertaining 500 Days of Summer, an indie comedy. He pulls off the blockbuster aspect of things in a great way and even adds a little touch of the humanitarian aspect present in copious amounts in indie movies to his reboot of Spider-Man.
The story may be familiar. The last Spider-Man movie, horrible as it may have been, was only five years ago. But The Amazing Spider-Man is a more than welcome restart of a franchise I had thought is long gone by now. The movie exceeded my expectations. I never thought I’d be this entertained by it. I never thought I’d be taken in from the first frame that poped on screen and never let go until the credits started rolling. I never thought it would be this well-casted. The Amazing Spider-Man advances with great pace, works well with its buildup and even has a few tricks up its sleeve so freshen the story up. The special effects are more than well done but in an age where this is becoming easier and easier to accomplish, where The Amazing Spider-Man rises is in it having substantial amounts of heart.
Some parts of the story are left open as the movie ends, to be resolved in subsequent installments. Even the characters’ personalities are not developed until they’ve been turned dull, which makes The Amazing Spider-Man even more interesting to watch and to predict what might come next. It sure doesn’t hurt that the screenwriters are some of the best in the business such as Steve Kloves, the man who brought you Harry Potter. But this is what the original Spider-Man should have been about.
The Amazing Spider-Man is amazing, indeed. Welcome back spidey. You’ve been missed.