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<< Entertainment >>

New Movie Review

"The Amazing Spider-Man"

Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Adaptation. Rated PG-13. 2 hours, 16 minutes.

Photo by Columbia Pictures

Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield in Columbia Pictures' "The Amazing Spider-Man" - 2012

 

by Michael Stark
mjstark333@msn.com

|

Andrew Garfield dons the red and blue spandex and takes on The Lizard in this retelling of the classic Marvel superhero’s origin.

I have noticed many reviews criticizing this movie for telling basically the exact same story as Sam Raimi’s 2002 film. I could not disagree more. Granted, there are some aspects of a Spider-man origin film that you have to hit on. The spider bite. Uncle Ben dies. This film does use many characters that were prominent in the 2002 film. However, this film provides a different and unique take on each of those characters. It also introduces some new ones.

You likely will not find a bigger fan of Sam Raimi’s trilogy than yours truly. I was a big fan of Tobey Maguire’s take on Peter Parker. But I am also a big fan of Andrew Garfield’s take on the same character. Each had their own approach to Peter Parker, because these films have created two different universes. Maguire’s Peter fits into Raimi’s vision, while Garfield’s vision fits equally well into director Marc Webb’s vision.

We never got to see Peter’s parents in the Raimi films. Here, they are front and center. It adds a whole new dimension to Peter, and gives us a reason as to why he makes certain choices. He wants to know why his parents left him at such a young age. That curiosity leads him to an old colleague of his father’s, Dr. Curt Conners, played by Rhys Ifans. The technology that Conners helped create at OsCorp is what leads to his transformation and Peter’s spider powers.

While Garfield and Ifans get the most screen time, and deservedly so, the supporting cast is nothing short of excellent. Emma Stone is delightfully charming as Gwen Stacy and makes it really easy for the audience to understand why Peter would so easily fall in love with her. Her father, Captain George Stacy, played by Denis Leary is after Spider-man. While Leary does have some classic Leary-esque deliveries, I really wish we could have seen more of his character. He seemed to get a little lost in the shuffle.

I also really enjoyed Sally Field and Martin Sheen as Aunt May and Uncle Ben. I don’t think there is a more ideal actor than Martin Sheen for the role of Uncle Ben. He preaches to Peter the importance of responsibility, is stern when he has to be, but also provides much needed fatherly love. In the original trilogy, Peter doesn’t really don the costume until after he’s gone off to college, so he doesn’t have to worry too much about coming home late to a concerned Aunt May. That is not the case in “The Amazing Spider-man.” Field steps up big in those scenes and it adds another level of conflict to Peter’s character.

We get plenty of Lizard vs. Spider action scenes. My personal favorite coming in the school hallway. Although after seeing this in both 2D and 3D, I can say that you don’t really need to shell out a few extra bucks. The third dimension does not really add anything. That being said, this is definitely a movie you should see…and make sure to stay through the credits!

OVERALL RATING: A

 

Photo by Columbia Pictures

The Amazing Spider-Man movie poster

 

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