The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Apparently since we demanded it, Hollywood has delivered. They bring everyone’s favorite web-head back to the big screen. Seemingly wanting to make up for what ended up being an emo, dancing Peter Parker, Sony has followed the popular trend and has rebooted their major comic franchise. Therefore, we know have The Amazing Spider-Man.
The biggest thing this flick has going for it is its harkening back to the source material. It really captured the feel of the original comics and made it current and relevant. Seeing Spidey in action (eventually) and hearing him make some jokes that were actually funny caused a longing to return to the old books. This time around there was much more to the origin of Spider-Man than the good old “radioactive spider” bit. Although he still gets bitten by a spider, how Peter Parker (Spoilers: btw, Peter Parker is Spider-Man if you didn’t know) comes into contact with the spider, and what makes said spider so special is all connected and intertwined in a very interesting way that involves Peter’s parentage and OSCORP, just to name a few things. In fact, Osborne himself has a fun bit of mystery surrounding him throughout the film. These new and augmented story elements make for a unique origin of Spider-Man and an interesting tale as it unfolds. All that being said; this flick just feels long. Some of the narrative is just unnecessarily drawn out. It takes way too long for Spider-Man to appear and while its nice to see Peter Parker in love, let’s just move on, there is too much time spent watching him and Gwen Stacy flirt. Ironically, this picture has a shorter running time than the Avengers, but felt like it was way longer.
One of the biggest/only draw(s) for this picture, for me anyway, was Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Dude man is a great young actor and I was excited to see what he would bring to the character. Mr. Garfield did not disappoint. He played Peter Parker well from very early on and kept the strong performance all the way through, even as he made some clever, crime fighting quips and donned the red and blue web-atard (see what I did there? I combined webbing and unitard. Well, I thought is was clever!) Sadly the times when Pete was really upset, which were few, something just seemed off. Garfield angry and yelling and being mad, sad, and/or intensely frustrated was a bit awkward to watch. Working opposite was Miss Emma Stone. Now, I’ve not actually seen her in anything so I had nothing to look back on or forward to. But I digress, she did well. She was charming, nice to look at, and pulled the brains of Gwen Stacy off. The only drawback was there was too much time spent watching to sexual tension between those two. It was clear that they wanted to get it on but because the cameras were rolling it prevented them from doing so. But the supporting cast of Martin Sheen and Sally Field and Rhys Ifans were all great but were mistakenly and sadly overshadowed by the make-out sessions and eye-boning going on between Andrew and Emma.
Seeing Spidey back in action, swinging on webs, beating down bad guys was a truly fun and nostalgic site. My interest in Spider-Man was rekindled, albeit momentarily, and I was reminded of the affection I have for comics and the joy I get in seeing them brought to life well. Stan Lee had a great cameo, great care was taken in making Spider-Man look authentic while he swung around while keeping those classic poses. However, there was an attempt to add a new dimension to the Spider-Man film experience by adding POV shots while he’s swinging around and, I just have to say, that was an effect that just didn’t work for me. It would seem its more fun to watch Spider-Man than to be him. I also sort of missed that iconic Danny Elfman score.
- As such, I say to the Amazing Spider-Man, “That’ll do , pig. That’ll do.”