The only think I was worried about with this Spiderman reboot was the simple fact that it seems too soon to do a reboot. Why it feels like only yesterday that the disgrace known as Spiderman 3 was unleashed upon the world, teaching us that super heroes can in fact die, if not physically them metaphorically. I honestly didn’t know if I would give a new Spiderman franchise a chance after Spiderman 3. After seeing The Amazing Spiderman, I am quite glad that I did.
It seems difficult to think that the storyline of a movie reboot could be different from the original but The Amazing Spiderman took a very different look at the Spiderman series. As in the original Spiderman trilogy, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is a High School student that is bit by a spider that gives him superpowers. He lives with his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and his Aunt May (Sally Field). Parker finds his identity as Spiderman after his Uncle Ben is shot and Parker takes it upon himself to find his killer.
Beyond what was mentioned above, there are not many similarities between The Amazing Spiderman and the original Spiderman trilogy. Instead of simply declaring Peter’s parents dead, the reboot gives the Parker parents their appropriate identities: spies. The film opens with a young Peter being brought to Ben and May after his parents are forced to run away and leave Peter behind. Before his Uncle Ben’s tragic death, Peter has already begun hunting for any news about his parents. His snooping leads him to find a picture of his father and his old work partner, Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) who now works for the series’ famous company Oscorp. Both Peter’s father and Connors dedicated their lives to cross species genetics, trying to find a way to use the DNA from other species to better the human race. After helping Connors to develop a formula, Parker inadvertently leads to the creation of the film’s villain. After injecting himself with a compound before it was properly tested, Connors becomes the beastly and ferocious Lizard.
Unlike what the world expected, Parker’s classic redheaded love interest does not appear in this film but instead, Parker falls for Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). Though the love interest is different, that doesn’t mean there is any less drama between the two. Not only is Gwen the daughter of the captain of police (Dennis Leary) who is hunting Spiderman as a vigilante, Gwen is also Connor’s assistant. One of my favorite parts about the film was the relationship that formed between Peter and Gwen. The relationship formed through a fair amount of awkwardness, which though it was annoying at times, made it seem like a true teenage relationship. They seemed like two High School students blundering through their first relationship, all while dealing with the true identity of Spiderman and the Lizard.
There were a lot of small aspects in this film that I feel made it a great film. Something as simple as having Peter Parker look beat to shit all the time when not in his Spiderman costume made his character so much more real. What I really liked about this aspect of Spiderman was that, I feel they capitalized on the “Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman” saying that accompanies Spiderman. Spiderman is a High School student given super powers. It takes him a while to not only figure out how to use the powers but to figure out how to be a hero. We as the audience get to watch that transformation happen. Peter doesn’t get bitten by a spider and then suddenly become a super hero, he has to learn how to be one.
The Amazing Spiderman was a great film that exceeded all of my expectations. I was happy with the fresh look at the hero, including the differences in the storyline. I was nervous that the first villain was the Lizard, a huge beast that fights with brute force rather than hand to hand combat but my nerves were easily coaxed. Having to dodge around the giant swipes and immensely powerful attacks from the Lizard allowed Spiderman to fight like a spider, utilizing his webs and dodging more. It made for a wholly entertaining movie with some amazing fight scenes. Overall I give this film a 8 out of 10. It is certainly worth the theater price to see Spidey flying high up on the big screen.