Directed by Marc Webb
Written by James Vanderbilt & Alvin Sargent
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone , Rhys Ifans, Sally Field, Martin Sheen, and Dennis Leary
Peter Parker finds a clue that might help him understand why his parents disappeared when he was young. His path puts him on a collision course with Dr. Curt Connors, his father’s former partner.
I’ll be damned. Did anyone see this coming? I hoped it would avoid a lot of comic book movie pitfalls and all, but I never expected it to be this awesome. This was a group effort in every regard. ASM is brimming with fantastic supporting characters and I still can’t tell who brought the most. Sheen and Field as the iconic Ben and May Parker worked so very well. The insufferable Aunt May was noticeably tuned down along with Uncle Ben’s “With great power comes great responsibility..” shtick. Emma Stone steps into the prized role of Gwen Stacy and delivers a wonderful performance. I wasn’t sure how to feel about such a romantic storyline, but all in all, this helped pace the story and move it forward. How refreshing to see Gwen get some real movie time. Stepping in as her father, Captain Stacy, a NYPD officer, is Dennis Leary who is a scene-stealer of sorts.
What impressed me from the opening moments was Garfield’s portrayal of Peter. The guy is nearly 30 years old and sold himself well as a 17-year-old fledgling hero. Garfield not only looks the part, (much more than Maguire) but he pours himself into the humble, determined, and fiercely protective webslinger. Movies are such rich forms of escapism and I swear there were moments that I forgot I was watching a summer movie – the film immersed itself in the Spider-Man universe wholly. It felt much more like Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man than the historic Amazing Spider-Man. Speaking of, I urge all of you with any interest in comics, to check out Mr. Dan Slott, the current writer and Godsend to The Amazing Spider-Man flagship title.
Seriously, did anyone not hear Stewie saying “Get some of that hot, hot, Sally field ass..”?
This film promised to fill in some blanks regarding the Parker family’s past. Spoiler Alert: Pete’s parents were Oscorp employees and worked closely with Dr. Curt Connors, who steps into the spotlight as the demented and violent Lizard. Pete finds some of his father’s notes and he walks into his destiny at Oscorp because of it. Dr. Connors, (Ifans) is driven to create gene-jumping science in his latent attempt to repair his missing arm with reptilian DNA. Of course like so many super villains, once his mettle is tested, he falls back on his twisted desire and injects himself with a serum nowhere ready for human testing. Insert our favorite lab coat wearing Lizard. Ifans handles the good doctors’ growing insanity well. Some clunky CGI Lizard moments are my only beef with the movie and it’s not much of one.
“Yesssss, tell the Hulk he’s not the only green guy busting out of purple pantssssss!”
Garfield’s action scenes are the real star of this one. Marc Webb obviously had a clear vision for his Spider-Man reboot and the action is nothing short of awesome. Spider-Man has an instantly recognizable style and the wise-cracking, villain enraging, nimble hero is so accurately represented. Spidey is my all-time favorite comic book character, so I held this film to my high standards and I left cheering and clapping with the rest of the sold out crowd. You can barely think about anything else when Spidey is in the shot. The CG is nearly seamless, making you wonder if it’s Garfield or the computer taking center screen. In this summer of blockbusters, it’s refreshing to see some of these underdogs claw their way to the top. I haven’t looked at the opening numbers yet, but I don’t know a single person who didn’t love it. Hell, I dare say this ranks in the top five hero flicks ever. We were all so thrilled with The Avengers that we almost wrote this one off before it even hit. If the new Batman delivers, we will truly have a summer perfecta for the comic book movie world. Go see this! Enjoy the mix of 40-year-old geeks and 10-year-old boys cheering at the same thing. It’s such a wonderful representation of the genre – nothing less than amazing indeed.