“The Amazing Spider-man” takes a refreshing new look at the friendly neighborhood Spider-man. This reboot of the franchise adds a new cast, new effects, and a new origin story. It is an okay movie and in many ways it’s better than the Sam Raimi version, but it’s not without it’s faults.
Peter Parker, played by Andrew Garfield, is the geeky kid at school whose life is changed when bitten by a radioactive spider. He gains the abilities of a spider and becomes the masked hero Spiderman. His girlfriend Gwen Stacy, played by Emma Stone, gives him support while he goes off to face Doctor Connors, played by Rhys Ifans, who is half man half lizard.
The cast change is very welcome. Andrew Garfield does a fine job as a Peter Parker. Emma Stone is cute as a button and does a great job being a lovable Gwen Stacy. The biggest change that I must note is the use of Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Uncle Ben and Aunt May. They both add a lot of class to the roles and seem much more believable as characters. The villain, Rhys Ifans, is over the top and really not that threatening. As a whole he just seems like a CGI thug. I really would have loved if they chose a different antagonist than the Lizard.
The two most distracting things go hand in hand. For one, the movie is very long. When I am watching a reboot movie and it’s 136 minutes long, is it really needed to tell the entire origin story over again? I am pretty sure that Americans are fully aware of the origins of Superman, Batman and Spiderman. It seems really redundant to keep going over it again and again. It might save a lot more time to just start with him already having his powers or making it a narrated montage if they felt it was so important to re-cap it.
This brings me to the second issue. The age of the main cast is way off for a re-boot. If they want to make it more like the comics then they should pick younger actors. While the actors are really good, they are clearly not in high school. Finally (and this is a nitpick) why in the hell did they need a character named Flash? I know that it’s in the comics but that character was a jock bully in the 1960s. Who goes around with the nickname Flash? Couldn’t they update that a bit for a modern audience?
As a whole the movie is good. I’d say that it might even be better than the Sam Raimi version. A lot of critics are saying that it’s much more dark but that is not entirely accurate. Maybe if he turned into something like Brundlefly when he was bitten, that would have been a lot darker. Effects are better and the actors seem to handle their dialogue more professionally. It’s certainly worth a rental or a matinee if you like Spider-man.