Sunday, 8 July 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man, 2012
Directed by Marc Webb
Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Rhys Ifans

We all know the story of Spiderman. Nerdy high school boy Peter Parker, bitten by radioactive spider, gains superpowers and becomes Spiderman. Best known in the movie forms that starred Tobey Macguire and Kirsten Dunst, in the form of 3 films.

Well, here we are in 2012, only 5 years since Spider-Man 3 came out. It's a "whole new origins story", now starring the critically acclaimed Andrew Garfield, and the new comedienne Emma Stone. While I remember being extremely skeptical when this "reboot" was announced, I slowly warmed to the idea when I saw the first trailer, and saw Andrew as Peter.

It's not secret that I have a huge celebrity crush on Andrew Garfield and love his acting. He was particularly phenomenal in Never Let Me Go, and I personally thought he deserved an acting nomination over Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network. However, I digress.

While the trailer and commercials and posters have promised an origins story for Peter and his alter ego, I'd say that was a little more of a let down. There's wasn't too much origins, though it was more of a relationship/personal movie than an action one, which I respect.

I haven't watched any of the Spider-Man movies for a very long time, so I can't really remember how well they resemble each other. Obviously, there were various things that happened that also happened in the Raimi version, such as Uncle Ben's death, the idea of the responsibility to do the right thing should you have the power to do it and, obviously, getting bitten by a radioactive spider and developing his costume and persona.  However, these things had to happen, and they did it in a different way than the original Raimi versions did.

Peter's reaction to his gaining of superpowers was extremely well-done, I thought. It was done in a realistic way, a way that I could imagine myself reacting. Breaking everything, being very confused, and just trying to ignore they happened and move on. The sequence in the bathroom and in his bedroom after that was well done. Additionally, once Peter had finally officially suited up and was roaming the streets for his Uncle's killer, we got a smart-talking Spider-Man, which was very fun. He had some fantastic lines, and made the whole thing quite amusing without overdoing it too much.

While the sequences with Peter were very good, it takes quite a bit into the movie for the Lizard to finally appear. It's not until about halfway through (which is at least an hour in) that Dr. Curt Connors finally turns into the Lizard. And if there were any plot-holes that I could complain about (and there were a few), it'd be more with the Lizard than with Peter or Peter and Gwen. While some the fighting sequences looked amazing (possible Oscar attention for Visual Effects? I'd say it's very possible), there were too many times when the Lizard has him in his grips and doesn't really do anything to Peter. Sure, tell me that villains like to torture their victims or whatever, or the director tried to make it suspenseful, but I thought it was a bit lazy.

In fact, while I enjoyed the movie, I felt like the Lizard was kind of the last thing planned in the story, as though it was decided they were going to do a Spider-man movie, and would do Gwen Stacy and be all comic-book, and oh yeah we need a villain. The Lizard sound ok? While it was an okay villain, it felt like it was way less planned out that Peter's story was, and while I understand this movie was an 'origins' story, I would've liked the villain to make more sense.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie. However, this is probably due to the fact that Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield were fantastic and I feel like I probably wouldn't have liked the movie as much if they weren't in it. Andrew Garfield is a solid actor and has done some good work thus far, and, I find, to be very under-appreciated. He gave a great performance in this film. Though he's about 29 years old, I thought he was able to strike that teenager attitude well. While he didn't exactly look 17 (I'd say he looked about 21, which isn't too bad for a high school movie if you really think about it), he captured the typical walk teen guys have, and had great chemistry with Emma Stone (duh), and really pulled off the cutesyness well. I just really like Andrew Garfield here, okay guys?

Overall, I enjoyed this reboot. It was fun, it was funny, quirky, cute, with some good action sequences. I'd even hazard to say it's been my favourite Superhero movie of the year thus far (okay, there's only been two, but I didn't like the Avengers, so there you have it.) though I know that'll change in a few weeks time when Batman is released.

(no, I didn't love it, and yes my favourite superhero movie of the year so far gets a 7)

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