The Amazing Spider-Man
I’m all for gritty reboots as much as the next person, just as long as they don’t suck. By “suck,” I mean totally destroy the foundation of a beloved character so the new director can get his rocks off on film and call it a “reboot.” But I digress: After the crash and burn of the Spider-Man trilogy, I personally welcomed the idea of a reboot with open arms – even more so when I learned that Peter Parker was to be played by Andrew Garfield. Seriously, who would be more perfect?
Anyway, the casting in this film is actually pretty perfect. The chemistry between Peter and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) is not only incredible, but believable. In fact, a lot of this film’s structure was fairly believable. From the moment you see Peter go through the halls of the high school there’s this incredibly tangible wave of resentment and in a sense, frustration. You can immediately feel for Peter and sympathize with him, which makes his transformation from zero to hero even more satisfying.
I also found myself enjoying the villain, Dr. Connors (Rhys Ifans), more than I had expected. He once had a great cause which was then warped by a combination of greed, obsession and utter insanity, leaving him to become a tragic victim of circumstances. Even the mentioned greed was brought on by corporate stress – it was OsCorp that threw the gears in motion by threatening the lives of dozens if Connors didn’t test his project himself. Say, there’s an odd corporate subplot here, isn’t there?
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.
Okay first off, these guys are supposed to be 17-18ish, right? What is Gwen doing assisting one of the most highly regarded scientists of OsCorp? Interning is one thing, but how does one achieve such a high rank and level of respect? How would she have time with all of her high school stuff? Part of me thinks this would make a much more interesting story.
Secondly, what kind of self-respecting geek uses Bing?
– Minor Spoilers –
Thirdly, near the end when the construction guy gets all the cranes to help Spidey out, that’s just ridiculous. Seriously, there is a bio-weapon going off as well as an emergency evacuation and you want to call a few buddies to help a superhero make his way to the chaos-hub? Sure he saved his kid and all but he just seriously endangered a ton of people. How can you just get a bunch of cranes lined up like that without blocking more traffic? This moment totally flushed any realism this movie had out of my head and made it nose-dive back into the world of comics.
Lastly, what I found more mind-boggling was that Peter originally contacted Dr. Connors to learn more about his parents’ disappearance, but after getting sidetracked by an algorithm (these equations always seem to get Garfield into trouble), the whole plot focuses on Dr. Connors’ ambitions – what happened with Peter finding answers? He never said he wanted to continue his fathers’ work, he just wanted the truth. Unless he felt that by helping OsCorp he’d be closer to finding the answers, but that wasn’t ever discussed. Regardless, nothing was answered and it seems the film has left us with more questions.
To sum it all up, The Amazing Spider-Man is a refreshing take on the franchise and worth checking out. Yeah, I’ll see the sequel.
Final Grade: B+