The Amazing Spider-Man reboots a series that ended not too long ago, with Sam Raimi’s Spiderman films just five years ago. But is Marc Webb’s new take on the franchise enough to justify an entire restart of Peter Parker/Spiderman’s origin story? The answer is yes a dozen times over.
The movie stars Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, a socially awkward and quiet teenager who has a goofy smile when around his crush Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). Right from the start their chemistry is phenomenal, in that it feels realistic and exactly how a high school romance should be in the beginning. And as the movie progresses, the goofiness turns into a relationship that is meaningful and important to the viewer.
The Amazing Spider-Man isn’t all about the romance, though. Early on in the movie Parker meets Dr. Curtis Connors (Rhys Ifans), who is missing an arm and intends to regenerate the limb through the use of lizard DNA. As any avid superhero fan knows, this only leads to trouble when the lizard DNA takes over Connors and turns him into the monstrosity that is the Lizard. Before the movie, there was a lot of speculation as to whether the Lizard would be a CGI shamble or if the digitally rendered reptile would be a smash hit, and I’m here to say that he’s the latter. The special effects aren’t anything better than what we’ve seen in The Avengers, but the Lizard himself is a well-developed character who makes for lots of flashy on-screen images. Spiderman’s fights with him are quite the spectacle, and watching the Lizard punt Spidey off the top floor of OsCorp tower is sure to make you hold your breath in suspense.
Considering that visuals aren’t taken to any new cinematic tier in The Amazing Spider-Man, it’s important to note there’s an obvious plot oriented approach. It’s how the characters interact with each other and how relationships unfold that is the key to the movie’s success. For example, one actor who really takes character evolution to the next level is Denis Leary, who portrays Gwen Stacy’s dad and the leader of the local police force. George Stacy begins as someone who is untrusting of Peter Parker and detests Spiderman, but as the movie continues he learns to accept both of them in a believable manner.
The big idea with The Amazing Spider-Man is that it takes an extremely iconic character and fleshes out the story behind him. It extends what was only briefly covered in the Sam Raimi films, and gives the viewer something to care about and reflect on. On a final note, if you’re looking for another Avengers, look elsewhere. If you’re looking for a thoughtful, well-written and crafty web-slinging adventure with lots of originality, this is the movie for you.