For more than a year, I anxiously waited for The Amazing Spider-Man to come out in theaters. I was ready for the midnight premiere with my large, boys’ size (glow-in-the-dark) Spider-Man shirt, and I sure wasn’t the only one showing my Spidey pride.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about the franchise getting rebooted, but it couldn’t be worse than Sam Raimi’s third installment of Spider-Man. And it wasn’t.
A Fresh Start
Peter Parker gets a fresh start with this new rendition of the successful franchise and a new director, March Webb. Andrew Garfield’s performance as Parker comes across quite well and successfully fills Maguire’s shoes.
The new Parker doesn’t come off as such a nerd as he skateboards around his school and stands up for other students. He’s just as intelligent…maybe even more so than the original Parker.
Looking into Peter’s Past
With more of an emphasis on the past than the original, the movie opens with Parker as a young boy. His parents fear for Peter’s life, and they drop him off at Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May’s (Sally Field) house. That’s the last time Parker sees his parents.
It’s not until Parker finds a portfolio with his dad’s work for Oscorp that he begins to delve into his family’s past. It leads him to his dad’s former colleague, Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), who later transforms into The Lizard.
From here on, the storyline takes a somewhat familiar turn to the original franchise and the already-known origins of Spider-Man. A genetically enhanced spider bites Parker, giving him spider-like abilities that help him hunt down his uncle’s murderer.
So, despite all the hype about the reboot focusing on his family’s past, viewers end up with a picture of the Parker family that is largely ignored and incomplete.
The villain of this film, a CGI lizard, is created when scientist Connors injects himself with reptile DNA in an effort to re-grow his missing arm. As Connors, he evokes sympathy. As The Lizard, he’s quite threatening. Though the graphics for The Lizard are impressive, it still can’t compare to being able to swing through New York City with Spidey.
For the first time, audiences get to see what he sees. It’s fun, yet it could’ve been nauseating had the ride gone on too long. Another detail I appreciated was getting to see how Parker manages to shoot web from his wrists. We see him make a device that shoots delicate, glass-looking web that’s strong enough to hold a car.
All in all, The Amazing Spider-Man is pretty amazing. Though it was hard to detach myself from the first version, the reboot is promising. The cast and the natural interaction between the characters are what makes this a solid film ready for a sequel. With Maguire’s hard and successful act to follow, Garfield slips into the re-made red and blue suit to make a new Spider-Man that will become “the” Spider-Man for the new generation to grow up and fall in love with, just as I did.
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Image © Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc./Marvel Characters, Inc.