“The Amazing Spider-Man” is a reboot of the Spider-Man franchise only ten years after Sam Raimi’s original version came out. I personally think that is way too soon to revisit Spidey’s origin story. When I heard that they had cancelled a fourth movie and opted for a reboot a lot of people, including myself, were not too impressed.
But it is here now, and I love Spider-Man so I eventually got excited to see this. The result is a version of Spider-Man that borders on greatness. The best version of this character still remains Raimi’s “Spider-Man II”, but this one comes pretty close.
The director here is Marc Webb who gave us the wonderful “500 Days Of Summer”. Here he kind of takes his cues from what Nolan did with Batman and puts this hero in a more grounded and darker reality. There is more attention to detail as well. The origin story takes over an hour to tell.
The film opens with Peter Parker as a young boy. One night he is dropped off by his parents at his Uncle and Aunts house and they are never seen again. He grows up to be played by Andrew Garfield.
Garfield brings his own unique performance to the character of Peter Parker. Here he is more of a risk taker but he is also more awkward and introverted. His romance with Gwen Stacy feels more like a teenage romance. The like each other but stay sort of guarded and shy around each other.
When Parker discovers his fathers old brief case in the basement, its sets him on a journey to discover what happened to his parents. This leads him to the Oscorp tower and to his fathers old lab partner, Curt Connors. Turns out they were working on some sort of way to use the genetics of reptile species to heal people and regrow limbs. Connors in fact has a personal stake as he has only one arm.
As any student of Spider-Man knows Connors transforms himself in to the monstrous Lizard and wreaks havoc. His tussles with Spider-Man are exciting yet vicious most of the time. The effects used to create him look about as real as they can. My favorite part of the movie has the Lizard tossing cars off a bridge and Spider-Man catching them in his own Spidey way.
“The Amazing Spider-Man” also has a lot of colorful supporting characters which Webb gives sufficient screen time to the actors to allow them to have depth. Martin Sheen and Sally Field play Uncle Ben and Aunt May, both loving yet tough on Peter when he becomes unreliable.
Emma Stone plays Gwen Stacy as a smart and resourceful girl. Denis Leary plays her father who is the chief of police. He sets out a task force to bring down Spider-Man until he understands what he is trying to do.
Connors is played by Rhys Ifan, as a man who is haunted by his past and becomes the Lizard out of some sort of desperation. It is especially nice that the villain is not just a one dimensional evil doer.
It is uncommon these days to get a super hero movie with this much story and character to it. Director Marc Webb shows that he is up to the task of telling a real story and not short changing the audience with non stop action.