The main question one asks in reference to The Amazing Spider- Man is, “why did we need another one?” For those non-comic book fans the fact that the story was or was not correct didn’t matter. We had our fill. So what could this one possibly bring to the screen that would enhance or entertain enough to draw in a crowd of average movie goers? Surprisingly, a lot.
In this version, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) begins to unravel the mystery behind his parent’s abrupt departure when he was a mere toddler. It revolves around his father’s old research partner Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans). This story replaces Mary Jane with a much smarter, more intriguing, and better looking Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). The rest of the Parker story remains the same. He lives with his Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and has to deal with becoming a vigilante super hero.
This film had lots more depth than the 2002 Maguire rendition. Garfield is a stronger actor and has the ability to add layers to the Parker/Spidey character. His emotions seem more genuine and the way he embraces the geek side comes across with more angst and darkness; not mere braininess. Gwen too is a better fit for Peter and you soon realize what a wet blanket Mary Jane was. Peter needs someone on his level of brilliance and backbone. Stone is always 100 percent on and doesn’t miss a beat here.
The story in this one is more intriguing as well. You get into the mystery along with Parker as he searches for clues. The fact he is bitten by a mutant spider is equaled by the human story going on around him. It is amazing how different actors can bring to life a role. Field and Sheen are seasoned and they portray Peter’s Aunt and Uncle in a light that is moving and emotional. It is that sort of added bonus that again makes this Spiderman tale in a league all its own.
I personally liked the way they handled the transformation of Peter into Spider-man. There is more technology in this one and the suit looks like one that a brainiac senior would create. It isn’t perfect. There are subtle parts that make it more realistic. As an audience we aren’t fooled into thinking that just because you get bit by a spider that webs can shoot out of your arms. This one handles it in a way that, sure is superhero in nature, but also doesn’t take the easy road.
But not all films are perfect and this does have its downfalls. Having a giant lizard as a villain comes across very cartoonish. There is nothing scary or foreboding about him. The effects were great and he looked seamless, but as a character it was flat. Speaking of the look of the film this one was stunning. Seeing it in IMAX 3D is a no brainer. Spidey’s movements are choreographed perfectly and the slow motion freeze frame poses are top notch.
The Amazing Spider- Man is rated PG-13 for stylized violence and action. This one is safe for those 10 and up but you know your child so be a smart parent. There are a few scary moments and the theme of parents leaving in the middle of the night may be a bit much for those in the single digit age range.