How so? The Amazing Spider-Man is spectacularly epic and surprisingly gritty, which is just what the doctor ordered.
The new actor who plays Spider-Man is fantastic. While I was a fan of Tobey Macquire and his portrayal of Peter Parker and Spider-Man (often defending him against naysayers), Andrew Garfield in his role as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, gives a new flair and toughness to the part that Peter seemed to lack in the previous trilogy. He also doesn’t have an annoying voice, which you can’t really fault a guy for, but it did make Tobey’s portrayal a bit tougher to swallow in my opinion.
Andrew has a lankier look that fits well with the athletic build you’d expect from Spider-Man, and while Andrew is much less nerdy than Tobey McGuire, he can still come off as a bit dorky. Even so, he is a much cooler portrayal overall and the whole nerd concept is somewhat lost. Having said that, it’s not a big deal and Andrew competently fills the role nicely.
The movie has a very nice buildup to the events of gaining his powers, and everything has been amped up in intensity. One area where this film really shines is in the intensity of feeling that Andrew provides to Spider-Man. The death of a central character is portrayed brilliantly by Andrew, whose raw emotion shakes you to the core. Throughout the film Andrew is a very emotional guy, but he has a certain rawness to him that really shines. I was taken aback by the overall grittyness of the film. The pacing overall is outstanding. With a perfectly-paced buildup and a re-imagining of how Parker becomes the webbed wallcrawler that is very entertaining to watch.
Especially as Peter starts to change and morphs into a much darker personality, almost resembling a drug addict in appearence and demeanor, sending shockwaves to his family.
The Lizard is the primary villain this time around, and I highly enjoyed the portrayal of him in this film, I think it was an excellent choice. Even though his look is a bit strange, it still works well. He has a kind of, dinosaur, raptor-like feel to him that I really like. And there is lots of story exposition as we witness Dr. Connor’s change into the reptilian monster of the comics. It’s done extremely well.
The action scenes in The Amazing Spider-Man are terrific. There is one scene in particular where Spider-Man essentially becomes Neo from The Matrix, those who’ve seen the film will know what scene I’m talking about, and it’s a really awesome one that’s just jaw-dropping in it’s coolness. I love the way Spider-Man fights in this movie, in particular the scene at the end.
The way that Andrew wisecracks of Spider-Man is also done brilliantly, and that is where Andrew really nails a homerun in his portrayal of Spider-Man. I had no idea what to expect from Andrew going in, but once I saw the cop-car scene, I was a new convert.
All of the characters in the movie fit perfectly. Emma Stone plays Gwen Stacy and she is as cute as can be, while also being very smart and capable herself. The romance that buds between them is very natural, and I love the scene when Parker first asks her out at the school. The acting is just so well done by everyone, including Gwen’s father who is a captain in the police department, which makes an interesting dynamic, as he is out hunting the masked fugitive, while Parker is falling for his daughter.
There are a lot of really neat web-swinging scenes (the reintroduction of webshooters was also a really cool touch, Spidery no longer shoots them out of his forearms like in Sam Raimi’s trilogy), and in particular the section where Peter is riding on his skateboard and swinging on chains, is so awesome and well done, you’ll be wanting to get up and cheer after watching it, and this film has many of those scenes that get your heart aflutter.
Overall however, The Amazing Spider-man movie feels somewhat less “epic” than previous movies, in particular, Dr. Octopus made for a much cooler villain in Spider-Man 2, and this film doesn’t approach that level of sheer awe in the slightest. That is one thing that is missing from The Amazing Spider-Man, while it feels epic, it is not as magnificent… I think it’s just the subject matter of The Lizard though, who you can only do so much with.
I think The Amazing Spider-Man laid down some amazing groundwork, and I can’t wait for the next two films in this new trilogy.
The Amazing Spider-Man was also critically acclaimed, and broke all kinds of records upon its release, including becoming the 44th highest-grossing film of all time and the fifth highest-grossing film of the year (The Avengers is #1 with $1 billion, $500 million dollars ($1,511,757,910). The Dark Knight Rises is #2 with $1 billion, $080 million ($1,080,955,119). Ice Age: Continental Drift is #3 with $874 million ($874,858,992). 007: Skyfall is #4 with $800 million ($800,262,078), The Amazing Spider-Man is #5 with $752 million ($752,216,557). Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is #6 with $740 million ($740,491,482), The Hunger Games is #7 with $686 million ($686,533,290), Men In Black 3 is #8 with $624 million ($624,026,776), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn is #9 with $602 million ($602,682,504) and Disney Pixar’s Brave is #10 with $535 million ($535,074,220))
I also saw The Amazing Spider-Man during the Midnight Premier, and boy am I glad I did! A very deserving movie, watch it!