July 7, 2012
by J.D. Cook
When the new Spider-Man film was announced I met it with a large yawn. I didn’t like the casting or the new suit update at all. I don’t know why they give Spider-Man a suit that looks like rubber; why change one of the most iconic looks in comics?! As the release date moved closer I suddenly found myself interested in the film. The Lizard, one of my favorite Spider-Man villains looked great! I still held off on becoming excited because I had been burned by last year’s X-Men: First Class. That film had also got me excited at the last minute only to disappoint me in ridiculous fashion. So would the Amazing Spider-Man disappoint or excite?
Spoilers From Here On
I’ll start with my only major problems with this film before I rave about it. There are a few scenes that are too similar to the original Spider-Man film. There is one where Flash Thompson puts a kids face in his lunch…I’ve seen that before pretty much. I also have a problem with these ridiculous bulling scenes. Yes bulling happens but it’s never so out in the open. It’s a more subtle thing. Bullies will run you down verbally and may never hit you and if they do it’s usually when they are with their friends and you are alone because bullies are fundamentally cowardly. There is also a scene with Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) where he says almost the same lines about ‘whether the other guy deserved to get beat up’. There is also a scene where the Lizard talks to himself much like William Dafoe’s Green Goblin. Another very minor problem is that Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacey has an internship with the super science corporation Oscorp. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a small town but I didn’t know of any seniors with any sort of internship that prestigious but it didn’t take away from the film. That’s really the extent of my problems!
Andrew Garfield blows away Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker and Spider-man. He portrays a Peter that is angst-ridden and has abandonment issues! As Spider-man he banters like a cocky teenager with a fast car! He sounds exactly like Spider-man should! In the past Spidey films Maguire sounded downright laughable trying to deliver lines as Spider-man. Emma Stone is equally excellent as Gwen Stacey. Their romance is completely believable and emotional. The thing that really drew me into this film prior to release was the Lizard. He was one of my favorite Spider-Man baddies due to the fact that he was a literal Jekyll and Hyde character. Connors was good and his alter ego the Lizard was evil. They got his nefarious plot correct. In the cartoon show he was always obsessed with making people into lizards and they did that plot perfectly in this film.
The best part of the film was how invested I quickly became in it. When Parker’s Uncle Ben died I was bummed, even though I knew it was coming and the second death of the film was even more upsetting. My favorite scene in the film was when a crane worker whose son Spider-Man had saved earlier in the film arranged the cranes in the city so Spidey could reach the Oscorp building to stop the Lizard. This was a great moment that showed any kids who were watching the film that you didn’t need web shooters or super powers to be a hero. There was also a heroic moment when Captain Stacey (Denis Leary) of the NYPD saved Spider-Man. Even Flash Thompson was done extremely well. He was not just some bully. As the film went on he grew to respect and like Parker just like in the comic books. Perhaps there is a film starring Agent Venom slated for the future?
There was also a really awesome amount of science in this Spider-Man film. Parker builds his web shooters and the Lizard’s final plan involves a lot more than the Green Goblin’s in the original Spider-Man. Of course another great thing about this film is that Norman Osborn makes a shadowy appearance in this film as a bigger baddie to be faced in future films. It seems people are learning from Marvel’s movie example. I can’t say enough about this film. It was so much more realistic and human then the originals. Instead of ending with a silly monologue about why Spider-Man can’t be with the girl (he ends up with in the sequel anyway) the film leaves things open. I can’t wait to see this film again and go back through the emotion of it all.
This is a must see!