[yellow_box]Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy![/yellow_box]
The Amazing Spider-Man 03/07/12)
Peter Parker finds a clue that might help him understand why his parents disappeared when he was young. His path puts him on a collision course with Dr. Curt Connors, his father’s former partner.
The second big comic book film release of the year is finally here. Some thought it a little too soon for a reboot of Spider-Man. Heck, I was part of that ‘some’. Sure, I needed something to wash away the bad taste that Spider-Man 3 left me with, but I didn’t think a reboot was the way to go. Now, I am insanely glad that the almighty film powers that be decided that a reboot was in order for our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. Not only does The Amazing Spider-Man make me forget about Spider-Man 3, it makes 1 and 2 seem like very distant and fuzzy memories.
Let’s start with Andrew Garfield’s take on Peter Parker. Excellent. He’s that brash, cocky teenager that he was in the Ultimates series of the comic book. He’s a kid who thinks he knows it all. And yet still mumbles all the way when talking to a certain female of the species. He’s just a kid. Yet, as Spider-Man, he grows as a person and begins to understand the nature of what he has to do as a self-appointed super hero. All the while, there’s so much heart packed into Andrew’s performance as Peter Parker and Spider-Man. Tears were flowing!
The rest of the cast is damn near perfect. Martin Sheen and Sally Field are brilliant as Uncle Ben and Aunt May. There’s a real warmth to them both. Uncle Ben’s inevitable doom is played out with a big sense of foreboding. I mean, who doesn’t know the fate of Uncle Ben when it comes to Spider-Man? Still, despite knowing what’s to happen, it’s still a little bit of a shock when it does happen. Who else? Denis Leary it is good to see you on the big screen and know you’re not a character from the Ice Age films. Captain Stacy is every bit a patriarch and protector.
Emma Stone shines as Gwen Stacy. Her and Andrew Garfield have amazing chemistry. There’s something very believable about the two of them. She’s genuine, sweet and funny. Couldn’t have asked for a better Gwen Stacy. Rhys Ifans’ makes for a great villain. As per usual, looking back at past Spider-Man film villains, he’s a villain who’s not really a villain. He’s been driven to it. Inside, he is a good man. But he’s on the brink of desperation and that never goes anywhere good.
The film itself was great. I do admit – the first half was a bit tiresome. Think that’s bit of a harsh word. But we know this story. Well this part. The trailers and posters are all bragging about The Untold Story, but I couldn’t find an untold part in this. Soon enough though, the film finds its momentum and skips along to the end with a nice pace.
I was hoping there would be none of the ol’ patriotic New Yorkers. For some reason, in the past Spidey films, these scenes just felt insanely cheesy to me. Maybe it’s because I’m neither a New Yorker nor an American! So when there was such a moment here, yes I rolled my eyes. But … a part of me actually enjoyed the moment. There were some other moments during the film that I felt could have been better. A scene where Dr. Connors is having a heated conversation with Rajit Ratha, there’s a completely overwhelming bit of score playing in the background. The score music just took away from the drama of the conversation. There were a lot of moments when I thought the score was just far too overbearing or just didn’t match with what was going on.
The action is aplenty. Those action scenes are done brilliantly well. Though my favourite have to be when Peter’s trying out his new skills. Not to mention when he’s learning he’s got some new talents – there’s a lovely amount of comedy in this film.
The Amazing Spider-Man is a great comic book film. It’s given the Spider-Man franchise a great new lease of life. It’s not a perfect film. The slow pacing in the first half and overbearing score are the worst parts of the film. But they’re only small issues. Does this beat or match The Avengers? Sadly, no. I had a whole lot more fun watching that film. I enjoyed it a lot more. It’s going to take something epic to knock that one out. Which might happen in a couple of weeks….