Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man

Let's just get the red-and-black elephant in the room out so we can dismiss it. Why another Spider-Man, with a different actor and director? Wasn't Tobey McGuire perfect as Peter Parker? Because there were parts of the story that weren't told. Because each version tells its own version of the canon story.
It's pretty much the same story, but with enough detailed differences to get you to pay attention. This story concentrates on the death of Peter's parents, the death of his uncle, and how that changes him. It also strikes up a romance right away with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), who was Peter's first girlfriend in the sixties' comic books. And, yes, she was the daughter of the police chief (Denis Leary).
Details I really enjoyed include the fact that Peter has to be smart enough to invent the web-throwing mechanism. In the first version, the ability miraculously appeared, which, to us canon-lovers, was just ridiculous.
Life isn't easy for Spidey, but you probably already knew that. Andrew Garfield's deft interpretation, though, allows us to like this Peter Parker, appreciate his pain and his glee, and ride along with great interest and joy when he slings those webs around New York City.
The Lizard, as I recall, was the very first villain Spider-Man ever faced, and so it seemed appropriate that we get to see 'ol Lizard here. He's woven very nicely into the story, and a connection is made with Peter, who helps him with the regeneration serum. Rhys Ifans nicely plays this misfit, a misfit from both human and reptile standards.
The effects are just tremendous. But at the heart of The Amazing Spider-Man is a (still) good story and very good if not great screenwriting. The writing finds the movie's emotional center as you appreciate Peter's predicament and feel for him along the way. And they hired excellent actors to bring this one forth. Thumb's up.


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