The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Dropped off to live with his Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) at a very young age, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) always expected his parents to come back for him. Now he is in high school and has trouble fitting in, but likes to be the loner. There is one girl who Peter has trusted and had a crush on for years, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). When Peter finds important research in a bag belonging to his father, he decides to investigate at Oscorp, where his father’s former partner, Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), is currently running cross-species DNA testing. As Peter is exploring the research labs, he is bitten by a special kind of spider that is being used to create stong synthetic fibers. Peter begins to notice change in his strength and reflexes immediately which causes some conflict at home with his Aunt and Uncle, and ultimately an incident with a criminal that gets Uncle Ben killed. Emotionally distraught, Peter vows to find Uncle Ben’s killer and help others in need, even if the Police think he is a menace. It isn’t long before a new villain emerges on the scene as Dr. Connors accidentally turns himself into a giant Lizard who wishes to terrorize the city with a genetic-altering formula.
Sorry for the rather lengthy synopses, but it goes to show you how detailed and complex this new reboot of the Spider-man franchise really is. For starters, I don’t know why Spider-man needed a reboot just 10 years after the first series by Sam Raimi, but this sure is one great movie! It is cast perfectly… and I mean perfectly! Peter is just what I thought he should have been when Tobey Maguire was running around as Parker. He fits the look of today, but is still nerdy without being sooo nerdy you wouldn’t believe he could fight crime (which is what I thought about Tobey). Martin Sheen and Sally Field are pros as Uncle Ben and Aunt May and Denis Leary also lends his talents as the hard-ass Captain Stacy. As for the girl, Mary Jane is shelved for Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy who takes front and center with plenty of charm and class. Unlike Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane, Emma is peppy, happy, hopeful and supportive during times when Spider-man needs it most. Lastly, our villain, who like other villans in the Spider-man universe, is a good person with a big heart, but Dr. Connors is forced to do something he doesn’t want to do and becomes the Lizard. The special effects regarding the construction of the Lizard is my only real problem with the movie. He looks like one of the Gumbas from the Super Mario Bros. movie 20 years ago. You’re telling me that a new Spider-man reboot needed to be made, but they couldn’t create a freaking head of a character called “The Lizard” that looks like, well, a Lizard? Oh well, you don’t spend a lot of time looking at his head anyways. I love the fact that most of the subplots have satisfying resolutions rather than leaving several questions to be answered in the next movie. I hate that! But the right things are said at the right time to please the audience. After much thought, this new Amazing Spider-man is a better movie than Spider-man (2002) in almost every way, even if we are seeing some of the same scenes again, and it earns a spot on my personal top 100 list.
10/10 Stars – Very pleasing and visually fun, The Amazing Spider-man took everything from the original in 2002 and elevated it.
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