"The Amazing Spider-Man" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
After Sam Raimi made a trilogy of films to introduce Spider-Man into the world of cinema, Sony decides to reboot the franchise in 2012, bringing in Andrew Garfield to play the role of Peter Parker. Director Marc Webb provides a fresh, new take on this famous superhero by placing him in a darker climate, using revenge as Peter's main motivation in this great origin story.
The film basically follows the same format that the original "Spider-Man" film did; Peter gets bitten by a radioactive spider, causing him to become the wall-crawling superhero. However, in this installment, Peter takes revenge to a whole new level as he spends most of the movie looking for the man who killed his Uncle Ben (played fabulously by Martin Sheen). The police are also on the hunt for Spider-Man, which proves difficult as Peter's girlfriend, Gwen Stacy's (Emma Stone), dad is the police chief hoping to bring him down for good.
At the same time, he is aiding his late father's partner, Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), in his quest to finish what he and Peter's father had started. Along the way, it turns dangerous as he becomes the evil, giant villain known as The Lizard.
Garfield does an amazing job as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. Each actor that plays this role gives something different, but Garfield has this certain charm to him that makes it impossible not to like him. At the same time, I think the chemistry he has with Stone is the best on-screen "Spider-Man" chemistry we have ever received. They are nearly perfect together on screen, and their romantic relationship is a lot of fun to watch.
I also enjoyed how we spend more time exploring Peter's parents backstories. We didn't really get to know who they are in Maguire's outing as Spider-Man, so I thought it was a fresh, new story to incorporate in this film. This can also be said with the character of Connors. I think Connors serves as the new Green Goblin in a way, serving as a mentor of sorts to our nerdy hero. I personally think Dafoe's Green Goblin is yards better than the villain we received in this installment, but the Lizard was still a fun character to watch.
The cinematography, on the other hand, is absolutely beautiful. There are numerous shots of Spider-Man slinging through the night that look like they should be framed and in a museum. Cinematographer John Schwartzman does an excellent job of framing each and every scene, to not only move the story along, but to establish the tone of the film as well.
This film perfectly sets up Garfield's Peter Parker. I think they could roll more with the Peter Parker aspect of the story as I think he presents a fabulous representation of who he is from the comic books. Don't get me wrong - Garfield does amazing in the spandex tights as well. But, there's something about his vibe and attitude that makes Peter Parker the hero of this story, rather than his web-slinging alter ego.