Sorry about the cheesy title, but I simply couldn’t resist. Last week I was able to find some time to go see The Amazing Spider-Man and I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised. I was excited about this film, but not nearly as much as the other super hero movies in the summer lineup. I told someone on twitter that I was expecting this movie to be good, but I ended up thinking that it was great. I personally liked this one better than the Sam Raimi films and I hope that holds true as this new series continues.
I feel I should mention that most of what I know about the Spider-Man canon comes from the Raimi trilogy and few old cartoon episodes I have seen here and there, so in other words, it’s not much. Thankfully I went to see this new film with a friend who has read the comics, so it was very interesting getting to talk to him afterwards and hear his take on things and I’ll add some of what he said in with my thoughts.
Anyway, the cast. I thought that the cast was incredible. It’s always strange to me when I see Rhys Ifans in a more serious role since my first two experiences with him were his very comedic roles in Notting Hill and The Replacements, but he is a very talented actor and did a great job portraying the war going on inside of his character as his good and evil sides collided. I had forgotten that Sally Field was going to be playing Aunt May, so it was a fun shock when I saw her and she played the role perfectly. Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, Emma Stone – all of them did a fantastic job in their roles.
I think probably the biggest question on everyone’s mind going in to see this film, though, is whether or not Andrew Garfield would be a good Spider-Man. My answer is yes. I loved him in this role. I thought that he brought so much emotion as well as great sarcastic humor into this character and he just felt very real and believable to me. The friend I was with had a slightly different take. He felt that Garfield really captured the character of Spider-Man, but that Tobey Maguire was a more accurate Peter Parker. I thought that was an interesting perspective.
As far as origin movies go, I thought that this film did a great job setting up the story without dragging things along too much, which is often an issue. The development of quiet, nerdy Peter Parker into a sort of anti-hero and then finally into an actual super hero felt very organic. I felt that I understood his motivations at each and every stage he was in and when he took the next step it made sense. One thing I found interesting was the sort of juxtaposition of the characters of Uncle Ben and Captain Stacey. Both of these men were key factors in Peter’s development though in very different ways. As my friend pointed out though, each character had a big scene (without giving away what those scenes entail) that has tremendous impact on Peter and the film seemed to give more weight to the scene with Captain Stacey as opposed to Uncle Ben which was kind of odd. Didn’t bother me too much, but it didn’t sit well with my friend.
All in all, I really loved this film and am now extremely excited to see where it goes in the next installments. They certainly set it up in the post-credits scene to continue on and I am pretty much giddy in anticipation.
Have you seen The Amazing Spider-Man yet? What did you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.