Movie Review: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN

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Andrew Garfield (Source: Columbia Pictures)

LESSON #1: Don’t connect this movie to the past Spider-Man movies created by Sam Raimi.  Well, obviously everyone fell to the trap and got lost right smack in the middle of it all.  Who’s to blame?

It may be odd for everyone that 5 years after the last Spider-Man flick, a reboot was shown to theaters.  Was there really a need to rehash things up and re-tell the stories all over again?  And as a huge huge fan of this web-slinging Marvel Superhero, I have huge huge expectations for this movie.

And man am I so satisfied.

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The Amazing Spider-Man is the story of Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field). Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents’ disappearance – leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), his father’s former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors’ alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero. — (C) Sony

Mark Webb (no puns) brought The Amazing Spider-Man to greater heights and with such an AMAZING Cast!  Get that? Amazing Spider-Man. Amazing Cast!  AMAZING MOVIE!  When I first heard of the casting news about Andrew Garfield, I really thought that he could do very well as Peter Parker.  He really looks like the one in the comics!  And with Garfield’s acting chops (remember him as Eduardo Saverin in the critically acclaimed The Social Network), I was pretty confident that he could pull it off.

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From House Bunny to Gwen. I LOVE EMMA STONE. (Source: Columbia Pictures)

And what about Emma Stone? Damn she’s a really really GOOOD actress, as always.  She can be a comedic actress, a teeny-bopper, and a quirky leading lady.  How I wish she gets to play Mary Jane instead of being Peter Parker’s first love, Gwen Stacy (knowing the fate of Gwen), but Emma Stone just jumps and breathes life out of the screen every scene she’s in.  Rounding up the amazing cast are Martin Sheen who is perfect for Peter’s reality-checker Uncle Ben, Sally Field who hilariously portrayed Aunt May, Rhys Ifans as Dr. Connor/Lizard, and Denis Leary as Peter Parker’s father-figure (based on the comic books) Captain Stacy.

What I really loved about the movie is that director Mark Webb, together with his screenwriters James VanderbiltAlvin Sargent and Steve Kloves, created a darker, more real-life take on a Superhero movie.  Spidey using a cellphone to communicate? Spidey doing errands for Aunt May? Peter using his intellect to create a gadget to spew spider super web out at will?  Spider-Man has never been this relate-able to audience.  Some may call it stupid for Spider-Man to bring a cellphone and a backpack every time (my brother thought that he had to place his backpack in a locker on top of a certain building, just before swinging), but you must remember that Peter (both in the movie and in the comic book) is still a teen and new to this crime-busting superhero thing that he is still coping up with the sudden life changes.  Now how REAL is that?

I just wished that they added more humor to it.  Peter Parker is naturally a comical and witty character and Garfield was effective, I just wanted more comedic scenes.

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Andrew Garfield (Source: Columbia Pictures)

Going back to the fact that The Amazing Spider-Man being a darker version, remember when the old Batman franchise was more like a fantasy-adventure movie, then it was turned into the Dark Knight saga?  Same treatment was brought to Spidey this time around.  Of course not as dark as the Dark Knight, Webb made this movie still more applicable to younger audiences, and adults alike.

Technically it was still AMAZING.  Webb uses Physics in order to make it look believable.  And I love the way they injected first-person views (POV) to somehow experience Spider-Man in full effect.  James Horner’s music compositions were superb.  What can you expect?  He is the same guy who brought Titanic and Avatar alive with his gut-wrenching, heart-pumping musical scores.

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Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield (Source: Columbia Pictures)

But the thing that amazes me the most is that, aside from the CG extravaganza, the core of the movie was the story of first love, responsibility, loss, coming of age, and the unending quest for justice. The chemistry of Garfield and Stone was magnificent, making this Superhero movie into something moving and  heartfelt.  Wait, a Superhero movie with a heart?  Now that’s AMAZING indeed.

4.5 out of 5 stars

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