This is a great summer for movies: The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers, Prometheus, Moonrise Kingdom, Men in Black III, Brave, Total Recall, Magic Mike, but forget all of those, go see The Amazing Spider-man.
I was excited to see Andrew Garfield in action as the guilt-ridden, smart mouthed, nerdy Peter Parker. It turns out that the webs of fate were swinging my direction, because a friend that works for Sony offered A Bit of Geek the chance for an early screening of the film!
Let’s jump right in and say that I laughed, I cried, I loved it. The whole film was gorgeous, well-written, and exciting. Garfield plays a perfect Peter Parker (sorry Tobey, you can’t even hold a candle) and he also has great chemistry with Emma Stone, our on-screen Gwen Stacy.
Amazing Spider-man kicks things off with a storyline not often touched, the mystery of the missing parents. At a young age Peter’s aunt and uncle take him in when his parents abruptly leave town. Early in the film Peter’s curiosity is ignited when he finds an old possession of his father’s. Between the unraveling of his parents mysterious history and his gradual evolution into Spider-man, Peter devolves socially and emotionally into a rebellious and temperamental teen.
Uncle Ben (portrayed spectacularly by Martin Sheen), is hardworking, honest, and devoted to his family. When Ben comes down hard on Peter for his selfish antics and recklessness, the importance of the relationship between Peter and Uncle Ben solidifies, emphasizing their father-son bond.
**Herein lies spoilers. Highlight to read!**
The director plays off Sheen’s heavy-handed Ben quite well when it comes to his death: the heat of his words are still ringing around Peter’s angsty head when Uncle Ben is shot. It was beautifully orchestrated, and very believable. This event combined with Peter’s search to know more about his father creates a multi-dimensional springboard for the development of Spider-man’s character.
The visual effects throughout the whole film are beautiful, especially when Doctor Connors’ (played by Rhys Ifans) skin changes to lizard scales. Ifans is transformed into a very realistic The Lizard. However, I had two issues with the visuals: The Lizard’s eyes didn’t feel real, and in one scene the interaction between Spider-man and The Lizard’s CG reptilian claws is lackluster. Aside from that, all of the fights were amazingly choreographed and looked simply stunning.
The Amazing Spider-man contained more surprises than I expected and plenty of epic scenes. The script was near perfection, including many appropriately sarcastic lines for Spider-man himself. There are morals to be learned, and they’re told eloquently as well as subtly; the audience learns with Peter about how power relates to responsibility, and their roles in his new life. The film easily lends itself to a sequel, and I expect to see Garfield and Stone in more action as well as awkward, yet realistic, teenage embraces. I say nine out of ten golden apples, but only because of those few visual slip-ups.
The Amazing Spider-man opens in theatres nationwide tomorrow, July 3rd. Be sure to check it out!