Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man Movie Review

Sony and Columbia's The Amazing Spider-Man is a fresh take on something thats been thrice already. This movie however is far from just a rehash. At the end of the flick, you might even say "Toby Who?"

I'm pretty sure that you guys must be reading other reviews saying it's dark and its emo and all that. I might be the minority in this one but I'm definitely going to say that this was a lot better compared to the Sam Raimi films starring Toby, James Franco and Kirsten Dunst (who was really irritating to watch as Mary Jane Watson).

The Marc Webb helmed movie has a nice structure to it as compared to the now classic trilogy. It has a different set of actors, a new costume for Spidey and a new villain. Basically everything gets changed with barely a few indications of the old movie. TASM struck me as a new Spider-Man film which is a lot more friendly with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (read The Avengers).

Andrew Garfield who plays Peter Parker/ Spider-Man is definitely a good choice for the role. He looks geeky and not nerdy in various scenes throughout the movie. I was actually reading a couple of reviews of Facebook and on Twitter and my friends and acquaintances say the same thing that, he does provide a fresh new Peter Parker. Someone who is angry and very shy. But through the course of the movie we get to see the kindness and responsibility in Peter's heart.

One great thing about the casting of Andrew Garfield as Parker is it provides a new look for Peter Parker. The guy nails it at different levels. Together with the help of Webb, Garfield managed to marry and deliver a performance thats got modern sensibilities more akin to Brian Michael Bendis' work on Ultimate Spider-Man together with a lot of the old school elements from the Stan Lee/ John Romita Sr./ Steve Ditko era.

The fun side of TASM was that it had more heart in telling Peter Parker. He was noble but reckless and was very driven. The film also celebrated how much of a technological maven Parker was/is; something that was downplayed in the Raimi films. The whole acrobatics and fighting that Garfield had to do was pretty amazing as well.

Emma Stone who plays Peter Parker's doomed girlfriend Gwen Stacy was a charming lass in this new film. I can tell you that she got the whole good girl role right. Plus she's really pretty in this movie. You may or may not like the idea that she's on the same intellectual level as Parker but its there.

One qualm I might have with Emma as Gwen was the fact that with her trademark red hair, she could have been a greater Mary Jane Watson. But that's just me, she still was a great addition to the team.

Rhys Ifans who plays Curt Connors and The Lizard was a contradiction. Some parts he was good but sometimes there was just some things that were off. I liked The Lizard, he was one of those characters that was interesting because each writer has a specific version of the creature in his mind. The Lizard that we see here in the film has some aspects from the different eras which makes hin a nice villain. He's a doctor and is as driven as Spider-Man in achieving his goal.

The supporting cast also provided some top notch acting. Martin Sheen's Uncle Ben Parker is a very nice and very lovable character in this new flick. We really get to see him connect not just with the audience but also with Peter. Webb's strategy for this new Ben Parker is to build something likeable about Benjamin Parker before throwing in his death which was one of the biggest reason why Parker became Spider-Man. 

Also if I may add, the new version of the death of Uncle Ben certainly hit like a ton of bricks. It's like we all knew that this was going to happen and we were already anticipating this and when its there you empathize with Peter. No offense to the original Sam Raimi Spider-Man films but this had a lot more substance. 

Sally Fields and Dennis Leary had their great moments within the film as well. Fields' Aunt May is caring but I just can't figure out what is off with her portrayal. Maybe its just the fact that she didn't have much white hair in her (as opposed to the image of Aunt May we all grew up on). Leary's Captain George Stacy is a nice addition. IMHO he was the archetype of J. Jonah Jameson before they place him in the sequel. Which is good anyway.

(Nice viral by the way)

The action sequences for the movie was great. As I was telling Kyle (who did the first review for TASM over at Flipgeeks) the fighting style for the film has changed. We're no longer seeing a Spider-Man who just jumps around and punches and kicks. This new Spider-Man has a more fluid motion. Plus he fights with quips, just like in the comics.

If the fight scenes between The Lizard and Spider-Man on top of OsCorp Towers was any indication how fights would appear in this rebooted franchise, then you can definitely sign me up for seeing a second or third movie. Hopefully though we get to see more diverse villains for the sequel.

It might sound like The Amazing Spider-Man is a perfect film for me. I'm tempted to say yes to that but I remember a couple of loop holes and the continuity issues. But I really don't want to dwell on that. Instead, lets just effing celebrate the release of possibly the best Spider-Man movie to come out in a decade or so.

If DC Comics was jumping for joy when they rebooted the Batman flicks with Christopher Nolan, Marvel Comics and Sony are doing the same with the outcome of this new movie.

VERDICT: I enjoyed "The Amazing Spider-Man" for what it was and what it strives to build. It took all the good things from the first trilogy and worked on providing a better, insane movie featuring an updated cast. It's far from perfect but its definitely enjoyable.

"Thanks to Ayala Malls Cinemas for inviting us to the screening. Check out for your all-access pass to exclusive movie events and promos at Glorietta 4, Greenbelt 3, Alabang Town Center, Market!Market!, Trinoma, Ayala Center Cebu, Marquee Mall Angeles, Abreeza Davao and Harbor Point Olongapo."

Also want to personally thank the guys from Columbia Pictures Philippines for making this possible!

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