k4tz's review: The Amazing Spider-Man

I'll be honest, I wasn't incredibly optimistic walking into The Amazing Spider-Man. His origin story is something I've seen countless times before (Sam Raimi's films, the 616 Marvel Universe, the Ultimate Universe, each cartoon show), so I wasn't thrilled to see it unfold all over again on the big screen. Sony is clearly aware that a lot of people feel that way because they've been heavily promoting the film as "the untold story." But, does this "untold story" change enough to make it feel like a fresh start, or is it running through the motions of something we've seen too many times before? Well, I'm here to tell you that the final result is indeed familiar, but it's also a ton of fun.

We all know how the shy and awkward nerd becomes our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. One day he's bitten by a radioactive spider and blah, blah, blah. What director Marc Webb and company bring to the table in an attempt to spice things up is a deeper connection with Peter's parents. They're only in the first few minutes of the film, but this key focus of the plot surrounds why they had to leave him and establishes links to long-time Spidey foes Norman Osborn and Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans). This element alone really isn't going to change people from feeling like the story has a "been there, done that" vibe. We're still going to run through the motions of his difficult high school life with the bully Flash Thompson (Chris Zylka), exploring his new powers, Uncle Ben's (Martin Sheen) death inspiring him, and of course, falling in love. Lizard was teased in the Raimi films, but now he finally gets to claw his way to the surface. His plot is every bit as absurd as it was in the early pages of Amazing Spider-Man: humans are weak and lizards are the future! Rawr!

Virtually all of these plot points are something we've seen time and time again, but despite this, I still found myself having a good time and at moments even feeling like a kid again. The cast deserves a good chunk of credit for this. Andrew Garfield definitely impresses as Spider-Man. He's socially uncomfortable, makes some decent quips during fights, and most important of all, is actually intelligent. I wasn't sold on Andrew at first (dude, he's so cool because he skateboards!), but I can now confidently say he's a good pick and I look forward to more of his work as Spidey. However, what truly stands out is the chemistry that Andrew shares with Emma Stone (playing as Gwen Stacy). You can really feel the connection between those two and it's a love story that doesn't feel too forced or will make you roll your eyes.

I have no real complaints surrounding the rest of the cast. Rhys Ifans does a solid job with the material at his disposal, Sally Field is fine as Aunt May and Denis Leary (plays as Captain Stacy) always manages to amuse, but my unexpected highlight was Martin Sheen. His character delivers a few decent laughs before facing is expected demise.

The Lizard is a character we've been waiting to see for years. Raimi teased us and never delivered, but now Marc Webb is stepping up to bring us the classic villain. Personally, I think he was a great choice for the first film. While his master plan isn't anything special, he does manage to keep our eyes amused. The CGI is solid, and, more importantly, he's a perfect choice for creating some great fight sequences. The Lizard is Peter's superior physically and that definitely shows when the two face off. Thankfully, these battles aren't short and they were surprisingly brutal at times. Stan Lee even finds himself in the middle of a brawl.

Another visual highlight is the web-slinging. Occasionally we're treated to Spider-Man's point of view (Mirror's Edge anyone?) and seeing him flip around the avenues and swing from skyscraper to skyscraper is a blast. I said before this movie sometimes made me feel like a kid again and these were the scenes that accomplished that. I sat there with a goofy smile on my face as I appreciated the surreal moment.

As expected, this film also has a fair share of cheesy moments. From Spider-Man getting some unexpected help to Lizard pulling the generic mad man routine, there's without question a scene or two that'll be sure to make you groan. But still, they all pale in comparison to emo Spider-Man strutting his stuff in Spider-Man 3 (low blow, I know) and by no means critically impact the overall quality of the movie.

That said, there's also a few nice nods to the source material. I loved that a good chunk of scenes took place at Midtown High and that Flash eventually becomes a Spider-Man fanboy. Since it's the start of a whole new franchise, I was really hoping for more easter eggs to help expand the scale of the universe (and in turn, tease more villains down the road), but it seems clear they're aiming to eventually reuse the Green Goblin (he's dying and desperate for a cure...one that'll likely enhanced him). On the flip side, this could possibly lead to the infamous death of Gwen Stacy - a move that would certainly surprise most casual fans.

Overall, The Amazing Spider-Man is a film that largely plays it safe. No real risks are taken to make it stand out, but it's still a fun ride in spite of its predictable nature. It doesn't reach the level of entertainment Marvel's The Avengers provided and it'll likely be overshadowed by the fast approachingThe Dark Knight Rises, but it's absolutely worth checking out if you want to enjoy a good dose of popcorn entertainment or love the legendary character.

B+

63 Comments
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Posted by SandMan_

So....its ok?

Posted by texasdeathmatch

It's a slight mix of good and bad
 
:P

Posted by Inverno

Amazing Spider-Man is only going to be released here on this friday. I wasn't impressed by the trailer but I probably watch in theaters if I have nothing to do this weekend.

Posted by Erik

@SandMan_ said:

So....its ok?

Wow.

Posted by utotheg38

It was decent, I liked the fight scenes and Gwen Stacey was really good.

Posted by primepower53

Now I want to see this even more!

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

I think it set out to do just what it intended and I was entertained every moment I saw it. Emma was so wonderfully hot.

Posted by Saren

I feel like most of the secondary characters other than Gwen and Connors weren't built up as well or given as much time. Probably deliberate in order to avoid rehashing a story that audiences have already heard and seen before, I guess.

Connors was weird. He seemed nice enough when he and Pete first met and later on when they were having coffee at his house, so I'm not sure where the "all teh people will be become lizards" thing was coming from. Then in the sewers where he starts hearing the Lizard's voice in his head, that was just an abrupt development. I was reminded of how Norman Osborn started hearing the Goblin’s voice in his head in the first Spider-Man movie. That was done a lot more deliberately, you could see that Norman was slowly losing it. This is just very sudden.

Apart from that, it was pretty good popcorn entertainment. The crane scene was cheesy, but it was the good kind of cheesy.

Moderator Online
Posted by Fuchsia_Nightingale

I loved it, thought Andrew was great, love the fidgity -ness though, I thought he should have tonned down the stamering at times

Posted by Inverno
Posted by grenade728

@CaioTrubat: Whaaaaaaaaaaat? That can't be true!

Posted by k4tzm4n

@SandMan_ said:

So....its ok?

Pretty sure I elaborated quite a bit in the review about how I felt ;)

@CitizenBane: Curt's change in mindset was indeed very abrupt, especially at the end. And yes, the whole self conversation was very similar to Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin.

*shot in leg*

/decides to kick Lizard at full force

Staff
Posted by deadpoolrules

@CaioTrubat said:

Amazing Spider-Man is only going to be released here on this friday. I wasn't impressed by the trailer but I probably watch in theaters if I have nothing to do this weekend.

As we leave in the same country and have the same opinion too,this.

Posted by Queso6p4

@k4tzm4n: Alrighty then. Thanks for the nice review. I'd planned on seeing it anyway (for $5) but wasn't expecting much out of it besides overuse of CG but after reading this and coupling it with what my best friend said about the movie, I'll be more optimistic at the outset.

Posted by cyberninja

Well written review, and very informative, thank you.

Posted by buttersdaman000

I thought it was alright, not as good as the first two though.....

Posted by Inverno

Oh just a little detail you forgot k4tz...

This applies for Amazing Spider-Man too.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@Queso6p4: You're welcome. Definitely come back and share your thoughts after you've seen it.

@cyberninja: Thank you.

Staff
Posted by k4tzm4n

@CaioTrubat: I like to keep my reviews spoiler-free so I didn't bother discussing the mid-credits scene. Plus, I'd like to assume actual comic fans are smart enough to sit around during the credits ;)

Staff
Posted by King Saturn
The Amazing Spider-Man was a Pretty Good Movie IMO... though I felt the First Two Spider-Man Films with Tobey Maguire was Better.  
btw - Awesome Review
Posted by k4tzm4n

@King Saturn: Thanks, I appreciate it.

Fun fact: my ticket stub says "Spider-Man 4." lol

Staff
Posted by King Saturn
@k4tzm4n said:

@King Saturn: Thanks, I appreciate it.

Fun fact: my ticket stub says "Spider-Man 4." lol

ha ha 
Posted by Esquire

I thought it was pretty good, but I just felt Connors didn't make a particularly consistent or compelling villain. He did have a couple good fight scenes, though. And the acting was, for the most part, top notch!

Posted by k4tzm4n

@Esquire: Curt's mindset was absolutely all over the place at times.

Staff
Posted by Lunacyde

@CitizenBane said:

I feel like most of the secondary characters other than Gwen and Connors weren't built up as well or given as much time. Probably deliberate in order to avoid rehashing a story that audiences have already heard and seen before, I guess.

Connors was weird. He seemed nice enough when he and Pete first met and later on when they were having coffee at his house, so I'm not sure where the "all teh people will be become lizards" thing was coming from. Then in the sewers where he starts hearing the Lizard's voice in his head, that was just an abrupt development. I was reminded of how Norman Osborn started hearing the Goblin’s voice in his head in the first Spider-Man movie. That was done a lot more deliberately, you could see that Norman was slowly losing it. This is just very sudden.

Apart from that, it was pretty good popcorn entertainment. The crane scene was cheesy, but it was the good kind of cheesy.

The serum clearly effected his brain yo.

Posted by Lunacyde

I honestly can't imagine why anyone thinks the first two were better...

Posted by k4tzm4n

@Lunacyde: Agreed. I enjoyed ASM a lot more than SM 1 or 2.

Staff
Posted by Deranged Midget

I already told you my thoughts on the review earlier but I'll say it again! Pretty spot on!

My only problems with the film are some of the music wasn't entirely fitting and Gwen seemed to play a vastly smaller role after about the second act of the film.

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Edited by utotheg38

Fight Scenes backed by a few strong performances saved It imo.

The premise was meh from beginning to end

Edited by Inverno

@Lunacyde said:

I honestly can't imagine why anyone thinks the first two were better...

Its crazy how NOW all of a sudden Raimi's Spider-man was terrible and how no one really liked it. I mean they are great movie for the time they were made, they just didn't age well. In 10 years a Spider-Man reboot will happen again and the same crap will be said then, oh Andrew Garfield was terrible, blah blah blah.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@CaioTrubat: I was never a big fan of them. I found them amusing, but they were absolutely never among my favorite CBMs. To be blunt, I thought they were way too campy.

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Posted by HaydrianPayne

@k4tzm4n said:

@CaioTrubat: I like to keep my reviews spoiler-free so I didn't bother discussing the mid-credits scene. Plus, I'd like to assume actual comic fans are smart enough to sit around during the credits ;)

If I hadn't read this, I would never stayed around past the credits. I absolutely despise staying around after the credits. Ughh.

That said, I'm looking forward to this movie and I think its going to be the sh!t. Three more days. Can't wait. Thank you for the spoiler-free review though.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@HaydrianPayne: Thankfully you won't need to wait until after the credits. It's a minute or so into them. So, if you're in a packed theater, odds are you'd see the scene when trying to escape anyway, haha.

And thank you.

Staff
Posted by HaydrianPayne

@k4tzm4n: Oh, that's awesome. Thank you Marvel, thank you. :')

But I may as well stay in the cinemas then. Its whatever. You didn't address this in the review, but how do you feel that the film stands up to its three predecessors. (Well two, the third one isn't really even a movie...BURN)

Posted by k4tzm4n

@HaydrianPayne: Honestly, I was never the biggest fan of Raimi's trilogy. They were entertaining, but a little too campy for my taste. I know that was disputably the point (to make it feel like the classic comics), but it just didn't sit well with me. Amusing, but I hardly loved them.

I figure I'd put that disclaimer before letting you know I enjoyed ASM much more than SM 1 or 2. I know some people are big advocates for the first 2 films, but I'm not one of them.

Staff
Posted by HaydrianPayne

@k4tzm4n said:

Honestly, I was never the biggest fan of Raimi's trilogy. They were entertaining, but a little too campy for my taste. I know that was disputably the point (to make it feel like the classic comics), but it just didn't sit well with me. Amusing, but I hardly loved them.

I figure I'd put that disclaimer before letting you know I enjoyed ASM much more than SM 1 or 2. I know some people are big advocates for the first 2 films, but I'm not one of them.

Hm. I'll probably like ASM better too then, since I'm of the same mind.

I mean, they were good movies and I don't think otherwise (Daredevil - uhum), but they weren't great movies. Pulling a property off =/= making a good movie.

The thing I'm most looking forward in this movie, is to see whether Spidey is pulled off properly (ie Humor)

Posted by InnerVenom123

One thing that's hilarious that I noticed is that Tobey Maguire can't cry. His face wasn't meant to contort that way. Everytime he cries, (Uncle Ben's death), it looks f**king hysterical.

Meanwhile, Andrew can. Also he can act better. Much, much, much better.

Oh, and ASM was good.

Posted by utotheg38

Andrew wearing skinny jeans, Peter Parker doesn't wear nutt hugger skinny jeans!!!

LMAO

Posted by k4tzm4n

@HaydrianPayne: Cool. Be sure to check back after you've seen it.

@InnerVenom123 said:

One thing that's hilarious that I noticed is that Tobey Maguire can't cry. His face wasn't meant to contort that way. Everytime he cries, (Uncle Ben's death), it looks f**king hysterical.

Meanwhile, Andrew can. Also he can act better. Much, much, much better.

Oh, and ASM was good.

But really, I wholeheartedly agree that Andrew >>>>> Tobey.

Staff
Posted by Inverno

@k4tzm4n said:

@HaydrianPayne: Cool. Be sure to check back after you've seen it.

@InnerVenom123 said:

One thing that's hilarious that I noticed is that Tobey Maguire can't cry. His face wasn't meant to contort that way. Everytime he cries, (Uncle Ben's death), it looks f**king hysterical.

Meanwhile, Andrew can. Also he can act better. Much, much, much better.

Oh, and ASM was good.

But really, I wholeheartedly agree that Andrew >>>>> Tobey.

Oh my god! I forgot how wretched, laughable and pathetic he looks when he is trying to play sad.

Posted by buttersdaman000
@CaioTrubat said:

@k4tzm4n said:

@HaydrianPayne: Cool. Be sure to check back after you've seen it.

@InnerVenom123 said:

One thing that's hilarious that I noticed is that Tobey Maguire can't cry. His face wasn't meant to contort that way. Everytime he cries, (Uncle Ben's death), it looks f**king hysterical.

Meanwhile, Andrew can. Also he can act better. Much, much, much better.

Oh, and ASM was good.

But really, I wholeheartedly agree that Andrew >>>>> Tobey.

Oh my god! I forgot how wretched, laughable and pathetic he looks when he is trying to play sad.

I think its hilarious! 
But really? Andrew Garfield a better actor than Tobey Maguire? Nope....
Posted by Inverno

My opinion on Sam Raimi's Spider-Man: I kinda loved them but I always thought the movies were less about Spider-Man and more about Peter Parker and the hardships of his life. I felt like the story was made entirely of subplots that had no relevance and could have been easily cut out. That said I enjoyed the action sequences, the villains bar Venon were great, J. Jonah Jameson was plain awesome. I just wished they focused more about Spider-Man wisecracking and humorous side than his melodramatic one, I only remembered him quipping back once in the first movie to Jameson when he was fighting against the Goblin. The trailers led me to believe this side is going to be explored much better. I will definitely see this movie on the weekend.

My final score for each movie would be

Spider-Man: 7/10

Spider-Man II: 8/10

Spider-Man III: 5/10

Posted by k4tzm4n

@buttersdaman000: When it comes to playing Peter Parker, I think Andrew's performance was absolutely better than Tobey's.

Staff
Posted by SpidermanWins

I'm seeing the movie tomorrow. I thank you for keeping this spoiler free.

Posted by ComicStooge

Just came back from seeing it.

I enjoyed it a lot, but it'll never have anything on this scene :

Posted by The Stegman

@k4tzm4n:

Things I loved about the movie.

1. Andrew Garfield as Peter/Spidey. He was fantastic, he got the shy, nerdy part of Peter down perfectly, and the funny sarcastic, witty side of Spidey down to a Tee, something I think Maguire really didn't do to well.

2. Gwen Stacy- Honestly, I've always liked Gwen more than MJ in the comics, and Emma Stone's portrayal of her shows me why. Unlike MJ in all of the other Spidey movies (although to be fair, it was less MJ and more Kirsten Dunst with red hair) Gwen was actually...useful and helped Peter especially when it came to helping Peter with the antidote for the lizard formula

3. I love how funny it was when Peter first discovered his powers and he kept breaking everything. I also love how they kept him sleek and thin, instead of bulking him up like they did in Raimi's movies.

What I disliked?

THE LIZARD, honestly, they just made him into a steterotypical villain. At first I didn't really know what his motives were, was he doing the formula for himself? for Osborn? For the world? but in the end...nope, he just became a ''mad scientist' wanting to ''fix'' humanity and going on random rampages.

All in all, it was a great movie, I'd give it a B

Edited by Lunacyde

@k4tzm4n said:

@Lunacyde: Agreed. I enjoyed ASM a lot more than SM 1 or 2.

Absolutely agreed. I thought it far surpassed the previous series. It was no Avengers, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. There were a few small problems I had with it,but overall as a movie it was great. I had those moments where I was just smiling from ear to ear, felt like a kid watching Spider-Man TAS again lol.

Also, I am biased. I think Tobey is a horrible actor and MJ sucked. Andrew is a much better actor and his chemistry with Gwen was great.

Posted by Lunacyde

@CaioTrubat said:

@Lunacyde said:

I honestly can't imagine why anyone thinks the first two were better...

Its crazy how NOW all of a sudden Raimi's Spider-man was terrible and how no one really liked it. I mean they are great movie for the time they were made, they just didn't age well. In 10 years a Spider-Man reboot will happen again and the same crap will be said then, oh Andrew Garfield was terrible, blah blah blah.

No, I've not been a fan of the original Spider-Man series since I got in high school (like 8 years ago). I just absolutely hated Tobey as Peter and Kirsten Dunst was terrible. It's purely a matter of opinion for me. I really liked Andrew's portrayal. That has nothing to do with the film's age.

Posted by HaydrianPayne

Overall as an actor Tobey's better, but Andrew seems to be doing a better Spider-Man. Then again, should probably watch the movie first.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@HaydrianPayne said:

Overall as an actor Tobey's better, but Andrew seems to be doing a better Spider-Man. Then again, should probably watch the movie first.

Hah!

@Lunacyde said:

@k4tzm4n said:

@Lunacyde: Agreed. I enjoyed ASM a lot more than SM 1 or 2.

Absolutely agreed. I thought it far surpassed the previous series. It was no Avengers, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. There were a few small problems I had with it,but overall as a movie it was great. I had those moments where I was just smiling from ear to ear, felt like a kid watching Spider-Man TAS again lol.

Definitely, man. Same here.

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