Hollywood is trying something new with the release of “The Amazing Spider-Man." They are rebooting a franchise that is barely 10 years old.
Hollywood is big on reboots at the moment. In the works are reboots of Highlander, Robocop, The Crow and the list goes on and on.
The reboot revolution started in 2005 when "Batman Begins" brought the Dark Knight back to the big screen. It was followed in 2006 by “Superman Returns,” which did exactly what the title said.Audiences had two different opinions on those reboots though. Batman did well and is part of a huge trilogy, while Superman performed poorly and is being rebooted again next summer as“The Man of Steel."
How does “The Amazing Spider-Man” compare on the reboot performance scale? I would say somewhere in the middle. Not as good as Batman, not as bad as Superman.
The question most audiences are asking though is how does the reboot compare to the Toby Maguire/Kirsten Dunst Spidey films of only a few years ago. In my opinion, it is better than the third, on par with the first, but not quite as good as the second.
Andrew Garfield is the new Peter Parker aka Spiderman. In my opinion, he does a better job than Maguire, for the most part. His Spiderman isn’t as nerdy in the beginning as he should be. He is already kind of cocky and that leads to less of a character change when he gets his powers.There is a character arc, but it could have been stronger.
The new leading lady of the series is Gwen Stacy, played by Emma Stone. Stone portrays the character as smart and sexy, and it’s easy to see why Peter Parker would fall for her. She even gets to help out Spidey in a couple of scenes and isn’t just the damsel in distress.
The villain of the film is Kurt Connors played by Rhys Ifans. Connors is trying to find a way to replace his amputated arm using science and, in doing so, turns himself into the reptilian baddy The Lizard. While the special effects on the Lizard are impressive, I just couldn’t get into him as the main villain. Ifans is good but he just can’t compare to Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin in “Spiderman” or Alfred Molina in “Spiderman 2” as Doc Oc.
The rest of the cast is filled out with talented actors like Martin Sheen and Sally Field, who play Peter’s guardians Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Both are good at sending caring glances Peter’s way. Dennis Leary may have been my favorite casting choice as Captain Stacy, the over-protective father of Gwen and man in charge of catching both the Lizard and Spiderman. His performance is believable as both a caring father and as a man trying to keep crime off the streets of New York.
At the end of the day “The Amazing Spider-Man” is a good film. I enjoyed watching one of my favorite comic book characters come to life and swing through New York City. The action was easy to follow for the most part.
It still had its problems though. It is a bit long at 2 hours 16 minutes, and it didn’t pull me in as much as "Avengers" did earlier this summer. I am sure a sequel is in the works, and I think the filmmakers gave themselves a good jumping off point to make a really good “The Amazing Spiderman 2” in the near future.
3 of 5 stars