Martens' Movie Reviews

Movie Reviews from an avid movie-goer

The Amazing Spider – Man (2012) Review

Released: July 3, 2012
Running Time: 2 hours 16 minutes

I will start by saying that Spider – Man has always been my favourite comic book character since I was a child, watching the cartoons, and reading the comic books, this was a character that was just a kid, he wasn’t a grown up. I will do my best to keep my bias towards the character from disrupting my review of the movies because as everyone knows “With great power (writing movie reviews), comes great responsibility (being unbiased)”.

This movie was a premature (5 years after Spider – Man 3) reboot to a series that ended horribly (critically, and actors would have had a huge paycheck ($50 million for Maguire to do Spider – Man 4), and Raimi would have wanted more control after Sony forced some story elements into the movie. This forced Sony to go back to the drawing board, and to restart the franchise with a cheaper cast and relatively unknown director.

The movie’s story was written by James Vanderbilt, where the final screenplay were written with the help of Alvin SargentSteve Kloves and Vanderbilt. The difference in origin story between this movie and the 2002 Spider – Man, is that the movie tried to change things up by going with a villain that we hadn’t seen before in live action with the Lizard (Dr. Connors), and by focusing on Peter’s relationship with Gwen Stacy instead of Mary Jane Watson. Peter has his web-shooters which he created, but gets the webbing from Oscorp (which he does modify), where Stacy and Connors work. There’s also a glimpse of Peter’s parents.

They also brought, what I believe to be crucial to Spider – Man, making Peter be in high school for duration of this film. I believe that it’s crucial that he spends time in high school so that he can develop through his late teens and become the man that we see later on in the comics. They also made Stacy’s character her own strong person, and not someone who waits and dotes on Parker.

The movie was directed by Marc Webb, whose only previous motion picture experience in direction was on 500 Days of Summer 3 years prior. The direction of this movie was interesting, and focused on the budding awkward romance that happens in high school. The movie felt more comedic, which is needed in Spider – Man, and was great to see that part of him brought to the bring screen.

The movie brought a new, younger cast than the previous iterations, which included the following; Andrew Garfield as a stuttering Peter Parker / comedic Spider – Man, Emma Stone as strong charismatic Gwen Stacy, Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors / TMNT looking Lizard, Denis Leary as the no nonsense cop / Gwen’s father Captain Stacy, Kari Coleman as branzino cook / Gwen’s mother Helen Stacy, Martin Sheen as the always murdered Uncle Ben, Sally Field as the non scientific Aunt May, Irrfan Khan as the Oscorp ‘boss’ who forces Connors’ hand in testing the experiment Rajit Ratha, Campbell Scott as the mysterious father Richard Parker, Embeth Davidtz as the barely seen mother Mary Parker, Chris Zylka as high school bully / super Spider – Man fan Flash Thompson.

The good non – spoiler points of the movie includes the fact that Spider – Man is funny. He is witty, sarcastic, and physical sense of humour. The utilization of the web shooters, I was happy that they decided to go with them, appeasing the fanboy inside me. I also enjoyed that the movie made Gwen Stacy the love interest, giving fans the chance to rehash the old argument of which girl is Peter’s true love, Gwen or Mary Jane? The fact that this movie was altogether a much better film than Spider – Man 3, was just the cherry on top.

The Lizard looked like a joke, other than the tail, it looked more like the goombas from the Super Mario Bros movie from the early 90s.

Goomba+is+that+you+seriously+whose+idea+was+it+to_fbfac8_4192262
Source: TotallyLooksLike.com through FunnyJunk.com

One of the unfortunate bad parts of the movie, have already been discussed above (Lizard picture), with others (in my opinion) being the fact that the Lizard shared the mental problems that the Green Goblin had, in hearing voices and blaming Spider – Man for his troubles.

The most glaring bad part of the movie was that while yes, they did change the story up from the 2002 film, it was just a repackaging of the same story.

  • Genius scientist with a personal connection to Peter (2002 = best friend’s father / 2012 = father’s work partner),
  • Turns evil after being forced by the ‘boss’ (2002 = military contract / 2012 = Osborn is dying),
  • Wants to kill Spider – Man after foiling his plans (2002 = Parade fight / 2012 = Bridge scene)
  • Finds out that Peter Parker is Spider – Man after one of their next encounters (2002 = Parker bleeding in same place that Goblin cut him earlier that day / 2012 = Parker stupidly labelling his camera taking pictures of the Lizard.)
  • Villain is regretful at the end (2002 = Norman Osborn doesn’t want to hurt Peter, the Goblin wants to hurt Spider – Man and he can’t control it / 2012 = Essentially the exact same thing)

Spoilers Ahead!!

 

 

 

 


I enjoyed seeing Peter’s parents for once. I feel like Uncle Ben’s death was handled very similarly to the 2002 film, but had a different impact on the movie. Gwen Stacy finding out that Peter is Spider – Man was a nice touch, and well made. You can tell that a high school student who suddenly got powers would find it difficult to not tell anyone at all.

What I found was not needed was that they showed Peter promising to a dying Captain Stacy that he would not let Gwen get involved with any of the Spidey business, and then we go through a short montage of Peter staying away, and avoiding her at the funeral, and telling her that he can’t be with her. To then love her too much, that he disregards the promise he made and basically tells her at the end of the movie that “making promises that you can’t keep are the best kind”. Um, what? So, whatever promises that this Peter Parker makes can be viewed as not worth anything?

 


 

 

 

 

 

Spoilers Are Done!!

Overall, this movie brought a different approach to the origin story that we already knew and had recently watched  decade beforehand. The problems with rehashing the story, the CGI, the ending (relationship with Stacy), and the Lizard hearing voices like the Green Goblin did in Spider – Man (2002) were prevalent. The strong parts of the movie with funny Spider – Man, the web shooters, utilizing Stacy over Watson and making her a strong character in her own right, more time in high school,  and generally being a much better Spider – Man movie than the last one we had gotten (Spider – Man 3), makes this movie get a score of 7.25/10.

What did you think of my score? Movies are very subjective, and some people will disagree with me. I would love to hear those opinion either way. Which Spider – Man movie did you enjoy the most out of the 5 that has been released thus far? Are you excited for the release of Spider – Man: Homecoming? What are your thoughts on the future of Spider – Man? What movie should I review next?

Thanks for taking the time to read this review, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Alex

I will be reviewing all of the solo Spider – Man movies that have been released since 2002, one day at a time leading up to the release of the new movie Spider Man: Homecoming. The reviews will be posted below when they are uploaded.

On Sunday, I posted the Spider – Man review, which is linked here.

On Monday July 3, I posted the Spider – Man 2 review, which is linked here.

On Tuesday July 4, I posted the Spider – Man 3 review, which is linked here.

On Wednesday July 5, I posted the Amazing Spider – Man 2 review, which is linked here.

On Friday July 7, I posted the Spider – Man: Homecoming review, which is linked here.

 

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