“The Amazing Spider-Man” Gets a Somewhat Amazing Reboot
Reviewed by Jason Gregg
Ten years ago we were introduced to Tobey Maguire who played the soft-faced Peter Parker in “Spider-Man.” He was good, the story was good; no one really complained. So, why do we have to sit through another two hours being reintroduced to the same super hero with a similar back story? One word – money. And lots of it.
Instead of meager Maguire we now get chiseled face and focused Andrew Garfield to play Parker. We are rewarded with this Parker 2.0 version. Garfield took this role and adapted to it, he even studied the movements of spiders preparing for his portrayal. Garfield dominated every scene he was in and he brought a new level of intensity.
Parker’s love interest, Gwen Stacy (played by Emma Stone) is new. Gone is Mary Jane Watson from the original story line. Gwen is a pretty high school student who also interns at the largest scientific lab in town. She is the whole package – smart, attractive, confident, and funny. What high school boy wouldn’t want to date her?
Now examining the story, not much has changed. Parker is the weakling at his school – not many friends; his parents had to abandon him as a child so now he is living with his Uncle Ben and Aunt May (played by Martin Sheen and Sally Field). He is on a mission to find out who his parents were and why they left him. The mystery leads him to the lab where Gwen works and he meets his dad’s old science lab partner Dr. Curt Connors (played by Rhys Ifans).
Dr. Connors soon hires Parker for his boy genius algorithms. Here he is bitten by a radioactive spider. Parker starts adapting to his new found powers through a closed quarters subway fight on his way home.
A somewhat preventable tragedy befalls Uncle Ben and Parker makes his transformation into Spider-Man. He becomes a one man vigilante force hunting down his uncle’s killer. Unlike the original, the new Parker is more accepting of his superhero persona.
The movie moves along a good pace with plenty of amazing shots of the New York City skyline and first-person shots of Spider-Man zipping from rooftop to rooftop.
While Parker is developing his relationship with Gwen, Dr. Connors is developing a regeneration serum to grow back his missing arm and to help a mysterious man extend his own life. The serum takes over Dr. Connors and turns him into The Lizard. Spider Man soon has to swing into action to save NYC from this threat of a highly detailed, CGI lizard man. As in the first story, this is still another tale of a scientist whose own invention turns on him and Spider-Man has to save the day while still trying to save his scientist friend.
Should you see this movie? If you saw and liked the first the movie there is probably no need to see this one (unless you are one of those comparative analysis types that needs to see it to remind yourself why you liked the first one). If you have not seen any of the Spider-Man movies, this would be a good start to go in fresh and get a decent storyline with plenty of action, romance and a little humor.