The Amazing Spider-man is the superhero we didn’t need, but we don’t mind its company.
In fact, we actually like their company.
Even with this summer being chock-full of much-anticipated superhero movies (The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises) and big-name sequels (Expendables 2, Taken 2, Ice Age: Continental Drift, The Bourne Legacy, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, Men in Black 3, Resident Evil: Retribution, Breaking Dawn Part 2, and once again, The Dark Knight Rises), The Amazing Spider-Man holds its own in this unnecessary but great flick.
While the film’s action scenes are pretty cool, yet uninspired, it is the characters and their interaction that really make this movie – well – amazing. Peter Parker is portrayed MARVELously by The Social Network‘s Andrew Garfield, pun intended. Emma Stone (The Help) is wonderful, as always, as the object of his affection, Gwen Stacy. The relationship between these two is as real onscreen as it is off (the two are reportedly dating) and the fact that Gwen is the police captain’s daughter and the villain’s intern make for a real interesting combination of character relationships overall.
Garfield is a cooler, better looking and (in my humble opinion) overall better Peter Parker than Tobey Maguire.
Martin Sheen, Denis Leary and Sally Field all turn in excellent supporting roles and their characters all add to the story, rather than simply being backdrops for Peter to grow as a character. I kept wanting to see more of Sally Field as Aunt May, but we were only given a peek into her character with limited screen time and involvement with the whole plot. She did provide one of the films most memorable and tender moments though – moviegoers can look forward to a scene about a carton of eggs.
The writers played with the famous line “With great power comes great responsibility” by wisely only focusing on the latter part of it. This was a nice touch by a talented team. The writing as a whole had just enough darkness to keep it from being emo-Spidey and light enough to remind us of why we love the friendly neighborhood Spider-man.
One minor component that we almost never touch on at K&B is the soundtrack, which I did not care for. Specifically, the climactic scene containing Gwen and the Lizard was nearly ruined by the dull and annoying score.
BONUS: Stan Lee’s token cameo appearance is as good as ever, with it coming during a fight scene and prodding my parents to ask me afterward, “Who was that oblivious old guy?”
Overall, I like it just as much if not more than the original Sam Raimi film, Spider-man. With such a superhero laden summer though, it is destined to be number 2 or 3 for best superhero movie of 2012 (behind The Dark Knight Rises (almost certainly) and Marvel’s super ensemble The Avengers).