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'The Amazing Spider-Man' Review: Good Reboot, but Could be Better

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

The Amazing Spider-Man is the 2012 reboot of Spider-Man starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, also known as Spider-Man this time around. Also joining him are Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, and Sally Field. After the cancellation of Spider-Man 4 back in 2010, Sony did not hesitate in rebooting Spider-Man. The Amazing Spider-Man came out in an interesting year, 2012. The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises also came out that year and were seen as more anticipated than The Amazing Spider-Man. Some fans also felt it was too early to reboot at the time. It’s hard to believe back in the time 2010 to 2012 it was seen as too early to reboot a franchise five years after a movie came out.

The Amazing Spider-Man does retell the origin story of Spider-Man, but with some differences. The mystery of what happened to Peter’s parents plays a key role. Gwen Stacy, played by Emma Stone, is the new love interest. Characters like Mary Jane Watson and Harry Osborn are not in this film. Peter is still in high school. I feel the origin stuff while good, it was also unnecessary. I appreciate they did something different that worked, but it felt like retelling the origin and spending a good hour on it held the film back from greatness.

Andrew Garfield does a great job as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. He does better with Spider-Man, telling more quips and capturing more of the Spider-Man character than he did with Peter Parker. Out of the three movie Spider-Man actors, Garfield seemed the most passionate in the role, being a huge fan of Spider-Man. Emma Stone is also great as Gwen Stacy. The chemistry between Stone and Garfield is great. The two stars were dating around the same time these Spider-Man movies were being made.

Martin Sheen and Sally Field are great as Uncle Ben and Aunt May. It feels like Sony wanted to make the film so different from the Raimi films that they took out Uncle Ben’s phrase and said something else that works, but still feels off. Denis Leary as Captain George Stacy is fine, but different from how he usually is in other Spider-Man comics and shows. Instead of being the one cop who trusts Spider-Man even when he is framed like in the comics and shows like The Spectacular Spider-Man, Captain Stacy right away does not trust Spider-Man and tries to arrest him. It’s not until the final fight with the Lizard that Captain Stacy and Spider-Man work together.

Rhys Ifans does a good job in portraying Doctor Curtis Connors, a scientist who works for Oscorp Industries that regrows his arm with lizard DNA. His portrayal of Lizard is not terrible, but leaves a lot to be desired. It felt like they missed the mark with him, taking out the elements that make Lizard a sympathetic villain and making him feel more like a typical standard villain. His plan to turn everyone into lizards to erase human weakness feels so off. Deleted scenes show his son, who in the comics and many animated shows is crucial to the Lizard’s arc.

James Horner does the movie’s score and it is very good. There is a feeling of inspiration to do the right thing, which fits the theme of Spider-Man and responsibility. There are two arcs in the film that are not completed. The parents’ arc I can forgive because it continues into the next film. We’ll cover more of that in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 review. The story arc of Peter finding the burglar that kills Uncle Ben never gets completed. It always bugged me how it is never addressed again in the rest of the film and never in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

All in all, The Amazing Spider-Man is a good movie with great performances, but held back by bad villain motivations and spending too much time on the origin story. The potential to be a great movie is there. Despite my issues, I like this movie a lot. I’m curious to see how they handle the Lizard in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Rhys Ifans will be returning as the Lizard, so it will be interesting to see if the character motivations have changed and what he has been up to.

I recommend you check out The Amazing Spider-Man if you haven’t already. If you have seen it already, what did you think? Let us know in the comments down below.

Final Grade: B

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