When bitten by a genetically modified spider, a nerdy, shy, and awkward high school student gains spider-like abilities that he eventually must use to fight evil as a superhero after tragedy befalls his family.
Peter Parker (Garfield) is an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Sheen) and Aunt May (Field). Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Stone), and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents' disappearance - leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors (Ifans), his father's former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors' alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero. Written by
The Amazing Spider-Man is even better than its predecessors.
In 2002, Sam Raimi released his take on Spider-Man, the ever-popular comic book superhero. Upon release, it was praised in many aspects, and was a massive box office success. Two years later, a sequel was released to even more positive acclaim and the title of "one of the best superhero movies of all time." However, Raimi missed his mark with Spider-Man 3, which was a box office success, but received mixed reviews from critics. Spider-Man 4 fell into Development Hell, and five years later, the series was rebooted as The Amazing Spider-Man. Many elements of the movie still seem too fresh for a reboot, but The Amazing Spider- Man is even better than its predecessors.
Much like the original Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man follows the story of a teenager named Peter Parker. Peter is quite a troubled guy: his parents left him at a young age with no warning or reason, he's bullied at school, and he's socially awkward, especially with the girl he has a crush on, Gwen Stacy. Living with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben, Peter lives a simple, average life.
One day, Peter visits Oscorp, a company dealing with many types of genetic and experimental sciences. Upon seeing a man carrying a folder with symbols similar to the one left by his father, Peter enters a room running tests on spiders. He receives a bite from one of the spiders, which drastically changes his physical capabilities. He soon adopts the persona of Spider-Man, saving citizens of New York City from trouble, including a beast known as The Lizard.
It's been ten years since 2002's Spider-Man introduced the origin story of Spider-Man, but the story still seems familiar. All the elements of the story feel similar to Raimi's take, but they do manage to separate themselves. The screenplay makes up for the similar story with great dialogue and chemistry between characters, humor, and touching moments when needed. The script also stays true to the Spider-Man mythos established in the comics, bringing back the web shooters, for example. The writing is smooth and well written by the film's writers.
The acting performances are fantastic as well. Andrew Garfield is a worthy successor to Tobey Maguire. Garfield is both humorous and heartfelt, something Maguire wasn't really consistent with in the Raimi trilogy. Emma Stone plays Gwen Stacy perfectly, a fine replacement to Mary Jane Watson. She's smart, charming, and has perfect chemistry with Garfield. Rhys Ifans plays Curt Connors pretty well. His character is quite relatable at the beginning, but his characters becomes a tad generic later on in the movie. Rounding out the cast is Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Uncle Ben and Aunt May, and both are fantastic in their portrayals of these characters.
The visual effects are great, although they are occasionally over reliant on CGI. The scenes with Spider-Man swinging through the streets of New York feel as refreshing as they did in 2002, thanks to some cool cinematography and first person point of view shots. This is the first time that it really feels like Spider-Man is actually accomplishing the massive deeds he is doing for New York. The CGI used on The Lizard isn't great, but it gets the job done without looking horrible.
What director Marc Webb (quite a coincidence, no?) has done is reinvigorate the Spider-Man franchise for a more modern audience. The character is more dark and gritty, but not without the traditional Spider-Man humor and charm. Webb is fantastic at creating small character moments and chemistry between them, but he also proves he can use a big budget and make a fun summer blockbuster. The Amazing Spider- Man is, without a doubt, the best Spider-Man movie yet.
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