Spider-Man fell out of grace. He did. The third Spider-Man movie was not the best piece of cinema, from…almost any perspective really. Overabundance of silliness, bad characterization…the list goes on. Just like most major comic book movies, we got a trilogy, and while it started well, it didn’t end with such grace. The name of Peter Parker lost its weight with most of us fans. With the success of other franchises like Batman, Iron Man and now the Avengers, we got a reboot. This one, focusing on the Amazing Spider-Man cannon. I was skeptical going in, since a lot of these actors are new to me. The story seemed promising though, since I always wanted to see The Lizard in a Spider-Man movie.
You have to remember that while I do love movies, I keep it to mostly comedies, documentaries, indie, anime and comic book movies. Meaning that I might have missed some things these actors have done. Regardless, here we go. Andrew Garfield is cast as Peter Parker. Since this is a reboot, we start from the beginning. Peter Parker is dropped off with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben at a young age due to unknown circumstances. fast forward to high school, going through the trials of a teenager. Garfield’s portrayal of Peter Parker is that of a shy, nerdy guy, who gains confidence over time. The ideal vision for so many of us. It works well, and the eventual cockiness isn’t overplayed. It’s subtle, and well acted.
The antagonist focus of the movie is on Curt Connors, and his connection with Peter’s dad. In this version, Norman Osborn is dying, and a cure is being researched at Oscorp by Connors, and previously Peter’s dad. Connors of course follows the previous storyline, where he is trying to find a cure for his lost arm. He is doing this through genetic research that combines animal and human DNA. We know the eventual result of this. Throughout all this, we see Spider-Man’s birth, and growth into a confident, cocky hero. We have tragedy to fuel this like in other versions, but Garfield plays it out really well, making us really feel the plight and purpose of Spider-Man’s existence.
The best part of this movie in my opinion, is the human aspect of it. I know that a guy getting bitten by a radioactive spider and gaining super powers isn’t real, but the way it’s portrayed is. Peter’s high school experience, with Flash, his fellow nameless students, and eventually Gwen Staci, is a thing to behold and appreciate. He acts like any of us would, being marveled at his new found powers, and using them to taunt those who taunted him, but only once. Like the famous line says: with great power, comes great responsibility.
The Amazing Spider-Man portrays a story that hits close to home, as it portrays a very human super hero. One who goes through heart-break, discovery, and rebirth. The super hero tales of old were really black and white. This tale presents us with lots of shades of gray. I am keeping details scarce to avoid spoilers, but all the characters make an impact, and show us different views on what’s going on. There is really no “evil” here, and with that, no true greater good.
The Amazing Spider-Man does something that a lot of movies strive to do: it gives us a heartfelt story that most of us can relate to, while keeping that sense of awe alive. We feel for both the hero and the villain, although the hero definitely takes the show here. He hits on all the main points that make us human, and reminds us that we have to look deep inside when we think about what’s best for our loved ones. It’s never easy, and the picture isn’t always one-sided. The hard part is realizing what is best for them, not just us. Welcome back Peter Parker, you were missed, and I’m anxious to see where your life goes next. There is much for you and Spider-Man to do, and I want to see both those journeys.