'The Amazing Spider-Man': What'd You Think?

Senior Contributor
07.05.12 20 Comments

C’mon, you saw it yesterday if you didn’t catch it Tuesday. And The Amazing Spider-Man is a movie worth seeing.

We won’t go into the plot too much: suffice to say there are few surprises, one of the few drawbacks to the movie. Marc Webb ultimately hands in an origin that’s streamlined, smartly paced, and often very funny. All of the tweaks, many of which are pulled from Ultimate Spider-Man, are for the better. It isn’t perfect, but it’s an excellent start.

The action scenes are sharply done. Ten years of improvements to CGI helps considerably. They’re fluid and they make sense; more to the point, they’re heavily inspired by the comics. Still, that’s not the best part of the movie.

The best moments are actually the small interpersonal scenes: Peter stumbling through asking Gwen Stacy for a date, Gwen trying to get rid of her father, Peter clashing with Uncle Ben. It does create a problem in that when the movie has to go for the big soaring “Everybody Loves Spidey” moments, they feel a little corny and out of place. But this Peter is very, very much an awkward, and endearing, teenager.

The characterizations are consistent in the sense that nobody is a bad guy, but awkward in the sense that the movie moves too fast for them to be anything other than sketches. Rhys Ifans’ Curt Connors is a scientist facing the fact that he’s hit the limits of his talents, and the movie drops hints his life is slowly falling apart in other respects. We see a wedding ring but an empty, sterile house, for example. But we don’t get enough time with him to develop it, which would have given his turn to villainy some weight. Flash Thompson turns from bully to trying to give Pete a big hug, and this was a guy introduced grinding someone’s face in their lunch. Why is he suddenly Mr. Sensitive?

The other complaints are really nitpicks: you’ll wonder if the Lizard is going to ask anybody if they know how he got these scars, for example.

It’s a good movie, and worth your time in theaters. One hopes that the huge Tuesday opening and no doubt equally enormous July 4th will convince Sony that Marc Webb can be trusted with the franchise.

What’d you think of it? Let us know in the comments.

image courtesy Sony

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