Reinvigorating and fresh, The Amazing Spider-Man may lack finesse and have a subpar choice in (lizard-y) villain, but features top-tier action inventively shot, stunning visuals, and the best & most comic-accurate Spider-Man to date in Andrew Garfield. 6.5/10.
Plot Synopsis: The Amazing Spider-Man follows Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) as he goes back to high school and tries to uncover the mystery of his sudden abandonment by his parents. After being bitten by a radioactive spider as Oscorp Industries, he is given enhanced human abilities that he uses to fight crime as Spider-Man.
*Possible spoilers ahead*
Review: The new Spider-man is a bold reinvention of the character (my favorite Marvel character of all-time), and drastic departure from the previous Raimi/Maguire Trilogy. The movie goes right back to the beginning, this time exploring the famous Spiderman origin with the Lizard villain instead of Green Goblin and Gwen Stacy instead of Mary Jane. This movie is radically different, but a better, more accurate representation of the web-slinging hero in many ways.
First of all, Peter seems much younger and more relatable, mostly due to Andrew Garfield’s absolutely sensational performance as Parker. He is much more believable as Peter Parker, a teen in the comics, than Tobey Maguire was, and fits the nerdy and funnily awkward vibe perfectly, even making many laughable moments, such as in the High School opening scene where Peter thinks he’s being asked out by a girl only to be asked to take pictures of her boyfriend’s car and when he can’t get to his locker because of students making out on top of it. The opening just feels more flowing and organic, focusing more on the science and interactions between Peter and his love interest Gwen, played by the impeccable actress Emma Stone and a connection that just has a special chemistry and feels high-schooly such as when Peter has trouble asking her out and her asking him to dinner with her family.
The character feels reinvigorated and fresh and much much stronger and teenager-like with things like hilariously awkward teen and high school things, to grunge metal and just how Garfield acts, moves, and dresses. He just fits as Spiderman much more than Maguire did, and CERTAINLY more than the newest Spiderman in Civil War and the tragedy of his sharing the newest movie with Iron Man is. It is truly a travesty that this trilogy could not have had a better actor in the 2nd movie and continued with the 3rd, as Garfield and Stone are simply too good and top-notch actors to lose. The action scenes are also fast-paced and exciting, and I love both how Peter first tried out his powers in a makeshift suit swinging between cars on the highway and stopping car jackers, and in the final battle scenes with the Lizard man, set in a beautiful night setting with spotlights and on top of towers and with thrilling choreography and character direction. Another scene that stuck out in the movie was the scene where Peter challenges Flash Gordon on the basketball court and humiliates him, a bully-overcoming moment that just puts a smile on your face as Peter taunts him with his powers.
The movie also has scenes of great artistic expression, such as when Peter just asked out Gwen and goes skating in the construction site, all set to song, and extremely artistic and new, also working in things like him learning how to swing on webs. The use of POV shots when doing things like swinging and classic Spider-man activities are clever and give the audience member a glimpse into what it would be like to be Spider-man famous thought and also his cracking jokes and his amazing suit, the freshest of any Spider-man by far. Finally, the climax battle scene of the rooftop fight between Spider-Man and the Lizard is visually STUNNING and probably my favorite Spider-man moment ever put to screen to date. The way this Spider-man moves is just energetic, young, and fresh, and moves way faster and with more zip like I always imagined Spider-man fighting like from the comics. all make this an unbelievable entry for Spider-man and in the Marvel movie universe.
I will admit, there are some noticeable flaws. the flashback scenes to when Peter was a child here are less interesting, and detract from the experience. Also, I wish they would have picked a more interesting villain like Venom, Carnage, Mysterio, or Kraven as opposed to the Lizard. He is an interesting villain and the CGI is impressive to bring him to life, but just not big enough to be focused on in a movie when there are so many better villains who have yet to be focused on. The movie readdresses many of the same plot points and themes already explored in Raimi’s 2003 Original Spider-Man, which is understandable because that’s the character’s origin, but begs into question why they needed a full reboot instead of just picking up where Raimi’s trilogy left off, but with a new face. I also wish there was a little more focus on the moment the spider bit him and changed Peter’s life like in the original.
Official CLC Score: 6.5/10