The Amazing Spider-man Review: A By-the-Numbers Superhero Flick Saved By Its Amazing Leading Man

Photo Credit: http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Movies/2012/0702/The-Amazing-Spider-Man-movie-review-trailer

Andrew Garfield was born to play Spider-man, but everyone else seems a bit more excited about the sequel than this one.

The Amazing Spider-man needed to do one thing, separate itself from the three Sam Raimi movies as much as possible while still being a great film featuring our friendly neighborhood hero. Does it succeed? For the most part, yes.

I won’t bore you with piece by piece comparisons to the trilogy from the last decade (that will be saved for a very long in depth article coming in the next few days…). But I will say that this is a hell of a lot better than Spider-man 3. It may even be a hair better than the 2002 original. However, it is still far off from the near perfect Spider-man 2.

The campy tone of the originals is replaced with a darker, although still light hearted, take on the character. Anyone who is a fan of the comics will likely appreciate this version more.

But when it comes down to it, this film is hardly different than your traditional, well-made superhero flick. As with films like Thor and Iron Man 2, everyone just seems to be striving for a good superhero movie, not a great one.

Everyone, that is except for Andrew Garfield. Sorry Tobey, but this new guy blew you out of the water. Garfield joins the ranks of Robert Downey Jr., Hugh Jackman, and Christian Bale who have defined the characters that they play on the big screen. This is the definitive Spider-man.

Want proof? You need not look further than the scene shortly after Peter starts donning the costume and saves a little boy stuck in a car hanging from a bridge. It is perhaps one of the most powerful acts of heroism in any superhero movie. If the filmmakers can hold onto this feeling for a sequel where they are not forced to tell an origin story, we are going to have a movie that will have no problem matching The Dark Knight in terms of quality. But like I said, that’s for the sequel.

The rest of the cast is pretty great too. Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield play off of each other perfectly. Some other standouts include Dennis Leary and Martin Sheen.

Rhys Ifans plays the villain here, known as the Lizard. The character is a huge weak point of the film, despite being an awesome special effect and having more than one great fight scene. But once again, this adversary seems like a place holder for the much bigger enemy that the movie sets up for the sequel.

All in all, The Amazing Spider-man is a pretty great superhero movie, mostly due to the incredible performance given by Garfield. Had the writers skipped over the origin it may have been better, but hey, the sequel being set up here should be unbelievable. Grade: B+

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