Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-ManPosted by MomOnMars on July 03, 2012
Did anybody head out for the midnight showing? And did you find the movie as I did – absolutely pitch perfect?
The movie begins with a game of hide and seek…and a mystery that’s never solved…leaving poor Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) in the care of his aunt (Sally Field), uncle (Martin Sheen) and a questionable meatloaf as his parents disappear into the night.
There’s not one dull moment as the back story of Spider-Man unfolds. For a generation who missed out on the original Toby Maguire version, this movie will keep them on the edge of their seats. For those of us old enough to catch it, there are (not so obscure) references to Godzilla and even a Rear Window poster (one of my favorite movies of all time!).
While I don’t read Marvel comic books, I understand the story is pretty true to the original – except instead of a radioactive spider, it’s some kind of biogenetically-altered spider … or something like that. And instead of being a super nerd, Parker is a skateboarding, photo-taking, adorable high schooler, who though super smart and shy seems to get along pretty well in school…even standing up to the bullies when they pick on the other guys.
So you can basically the storyline is what you expect it to be: boy is abandoned by parents, gets bitten by a spider, finds his superpowers, figures out who he wants to be, falls in puppy love, fights the villain, saves the day. To make a long story even shorter – spiders good, lizards bad. Throw in a bunch of cops, dramatic fight scenes, New York sewers amazingly equipped with power, some cool James Bond-like inventions, 3-D moments that make you feel like you’re in the scene, heart-stopping shots of Spidey flying through the air, just enough “awwwww” moments, and you’ve got it. Oh, and eventually, he remembers to get his aunt her eggs. It’s in those moments that you fall in love with the movie. The very real moments…and there are plenty.
I suppose if you are a die-hard, superhero, action movie fan, this movie may disappoint a bit. But for this mom, who isn’t much into blood and gore, major violence and stupid pranks, this movie rocked it for both me and my kids. The nerd in me would have appreciated a little more explanation of the science – but this is based on comic books. How much can you expect to understand about what would stop a giant lizard? The only point it seemed to hesitate is at the climax…when superhero vs. villian seems to be a bit…well…predictable. But just as soon as Spider-Man saves Manhattan in the nick of time, the movie gets back on track in a surprising moment as he is saved from falling to certain death. And this is one of those magic moments.
Let me take you back for a moment to the the original Spider-Man movies. In Spider-Man 3, Aunt May tells Peter, “Revenge is like a poison. Before you know it…it can turn you into something ugly.” Fill in the blank… revenge, envy, greed, lust, anger…. In the case of the Amazing Spider-Man, it’s strength and power. Early in the movie, Peter tells Dr. Curtis Connors, “It’s not who you are.” For some reason, that line resonated through the entire movie right up to the very end.
For me, part of the beauty lies in these small, almost overshadowed dialog. About responsibility. About the choices we make. And about the truth of who we really are.
And if you don’t want to dig deep, no worries. It’s just a really enjoyable movie.
The Amazing Spider-Man opens in theaters everywhere in 3D on July 3. Rated PG-13.
P.S. If you hang for a second after the first round of credits, there’s a surprise…and a hint of an idea that the mystery will continue…