THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey
June 29, 2012

Share |

SYNOPSIS: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is the story of Peter Parker, an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents' disappearance - leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors, his father's former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors' alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.

The BEST Marvel Comics movie of the Summer is NOT THE AVENGERS. That title goes to THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.

Yep, that’s is NOT a typo. TAS-M > TA.

It’s also the first superhero movie/teenage chick flick. I know you’re probably thinking “WTF?!” and I totally get that reaction. But don’t worry True Believers, there’s plenty of good ‘ol comic book movie action in it too!

TAS-M, of course, is a reboot of the Spider-Man film franchise. It’s Spidey’s BATMAN BEGINS and it definitely has a lot in common with the 2005 Chris Nolan-directed “OK, we’re hitting the reset button” Bat-Flick. BEGINS showed that you CAN successfully reboot a popular film series after it had been run into the ground. If TAS-M = BATMAN BEGINS, then it’s a fair comparison to say SPIDER-MAN 3 = BATMAN AND ROBIN.

The bottom line here is that both the Bat and Spidey franchises had been run off the cliff and had no other choice than to simply start from scratch. It worked for Batman and I think it’s going to as well for Spider-Man. Anyway…

The story is familiar: A teenager is bitten by a genetically-modified spider, gains incredible powers and becomes a costumed crime-fighter. Don’t worry folks, Spider-Man’s origin, while tweaked a bit for this film, is indeed loyal to his comic book mythos. However, TAS-M has a totally different -- dare I say fresh -- look and feel from the previous Sam Raimi-directed trilogy. And that’s a good thing.

As portrayed by British thesp Andrew Garfield, Peter Parker is a shy, awkward nerd who lives with his Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) in New York City. He is raised by his aunt and uncle because his parents dropped him off at their house one night and then disappeared forever. (This, I guess, is the "Untold Story." Yes, it's told -- via a flashback -- it's yet to be resolved. And it was a dumb tagline.) While he loves his Aunt May and Uncle Ben tremendously, Peter still wonders why his parents would do such a thing to such a young child.

After accidentally finding an old briefcase that belonged to his father -- full of scientific papers -- Peter hunts down his father’s old partner, Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), who is head of scientific research at Oscorp. Impressed by Peter’s genius, the two work together on the project that Connor and Peter’s father were never able to complete: Cross-species genetics.

Pressured by Oscorp to move on to human trials, Connors ends up injecting himself with his serum with, ahem, “monstrous” results.

You see, Dr. Connors is missing his right arm. He wants another one. The cross-species serum he uses on himself has the genes of reptiles who can regenerate lost limbs. Thus, he becomes “The Lizard.”

The cast is outstanding -- especially Garfield as Peter/Spider-Man. As is Emma Stone as Peter’s girlfriend, Gwen Stacy. Remember, I said this was bit of a chick flick, right? Hey, it works -- mainly due to the obvious chemistry between the two leads. Also, Gwen isn’t included in this film simply to be a damsel in distress to be saved by Spider-Man. I like Gwen. I like Peter. I like them together. I rooted for them -- something I never did when it came to the Peter/Mary Jane Watson relationship (Meh) in the previous films.

More postives? Here you go...

Garfield (not the cat) OWNS the movie...

The "Spidey F/X" are heads and shoulders better and cooler than those in the Raimi Trilogy...

They pulled off an unrealistic villain -- The Lizard -- realistically. AND...

The 3D worked well and fit Spider-Man like a glove.

Negatives? Yes, there are a few -- some of which are a bit glaring. The first hour of the film -- Spidey’s origin -- does come off as a bit of a rehash. Some of the plot points are a bit rushed. It gets a tad slow at times. The score is unmemorable. And some things -- such as Peter figuring out how to keep EVERYTHING from sticking to him -- go unexplained. Nonetheless, none of these minor faults are significant enough to really hamper this film.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is darn good. Don’t be put off by the fact that it’s a reboot only five years removed from the previous series. It’s fresh, fun, and REALLY good.

Oh yeah. Dudes, if you want to get your girlfriend or wife to go with you, play this card on her…

“It’s like TWILIGHT. TWILIGHT...in tights!”

Trust me, she’ll never know that you weren’t completely telling her the truth. - Bill “Jett” Ramey

GRADE: A-


A life-long Batman fan, "Jett"
is the founder of
BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM.
He resides in the great state of Texas with his wife, three kids, and two Boston Terriers.

Fandango - Movie Tickets Online

BATMAN ON FILM, © 1998-present William E. Ramey. All rights reserved.
BATMAN AND ALL RELATED CHARACTERS AND ELEMENTS ARE TRADEMARKS OF AND © DC COMICS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Read BOF's PRIVACY POLICY.