For the first decade of the 21st century, Tobey McGuire donned the red and blue tights to play the role of Spider-Man in three well received movies. Coveting the success of director Christopher Nolan’s re-imagined Batman films, Columbia Pictures decided to reboot Spider-Man to give fans a different take on creator Stan Lee’s most popular super hero. In the first of what’s sure to be a series of movies, “The Amazing Spider-Man” hits the big screen with spectacular special effects, a smart riveting storyline, and non-stop action, yet it’s Andrew Garfield’s compelling multilayered performance as Peter Parker that saves the day.
How’s the story?
“The Amazing Spider-man” is a character driven story wrapped in a thrilling blockbuster action movie. The ensemble cast all provide outstanding performances including Denis Leary as the tough as nails Captain Stacy and doting father, Martin Sheen as the salt of the earth compassionate Uncle Ben, Sally Field as the soulful Aunt May, and Emma Stone as Peter Parker’s love interest and confidant, Gwen Stacy. Rhys Ifans who plays the villain, Dr. Curt Connors/The Lizard, creates a character that actually evokes sympathy from the audience. Yet what’s most compelling about the story is Peter Parker.
Andrew Garfield digs deep to bring to life the troubled existence of Peter Parker. Peter’s a brilliant young man who’s had his life ripped from him without explanation as a child. You can see it in his eyes, his social awkwardness, his tendency to speak quickly and quietly to go unnoticed. Peter insulates himself through science and technology and to a certain extent photography since how better to capture the world without participating in it. We follow his path as he figures out the pieces of his father’s disappearance and the connections which will eventually lead him him to his conflict with Dr. Connors.
How are the visual effects?
Phenomenal. With each iteration of Spider-Man, the on screen action has improved exponentially. “The Amazing Spider-Man” represents Spider-Man’s best, most convincing, and breathtaking movie action sequences ever. Admittedly though, I wasn’t as smitten with the design of The Lizard. Apparently the concept was built off of a version first introduced in the comics in Stan Lee’s “Amazing Spider-Man” no.6. In the movie, The Lizard lacks a certain menacing exterior.
The movie carries a PG rating. Can I take my younger children to see it?
Much like “The Avengers”, the violence depicted in “The Amazing Spider-Man” is of the comic book variety found in many animated television series. There’s no excessive bloodshed and just one on screen death used more for dramatic effect than shock value. Overall, kids ages 6 and up should be fine watching this movie with parental guidance.
Any opportunities for Bathroom Breaks?
Very few actually. But if nature calls, I’d recommend when Peter’s goes to an abandoned factory to test out his new found agility, climbing, and strength skills.
Overall Rating: A-
Recommended for children ages 6 and up.
Pros: Andrew Garfield gives a resonating heartfelt performance as Peter Parker. Amazing Spider-man action sequences.
Cons: The Lizard falls short as a menacing villain.
Official Movie Trailer for “The Amazing Spider-Man”