Andrew Garfield, Max Charles, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Irrfan Khan, Chris Zylka, Campbell Scott, Embeth Davidtz, C. Thomas Howell, Hannah Marks, Kelsey Chow, Stan Lee and Michael Massee.
The thing with Spider-Man/Peter Parker is that he is the youngest of all these highly popular and beloved superheroes and provides plenty of reasons for us to connect with him. When it was announced that they are re-booting the franchise, i was not sure at all. The first Spider man movie came out just 10 years ago, Sam Raimi made three movies that everyone loved and earned massive money. It didn't make sense to make another one too soon. what was the point? And as i started watching this movie, i realized that i connected with this Spider man more than the previous one. I am not against those movies (except for the last one of course) but both of them have different kind of approach, different style of direction and different sets of characters. Sam Raimi's adaptation was more of a high school movie turned into a romantic drama turn into an adventure movie with Spider man as the next door neighbor very breezy and sugary sweet vibe. The Amazing Spider-Man is strong on characterization, inner dramatic plots of the characters, a clear picture of how a high school student in search of something important finds himself, lovely romance and darker in tone movie. It however does lacks the visual imagination, the big action sequences and the overall look of those previous Raimi adaptations. For what its worth, i had a blast watching this movie and just like Harry Potter, i connected with a character that had super powers but inside, he was no different than me or you. Is Spider-Man worth revisiting? As long as they make it like this then i must say it is. Plus just like Batman, Spider man is not just one thing and there have been many comics on it with different style and sets of universes so more than one origin story can be told in different ways, there shouldn't be any whining about it.
The movie begins with the scene where Peter Parker's parents leaves him with his Aunt May (Field) and Uncle Ben (Sheen) when he is very small. Movie then switches to the teenage Peter and shows him as a high school student with the same sets of things that happens with us usually. He is bullied by some tough guys and he slowly develops feelings for a beautiful girl Gwen Stacy (Stone). One day he goes through his father's papers and finds out about his fellow scientist Dr. Curt Connors (Ifans) who works at the Oscorp. Peter loves science and he is great at it, something that he gets from his father. He finds a way to get into the Oscorp and while going around trying to observe the building, he finds a lab with genetically modified spiders. One of the spiders bites him and later while on subway, he realizes that he got spidey powers. That is one hell of an awkward scene, i didn't like it but it was funny. Peter studies his father's papers and visits Connors revealing his true identity and giving him a special algorithm that his father calculated. That is something that Connors needed to complete his experiments on limb regeneration. Impressed by his intelligence, Peter is asked by Connors to regularly visit him here in the lab after school. The incident that changes his life and when he develops this need to save people and hunt down the criminals comes after his Uncle is killed.
For a high school student, his insecurities and those days when you don't really know yourself but you are kind of searching for something that is meaningful in your life. Peter has been looking for his father, he don't know if he is dead or alive but that is not something that he really cares about. He got his uncle and aunt who loves him very much but what he is looking for is answers regarding his parents. The search for that comes down to Connors and Oscorp, luckily his search coincides with his passion for science. But as things starts to get a bit complicated once he lets a part of his life influence the other essential one, it all comes down. He is constantly angry, frustrated, tired and in a battle with himself and with people around him. One thing leads to another and one day he just gives up on himself, the result is the death of his uncle. He gets these new abilities from the bite and uses them to hunt down the killer with whom he crossed path once in a grocery store. He creates a spandex suit for himself, mask and something that we haven't seen before, mechanical devices that he attaches to his wrists which shoots a biocable web, something that he discovered in the beginning in a lab at Oscorp. Its the closer, delicate and much deeper attention to the details that makes this movie so different from the others. This Spider-Man is much closer to the real superhero in the comics and someone that actually reflects the original Spider man's spirits, a character that was created very long ago but fits perfectly in the contemporary setup.
Superhero movies have one essential element that really makes it more entertaining and enjoyable, the villains. Here we have the Lizard, Connors uses lizard's DNA to create a serum that will help in regeneration. He tries it on himself and there you go, a giant ugly looking creature is here. I wasn't quite convinced by the villain in this movie, he was just not memorable or convincing at all. His CGI was done in a very laughable way, felt like he was taken from some Godzilla movie. The scenes with him and Spider-Man fighting over the Oscorp tower are kind of good since its the climax and everything, the sewer scenes were not. I think Andrew Garfield was a perfect choice for this role, he is someone i can actually imagine as a science nerd of 2012, he played a bigger geek in The Social Network so this was a perfect choice. I am very fond of him, he acts so very well and quite convincing, he looks good too. He has this restless sense of attitude and quite an unpredictable and unrecognizable persona which hints towards danger and unexpected consequences which is why this Spider-Man was more "Amazing". The wonderful looking and quite hilarious Emma Stone plays Gwen Stacy. For someone like me who never in his life read any comics but relied on the movies only, i didn't knew Stacy was Spidey's first love. I mean i remember her from the movies, she was played by Bryce Dallas Howard but i had no idea he loved her before Mary Jane. Stone looked quite different as a blond in this movie, her on-screen moments with Garfield are very sweet and honest. She is someone who lights up the screen, she is that beautiful. The slowly growing tension between her character and Peter in high school to Oscorp and the moment when he kisses her for the first time and tells her about everything, Stone wonderfully portrays the waves of emotions her character feels and goes through. She is a science nerd just like him and even more feisty, independent and self-conscious than him. Also great to watch together were the ever wonderful Martin Sheen and Sally Field. Who else could have played those very lovable roles as excellent as they did? Field for example in her moments with Parker are filled with the tension that arises due to the things that happen but her affection for him speaks. Sheen perfectly plays the friendly/parental/authoritative figure in his life.
Overall i really liked the cinematography and the color which appeared brighter than it actually was, i think it would have looked amazing in 3D. It was a bit too long though but it didn't mattered much. I think Webb brilliantly told the origin story in the start without actually giving us the same thing but he knew what he was doing and how he should present something that have already being done. His direction was quite good, he used very little dialogues and more emotional responses in his movie. Nice balance of fresh and familiar elements helped this movie a lot in my opinion making for a very satisfying, intelligent, visually stunning, less campy and quite funny and serious movie.