Today’s Movie Review – The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Note: I’m backdating this a bit just so it falls more inline with when I actually saw the movie. As I see more movies this summer, I’m going to try to do this more often. Thanks for reading!

It has actually been three weeks since I saw this movie, but life got in the way and prevented me from posting this review before now. However, I wanted to get this review up before posting my “The Dark Knight Rises” review, which I might see for the third time this upcoming weekend. It’s unfortunate that TKDR came out, or else “The Amazing Spider-Man” would perhaps be my favorite movie of the summer. At least it will be able to say that it held that spot for a little over two weeks.

One cannot review this movie without comparing it to the previous Spider-Man trilogy done by Sam Raimi. When the first Tobey Maguire “Spider-Man” was released, it truly was the movie that launched nearly every recent comic book movie. To this day, I don’t think it was because it was a super awesome movie; it was just better than anything that had been done recently and stayed relatively close to the source material.*I can’t speak of the second two movies, primarily for two reasons: 1) Spider-Man 2 is forgettable to me right now, and 2) I never saw Spider-Man 3, which I heard was pretty much a horrible interpretation of Venom, one of my favorite characters from the cartoon.

*I never read comic books growing up, but I was an active Spider-Man cartoon watcher as a kid and I had a fairly decent idea about most of the Spider-Man Universe.

Though it has been some time since I watched it, I remember the movie having small flaws. Kirsten Dunst may not have been the best choice for Mary Jane. Spider-Man simply launched web from his wrist, as opposed to a shooting device with replaceable capsules. But it also had some redeeming qualities, one of which was the performance of Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn/Green Goblin. James Franco also did pretty well as Peter Parker’s best friend Harry Osborn.

Fast forward to today, ten years after the release of the first Spider-Man, and perhaps the quickest reboot in history, to “The Amazing Spider-Man.” When I compare to the “original,” the newest version is a lot better, but I am still unsure whether or not it is because of better casting in the principle characters or just a better feel to the movie as a whole. Either way, Marc Webb’s version of Spider-Man was much more enjoyable in my humble opinion. And, now that I know that Marc Webb directed “(500) Days of Summer,” I’m pretty excited for the future of the franchise.

Andrew Garfield was even more emo than Tobey Maguire in the role of Peter Parker, but I was more convinced by his transformation to Spider-Man. As for the Kirsten Dunst replacement, they couldn’t have done any better than Emma Stone and a return to her natural blonde. They could cast Ms. Stone in almost anything and I would watch it. She is great, and her Gwen Stacy is miles ahead of any Mary Jane Watson scene from the original movie. I am interested to see what happens later in the series when they introduce the new Mary Jane after the (SPOILER ALERT) death of Gwen Stacy.

While I think that the original “Spider-Man” was light-hearted, the latest one was definitely influenced by Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight Version of Batman. It is definitely a bit darker than the original, though there were still many light-hearted moments. I am excited to see what direction the series takes in the future sequels as they delve more into the story of Peter Parker’s parents and the big secret they are hiding. If they can keep with the tone established in the first movie, it has potential to be something pretty decent.

Had I written this review prior to viewing “The Dark Knight Rises,” it probably would have been slightly different. Nevertheless, the movie is still good, even if it pales in comparison to what became the movie of the year thus far in TDKR. I encourage a viewing in theaters, but avoid the 3D like I did. You won’t be sorry.

Until next time…

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