After much deliberation, I went and saw The Amazing Spider-Man at midnight. Overall, it was a great movie.
The best part of this movie is how well the characters are developed. Almost every character gets enough screen time to be given some kind of depth. They’re not just introduced because they happen to be in the Spider-Man world but rather because everyone plays a part in the story. Uncle Ben is shown as a real father figure to Peter, and Aunt May isn’t a helpless old lady. They’re people, and you really can’t help but love them.
Peter and Gwen clearly get the most screen time and thus development. Andrew Garfield plays a terrifically awkward Peter Parker, but sometimes he mumbles through his lines. But on the flip side, mumbling through lines while talking to Gwen makes sense. Peter is a “nerd” and he is “shy”. I thought he was charming as Peter. Emma Stone played an equally fantastic Gwen Stacy. She’s smart, self-assured, and is kind of a hero in her own right. She’s not just some damsel that Spider-Man has to save.
The story was also good. Easy to follow, but there were some questions we had when we left the theater (which would be spoilers that I will not talk about). It still has the fundamental back story; Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive (really genetically engineered) spider while snooping around in the Oscorp lab. But this story has much more to it than that:
While cleaning out the basement Peter stumbles on a suitcase that belonged to his father. He snoops around and finds a photo of his father with another man. He does some snooping and finds out the man is Dr. Curt Connors, who just happens to work for Oscorp. Peter sneaks into Oscorp with the intention of meeting Dr. Connors. He does, and he impresses him with his science know how. One thing leads to another and Peter winds up in a room where there are tons of genetically altered spiders. And one bites him. After discovering his super awesome spider powers, Peter becomes almost reckless everywhere else. He is now obsessed with figuring out what his father and Dr. Connors (who has also taken Peter under his wing) were working on. This leads Peter to forget to pick up his Aunt May (who insisted she was fine with walking home 12 blocks by herself at night) which causes a fight between Peter and Uncle Ben. Peter storms out upset and Uncle Ben goes after him. While looking for Peter Uncle Ben intercepts a man who robbed a grocery store, attempts to stop him, and is shot dead. Peter runs over, see’s it was Uncle Ben, and that’s when he realizes what he must do. He must now go after the man who killed Uncle Ben.
This dream is short-lived (he never finds the guy in this movie) and thus he becomes a vigilante.
Overall it was a good story. As I said earlier there are some things that don’t make sense, but hopefully they will clear up in the following sequels. The only thing I fear is that the next movie will have a similar plot. The underlying story is that Oscorp is trying to make a serum to correct/cure human beings. They never resolved that issue in this movie, so there’s a possibility that it will be coming back to haunt Peter in more ways than one. I also think Peter had the “mutant” DNA in him, but it wasn’t activated until he was bitten by the spider. Which in turn would mean his father was secretly some asshole who used his son as a science experiment, hence why he was so secretive and left him to live with Aunt May and Uncle Ben. But again those are just wild guesses.
The CGI is a little silly in this movie. When Dr. Connors is growing his arm for the first time just looks dumb. Pivotal but dumb. When you see the world from Spider-Man’s point of view…well we could have done without it. The obviously made for 3D scenes were also cheesy. We saw the movie in regular 2D and it was fine. I don’t think seeing this in 3D will somehow enhance your viewing pleasure.
I give this movie a solid A. I will see it again.