Movie Title: The Amazing Spider-man
Director: Marc Webb (now who can’t tell me that’s convenient considering his last name…)
Release Date: July 3rd, 2012
Date Seen: July 7th, 2012
Seen in : 3D
Seen with: Madison (cousin)
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
Great movie. Great action scenes, great casting, great villain, great spider-man, great effects. As someone who is not a big fan of the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movies, this one made me happy and like the series once again. It is a much darker take on the Spider-Man series, but I feel like it works great. You feel a greater sense of accomplishment when Spider-Man saves the city from whatever villain there is… You also get a different kind of vulnerability out of Spider-Man. I felt like the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man always looked like he was about to break down crying and was just overall whiny (feel free to disagree). He looked and acted wimpy, all the time. Andrew Garfield, in my opinion, plays the quiet genius nerd quite well, that is just waiting for his opportunity – and when we see him get his opportunity, we are happy for him. I also love that the love interest in this is Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) rather than Mary Jane, like in the others. It helps keep them separate. And Gwen Stacy is just awesome. So there.
All the actors did a great job. I particularly loved Dr. Connors/The Lizard (Rhys Ifans) for his Dr. Jekel/Mr. Hyde type attitude. That was great. And this role might finally help me kick the image of him as Nigel “The Leg” Gruff out of my mind (go watch The Replacements for anyone who has no idea what I’m speaking of). I thought he did a great job as the conflicted doctor unsure of his future.
So go see this movie – it’s good. I loved the 3D, and I think seeing it in IMAX 3D would have been even better, if you can afford it.
Part 2 – In Depth Spoiler Ridden Review
The movie opens with a young Peter playing hide-and-go seek with his parents. While looking for them, he opens up his fathers office door and sees it completely wrecked. He yells for his dad who then erases some stuff off a board, gathers his things, including a secret file, and the family rushes to Uncle Ben and Aunt May’s house. They say they are going to take care of something important and will be back. Of course, we know they’re not coming back because we all know the story. I had hoped that with the beginning focusing on his parents, we might actually get a little bit more into their story, but sadly, we don’t. Ah well.
We see Peter at school, being kind of loser-ish, bullied by Flash (Chris Zylka), blah blah, standing up for another kid that Flash is bullying, getting beat up by Flash for that, and the gorgeous Gwen Stacy saying good job for doing that. All these scenes were necessary to give Peter that beat down feeling – it’s obvious he’s just waiting for a chance to be something great, but doesn’t know how. At home, we see him interact with Aunt May and Uncle Ben, and he’s a great kid. He finds his Dad’s old briefcase and it becomes the catalyst in Peter’s life. He finds a picture of Dr. Connors and his dad working at Oscorp – so he decides that he must go meet him.
He sneaks into Oscorp using an interns badge, and ends up on the intern tour of the facility led by our very own Gwen Stacy. She doesn’t notice him until he answers a question of the group, asked by Dr. Connors. She doesn’t out him for being an imposter but does tell him not to wander off and to not get him in trouble. So what does he do, of course? Wander off, and get bitten by a radioactive spider. Way to follow directions, Peter. Really though, this scene was pretty cool. Peter starts following a random man, who he noticed had a file with the same symbol that was on his Dad’s papers. He watches him do a super cool code to open a door, and so of course, he must go in this door since it has that symbol on it.
Inside the room, he sees spider webbing being compacted into little canisters (which is what he will eventually use in his webshooters). He opens a door and there is a room full of these spiders crawling along webs. The scene is great though because of the black light on the room and in 3D, it was cool seeing all the webs “around” you. Peter plucks one of the strings and it causes some of the spiders to fall down on top of him. He thinks he gets them all off – but we know better! As he leaves, Gwen catches him and makes him give her his badge. He does, as one last spider crawls up and bites the back of his neck.
On the Subway ride home, he falls asleep (WHY WOULD YOU FALL ASLEEP THERE?! AH!), and ends up having an interesting fight with some people on the train. He is starting to experience his lightning quick reflexes and the sticky-hands thing. He isn’t sure what is happening. By the time he gets home, Peter looks (and acts) like he is on some serious drugs. He goes to the fridge and inhales some meatloaf and then just grabs all the food he can, including the frozen mac and cheese package, and goes to his room. Aunt May and Uncle Ben just don’t know what to think. The next morning when he wakes up, we get to see him figure out what the heck is happening. He keeps breaking things because of his new found strength, is still sticking to things, and is just generally confused. He does feel the spider bite and finds a web coming out of it, with the spider that bit him, attached.
He decides to take it upon himself to go to Dr. Connors house, reveal himself as Richard Parker’s son, and just ask some “general” questions about cross-species something something. He also gives Dr. Connors a decay algorithm, that seems to be the one thing that Dr. Connors has been working to try and figure out for the last xx years. Peter says he just came up with it on his own, but it really came off of his fathers files. Dr. Connors now asks Peter to come visit him after school each day, and thus begins their relationship. Dr. Connors is trying to take the ability that lizards have (lose a limb, it grows back), to other animals, such as a three legged mouse, named Freddy. He, obviously, is very interested in this work because he himself is missing an arm.
Some time around here we get the Uncle Ben dying scene – he gets shot by a robber, that Peter had basically let go a couple of minutes before. This is one scene that I actually preferred the Sam Raimi version better. I felt like you KNEW the scene was coming, it was all set up for him to die, and so you were just waiting for it. It also wasn’t as sad as the Sam Raimi version. I just felt like, meh, ok, he died. I was kind of disappointed. Even seeing Aunt May afterwards, and Peter being sad for like one whole day, meh. It was just an ok scene all around. It could have been so much better. Because of this scene now Peter starts to become the Spider-Man. That is why I just wanted it to be so much more. I even forgot when exactly it happened, so again, clearly it didn’t have that much of an impact.
So Peter starts working on his suit, making his webshooters, and hunting down criminals that he thinks might be the one that killed Uncle Ben. Gwen invites him to dinner at her house, and there is a big awkward moment with her dad, Captain Stacy (Denis Leary), talking about the Spider-Man. Clearly, Captain Stacy doesn’t approve of what the Spider-Man is doing, and also points out that he is only going after criminals that all look similar, like he has some sort of personal vendetta. This is a slight light-bulb moment for Peter. Gwen relieves the tension and asks Peter to go outside with her… and then he reveals, through a pretty cute gesture, that he is the Spider-Man. This was a cute scene, and it’s clear that Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield have a great chemistry together.
Around this time, Dr. Connors is told he needs to start human trials of his serum, now that it has worked on sweet little Freddy the mouse. He refuses, and is basically fired – and thus all hopes of ever regrowing his arm are shot. So he decides, since it worked on Freddy and he wants his arm – he will inject himself with the serum. And thus, we witness the birth of “The Lizard”. He discovers it is working, and rushes to a cab to go show that jerk that fired him that it is working on humans. At some point during the car ride, he fully changes into The Lizard and goes on a crazy rampage of the bridge. Spider-Man rushes there and has a mini-fight with him. He saves many cars that were thrown off he bridge by The Lizard and leaves them hanging by some web off the bridge. At one point, a man played by C. Thomas Howell, screams that his son is trapped in one of the cars hanging off the bridge. Peter has to make a split second decision to go after the lizard or save the kid. He goes and saves the kid. The kid is scared of Spider-Man, but he pulls off his mask to show the little boy, Jack, that he’s just a normal guy under the mask. He even gives the boy the mask. While trying to release the boy, the car catches on fire and Peter ends up in a position where he is holding on to the car. He needs Jack to crawl up to him, and Jack says he can’t do it… so Peter tells him to put on the mask – it’ll make him stronger. I thought this line was great, because it makes you think about the power of just the mask/costume. So he saves Jack and gives him back to his dad. The dad asks who he is, and he says “Spider-Man”. So now he’s changed from “the spider-man”, “that spider-guy”, etc. to Spider-Man.
The next day, Peter goes to ask Dr. Connors a question about how he’d go about catching a lizard… and Dr. Connors is very secretive and says he’s going to work on a project and will be back. Peter is sure that Dr. Connors is the Lizard, and is even more sure when he sees Freddy, the adorable mouse, has now turned into a rat-lizard thing and is eating the other test mouse. I actually laughed at that part. So Peter goes to tell Captain Stacy that Dr. Connors is actually a lizard man. He, obviously, doesn’t believe Peter, and tells him to go back to school. But due to Peters persistence that it is the truth, Captain Stacy does start looking into the Dr.
Peter sees a bunch of lizards going down into the sewers, so he decides that Dr. Connors must be hanging out down there. This was kind of cheesy… but whatever. Peter sets up an honest to god spiderweb, and then just hangs out there. One string of web is connected to his camera so he can just pull it and take a picture. He is hanging out on the web, just like a real spider would, waiting for some sign of Dr. Connors. We see Dr. Connors up the dose of his serum, and take another batch. Then Peter’s web starts to vibrate from one direction… and other directions…. a bunch of lizards are all falling down on the web and going down one path. Again, kind of stupid.
So from here on in the movie – is a serious of Spider-Man vs The Lizard fights, with a few other random bits in between. So let me just give you an overview of the fights:
Sewer Fight: They fight in the sewer. It was short and ok. Spider-Man gets scratched in the chest. The Lizard finds the camera that says “Property of Peter Parker”. Great going, genius.
School Fight: My favorite fight – The Lizard comes in through a toilet (ha), looking for Peter at school. They have a fight in the hall, in the science lab, in another hall, and then the best part – we see an old man librarian listening to headphones, and we hear the headphone music rather than the background noise, as we see Spider-Man and the Lizard barge into the back of the library and fight in slow motion. The Librarian almost gets hit a couple of times and it’s greatness to watch. He leaves and we hear the fight again. At one moment, Spider-Man is in a bad position and Gwen comes in and hits the Lizard with a trophy. So Spider-Man gets all his energy back and covers him in webs and “safely” throws Gwen out the window. When we hear the police come, the Lizard has escaped – back down the toilet hole. Peter follows.
Peter tells Gwen to go to OSCORP and make a lizard antidote serum. As he is walking around the tunnels he discovers where Dr. Connors has been hiding out – and sees his plan to infect the whole city using some device in the OSCORP tower (that Peter’s father invented) and turn them all into lizard people.
City vs The Lizard fight: As the Lizard makes his way towards the tower, he meets several cops, and so he just releases some capsules of the serum and turns them into lizard people. That was easy and boring.
Cops vs Spider-Man fight: The cops are still hunting Spider-Man, for no reason more than the sheer fact that they are scared of what they don’t understand. At one point, he is shot with a stun gun type thing, gets put in handcuffs, and Captain Stacy pulls his mask off. Right as he does that, Peter knocks out all the cops in an awesome little mini battle, and then Captain Stacy tells him to stop. He is shocked that it is Peter. Peter says that he HAS to get to OSCORP because the Lizard is heading there and Gwen is there. Captain Stacy lets him go…. but a cop still shoots at him, and manages to hit his leg. So now Spider-Man is wounded.
Construction Workers kick ass: Everyone can see that Spider-Man is trying to get to the OSCORP tower and that he’s wounded. So the man, whose son was saved from the car, happens to be a construction worker, calls all his construction worker friends to move their cranes perpendicular to the street so Spider-Man has an easy quick time to get there. My only issue with this was the fact that the police were evacuating everyone… so, really, ALL those construction workers down the street were still there? Improbable…. but I guess so is a having a giant lizard man and a boy bit by a radioactive spider who can stick to walls. So I’ll get over this, I guess. Beyond that though, I liked this scene. It was a super cool moment watching Spider-Man swing down the streets and see the city come to finally help him. I loved it.
So Gwen gets the antidote made, but also the Lizard gets the machine he needed and goes to the roof. Spider-Man goes up to the roof to try and stop him. Gwen runs out of the building and gives her dad the antidote telling him he MUST get it to Spider-Man, and blah blah sappy moment.
Final battle: The Lizard vs Spider-Man and Captain Stacy – I actually found this final battle mildly disappointing. It was just way to fast. But there was a very limited amount of space so it had to be kind of quick. It wasn’t a memorable fight. It was more memorable in that Captain Stacy gets killed, and makes Peter promise to leave Gwen alone/out of his life (to protect her). And obviously, Peter switches the stuff in the machine with the antidote so all the cops that were turned lizard people get fixed, and The Lizard start turning back into humans. Peter almost falls off the tower, and Dr. Connors saves him….. the whole time he’s had a real Dr. Jekel/Mr. Hyde type attitude going on, so it is fitting and redeems him a little bit when he saves him.
I LOVED the ending of the movie. We see Captain Stacy’s funeral, which Peter watches from a rooftop. A parade of people with black umbrellas leave the church, and one stops and looks up, Gwen. It was very well shot. She then goes to his house to try and figure out what has been up with him and why he hasn’t been coming around nor was at the funeral. He just says that he can’t be with her. She walks away and turns and says “He made you promise, didn’t he?” I liked it a lot that SHE said it, rather than Peter just pull the “well, I made a promise to your Dad…”. I feel like it keeps him more respectable.
The next day at school we see a lot of avoiding of Gwen, we see Flash now wearing a Spider-Man shirt and Peter enjoying that, more ignoring of Gwen, and then Peter is late to a class. The teacher scolds him as he sits down behind Gwen, and he promises he’ll never do it again. She says “Don’t make promises you can’t keep, Peter.” He leans forward and whispers, to Gwen, “but those are the best kind of promises…” and she smiles. It was cute.
After the credits: We see Dr. Connors being put into a cell in an asylum (I read that online, I wasn’t sure if it was an asylum or a jail). A man appears (or does he?!) and asks if he told Peter anything about his parents… Dr. Connors says no. It was a very very very cryptic scene. I suggest reading this link for a better explanation, and it also lists both theories that I have seen: here.
I really liked this movie. I enjoyed watching it, loved it much more than the other Spider-Man movies, and loved all the characters. There were very few things I was annoyed at and all-in-all I thought it was great.