The Amazing Spider-man is a mixed bag of treats for the whole family. The character is being revamped at scantly over a decade since the franchise proved to be box office gold, and one can only assume that the only real reason for bringing back the web slinger is to rejuvenate the comic book hero at a time where comic book movies are both incredibly profitable and highly critically acclaimed.
Though this author feels that the need to re-invent Spidey is premature, unless of course Sony and Disney actually agree to do a Spider-man/Avengers crossover (geek wet dream), the re-invention was done tactfully enough to properly introduce this superhero to a new generation of fans.
Director Marc Webb, previously known only for his quirky 500 Days of Summer, is a man whose power is found in his eye for aesthetics. Without a doubt, his vision of Spider-man gives us the most breathtaking looking Spider-man to date. Every scene in which we see the costumed hero is a special effects extravaganza that actually looks completely believable, immersive, chaotic, hectic, and natural all at once. The director’s eye similarly captures the emotion of Peter Parker, sans mask, and his love interest Gwen Stacy. With Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone providing performances as two young lovers caught in an emotional web (see what I did there?), the on screen romance of the characters feels authentic, even if it feels more like puppy love than an epic love story.
Now, here’s the thing. I’m a Sam Raimi fanboy. I truly believe that Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 were pure genius. In the 2012 Spider-man, we are given a Spider-man movie that we can believe actually happened. Webb does a great job following the current Marvel trend and placing our god-like characters in human environments. Raimi, on the other hand, gave us a Spider-Man that we want to believe in. Whereas Webb gives us a visual explosion, he just doesn’t provide the same poetry that Raimi did in his films.
Still, you will watch it, you will enjoy it, you will be amazed by the visuals, but ultimately, I felt that this is what Spider-Man 3 was supposed to be, and although the new fans will undoubtedly go crazy for Spidey, some of us will just remain feeling nostalgic for something that we saw just a decade ago.
Keep on Swinging,
P.S. Dennis Leary looks too much like Willem Dafoe to not have had him be a goblin.