Just saw the film, and decided to share my thoughts on it. The Twilight review will be posted on Monday, so stay tuned. Hope this review helps you decide whether this film would be worth watching.
The largest gripe the majority of people seem to have with this movie is its proximity to the last Spider-Man trilogy. The first Spider-Man was produced in 2002, and Spider-Man 3 in 2007. Had these movies not existed, I think there would have been a lot more positive reviews than there are. However, even with the existence of the Raimi trilogy, this film shines starkly above them.
Perhaps because of the recent films, the plot of Amazing Spider-Man was significantly altered from the one most of us (or at least, I) grew up with. Instead of the Green Goblin, Spider-Man’s primary adversary here is the Lizard, Curt Connors.
Additionally, the plot revolves around Peter Parker much more than in the first Raimi Spider-Man. In that one, the villain is his best friend’s father, who succumbs to the effects of a body-altering chemical, before going on a rampage across New York at the behest of an insane sub-personality.
Here, Curt Connors was Peter’s father’s scientist partner, seeking to find a way to regrow his lost arm and benefit humanity. As the Lizard, his primal instincts take over, and he becomes more maniacal. Peter feels some responsibility, having partially helped him to develop the serum that transformed Connors.
I think though, that what separates this film from the Raimi trilogy, is that it all feels much more natural. Peter Parker is a more natural teenager. The pacing is more natural. The plot is more natural.
After Uncle Ben is shot, Peter almost immediately begins systematically tracking down people with similar features to the killer. However, as time passes, he figures out that he needs a mask, and later, a full spandex costume, so that people don’t “see his face”, so that the audience sees a progression of masks before he dawns on the iconic costume.
Perhaps the thing that made the film for me was Peter Parker himself. In the Raimi trilogy, he was a shy, awkward, bottom-of-the-social-pole loser. And then he became a jerk in 3. In Amazing Spider-Man, in (almost) the very first scene, he stands up to a bully, and subsequently gets beat up. And he has a sweet mechanical lock on his bedroom door. He seems more of an outsider than a loser.
Furthermore, truer to the original comic book character, he develops the “web-shooter” devices himself, rather than being gifted with organic webbing from the spider bite.
He also comes across as a more natural teenager. He rides around on a skateboard prior to the bite, and is very awkward around his love interest, Gwen Stacy, and also while adapting to his new powers. (The day after he gets his powers, he makes quite a mess of the bathroom). When lying in wait in the sewers for the Lizard, he plays a game on his cell phone.
The look of the film was very modern. I would compare it to the difference between the 2008 Star Trek film and the original hexalogy. The gadgets are brighter and seem more streamlined, especially in Oscorp.
There was also an inherent darkness to the film. Not quite like The Dark Knight, since this is about a teenage superhero. However, Peter Parker gets rather beat up, especially after the final fight with the Lizard. Despite this, though, there were quite a few moments in the film when the theater erupted into laughter. (Because, honestly, Spider-Man is the most comedic superhero out there).
The only issue I had was with the animation of the Lizard’s face and speech. As a sort of reptile-human hybrid, the face was fine. However, reptiles don’t have lips, which made it unsettling when he spoke (especially for me, since I like to write about talking dragons). However, I think unsettling would be a desirable element of such a creature, even if it was unintentional.
All in all, it was an excellent film. I would suggest it to anyone, since it is a great way to spend 137 minutes. I might even say the film was…amazing.