Mini-Review: The Amazing Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man

Action, 2012

136 minutes

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Sally Field, Martin Sheen

Directed by: Marc Webb

Written by: James Vanderbilt, Alvin Sargent

Although it would be easy to argue that there’s really no need for a Spider-Man reboot so soon after the conclusion of the previous trilogy, I must admit that this new film provides convincing evidence to the contrary. Two reasons are immediately obvious: Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, a real-life couple so absurdly adorable that in the film adaptation of their lives they would have to be played by a kitten and a balloon. Still, there are other reasons why the movie works, and they make the film not only enjoyable but actually good. This version introduces a high school-aged Peter Parker, who is both super smart and super unpopular. He is still feeling the loss of his parents, particularly his scientist father, and his yearning to feel closer to them leads him to a meeting with his father’s former partner, Dr. Curt Connors (and to becoming…Spider-Man!). Though brilliant, Dr. Connors is less scrupulous than Peter’s father was, and it is his (increasingly serious) lapses in moral judgment than lead to the creation of Spider-Man’s first major adversary. Plenty of action ensues, although the film, for all its summer blockbuster posturing, has a tendency to privilege quieter, more personal moments. Which suits me just fine. The Amazing Spider-Man is a charming reintroduction to a beloved character; it proves that the franchise still has a few tricks left up its sleeve—and they’re not just Spider-Man’s web-shooters.

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