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The Amazing Spiderman (2012) Movie Review

July 7, 2012

Many are familiar with the story of Spiderman from the early animated series and the later trilogy of films by Sam Raimi.  A young boy develops special powers after being bitten by a spider and decides to use his newfound powers to fight crime to protect the city.  Some may be disappointed by how long “The Amazing Spiderman” spends developing the characters before a true Spiderman emerges, but the way it was done felt beautifully realistic.  It was necessary to spend the extra time developing Peter Parker’s (Andrew Garfield) motivation because it connects the audience to the characters more closely.

When I read the first announcement for a new Spiderman movie I thought that it was too soon after the films by Sam Raimi.  With so many franchises getting re-boots and re-imaginings lately I figured it was going to be a disaster.  When the trailers came out, I wasn’t all that excited by the feeling I got from them.  Thankfully, all this negativity was dispelled by positive word of mouth from early reviews and friends who saw it on opening day.  Most of the buzz was positive so I had to go see if “The Amazing Spiderman” was worth it.  I was pleasantly surprised by how traditional the film felt.

The interactions between Peter and Gwen (Emma Stone) are beautifully written as they deal with many of the awkward first meetings that come with young romance.  Garfield and Stone were fabulous in their roles and I felt that they were more natural than the cast of the previous trilogy.  I liked all the little changes to the character of Peter Parker in this movie.  His intelligence and aptitude for science really shines through and it was refreshing to see such an intelligent character.  The villain was appropriately out-of-control and conflicted, creating a real threat to the people of New York.

These days, it seems that producers do not want to use emotional film scoring, even film scoring that is ever-present, and certainly not anything with a theme.  This seems to have been directly connected with the move away from traditional character development in favor of spectacle and special-effects.  Thankfully, “The Amazing Spiderman” delivers traditional quality thanks to its wonderful use of character development and prominent emotional scoring.  Considering the style of music the film-makers wanted, it is only fitting that James Horner wrote the soundtrack.  His powerful themes are used perfectly to accent the heroics, romance, and menacing danger the film displays.

Anyone worried about an over-use of first-person viewpoints in the movie like in the trailer can rest assured that it is used sparingly.  “The Amazing Spiderman” creates a compelling character for Peter Parker that drew me in emotionally throughout the film.  Many of the larger fights are given the appropriate feeling of weight and urgency.  Despite the film’s long run-time, it never dragged.  If you are a fan of the character of Spiderman and want to see a different take on him, “The Amazing Spiderman” delivers a fresh cast and a promising start to a new trilogy.  There is plenty of huge spectacle in the film that demands to be seen in theaters.

4.5/5

NOTE:  I haven’t seen the movie in 3D but it was shot in 3D so it may be worth the extra cash.

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From → Action, Comic-Book, Drama

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