Hey Movie Nerds, Austin here. I got a chance to see the Denver premiere of The Amazing Spider-Man last night. Getting into this movie was an adventure in and of itself. I was at the United Artist in downtown Denver around 4:30pm and I realized the line was rather short, but I broke out my computer and started working. When a few of my friends showed up, I was explaining that this was a rather short line for a movie premiere, “maybe we’re at the wrong theaters.” That’s when I decided to check the tickets, and I realized my mistake…I was at the wrong theater. My friends and I started running to our cars, and someone yelled at me saying, “Hey you dropped something!” The premiere tickets I had fell out of my pocket in two different place on the 16th street mall, but luckily we found our tickets, got through rush hour traffic and got to the theater. My name was on the VIP list, but I was worried about my friends getting into the theater. Make a long story short we all got into the movie. But you don’t care about me, lets get to the Amazing Spider-Man review!
When it was announced that another Spider-Man movie was on the way, and it was going to reboot the franchise, many Movie Nerds, myself included had mixed feelings. I don’t know why but my feelings were that the Suits in Hollywood could only take Spider-Man in a downward direction. When the first photos and trailers were released everyone was getting a Dark Knight vibe. They were taking the franchise in a darker direction, a more serious direction, and the last thing I wanted to see was The Dark Knight simply replaced with Spider-Man. That and I could never get into the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies. I hated Toby Macquire as Spider-Man, he always had this stupid look on his face, like he was being raped but thanks to anesthesia he couldn’t feel it….I just want to punch him in the face repeatedly. So basically when I learned another Spider-Man was on the way I had low, low, low expectations.
The Amazing Spider-Man starts by trying to explain why Peter Parker lives with his Aunt and Uncle. Apparently Peter’s father and Doc Connors were on the verge of some revolutionary medical advancements, but Peter’s dad realized the side effects would basically turn someone into a crazy lizard. When Peter’s dad wasn’t willing to “play the game” they gave Peter to his Aunt and Uncle to watch over while they got things fixed, but….they die in a plane crash. From there the movie transitions about ten years and Peter Parker is a Senior in High School.
Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker was everything Toby Macquire couldn’t pull off. Toby’s Peter was shy in a “I’m a loser with a baby face” kind of a way, and I’ll just stare at you because I’m stupid. Andrew’s Peter was centered and confident in himself, but simply unable to express himself in front of cute girls. Toby’s Peter wasn’t with the “in” crowd because he was a dork, a loser and just didn’t know how to be cool, as proven in Spider-Man 3 when he tries to be Cool Emo Spider-Man. Andrew’s Peter wasn’t with the “in” crowd because the “in” crowd in his eyes wasn’t cool enough for him, and instead did actual cool things like science and skateboarding. Andrew’s Peter is the Nerd who recognizes his coolness and chooses to get into trouble here and there, because his curiosity drives his courage. Where as Toby’s Peter was the Nerd who recognizes himself as a loser, felt bad for himself, and wanted to make you feel “sorry” for him and therefore like him. I don’t want to feel sorry for my heroes, I want to recognize their coolness.
The movie takes it’s biggest turn when Peter finds his dad’s old briefcase hidden in the basement, and inside is a secret compartment with a secret formula to finish off the work Doctor Connors stumbles with. Peter in an effort to figure out why his parents left him decides to learn about Doc Connors, his work, and why his Dad was hiding this formula from him. As such Peter gives Doc Connors the formula allowing limb regeneration in humans similar to lizard’s regrowing their tail. But due to political pressures within OSCORP’s science labs Doc Connors is forced to rush the process and start human testing. Doc not wanting to hurt anyone decides to use it on himself, this of course turns him into the Lizard anytime he injects himself with the stuff. After being the Lizard for a period of time Doc Connors believes that instead of helping humans have regeneration powers like lizards, everyone should simply become lizards and be smart and strong like him.
Marc Webb perfected the Lizard in this movie. The Lizard was terrifying, and kicked the crap out of Spider-Man. For the first time in all four Spider-Man movies you actually felt that Spider-Man was in mortal danger every time the Lizard came onto the screen. The Lizard was a pure horrifying movie monster, and one of the scariest for as far back as I can think.
The romance between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy was just about the perfect balance. The on-screen chemistry allowed the romantic scenes to play off as being cute and funny, without being over the top. Peter tries to be cool when he’s near Gwen which only adds fuel to his nervousness and is really fun to watch. What’s nice from a Super Nerd’s point of view is Gwen recognizes that Peter is stumbling with his words, but doesn’t hold that against him, and in fact helps him ask her out…hehehe.
The big showdown concludes with Spider-Man fighting off the Lizard who is trying to infect everyone in the city with his Lizard virus. Helping Spider-Man is Gwen’s police captain father, which takes a turn for the worse when the Lizard inflicts a mortal wound. After Spider-Man defeats the Lizard Gwen’s dying father tells Peter that Spider-Man is needed, but will make enemies and those close to him will get hurt, and he needs to promise to stay away from Gwen if he really care about her. This of course makes Gwen feel betrayed, but she figures out her dying father made Peter promise to ignore her. But as the movie ends with Peter late to class and sitting behind Gwen, Peter says he promises to not be late again. The teacher says, “Don’t make promises you can’t keep Mr. Parker,” to which Peter leans closer to Gwen and whispers, “but those are the best kind.” The movie ends with Gwen smiling.
Marc Webb rocked the Spider-Man movie world. I find it difficult to believe that anyone would prefer the Sam Raimi movies over this one. Sure Raimi’s movies had some really, really good points here and there, but Webb’s Spider-Man had real characters to love and care about. This Spider-Man is extremely fun and exciting, and I guarantee it will get your heart pounding unlike anything in Raimi’s movies. I’m completely on board with the Marc Webb Spider-Man movie universe, and I can’t wait for the next movie.
Your Neighborhood Friendly Movie Nerd-