Avoiding the obvious Emma Stone connection(s) here.
A funny thing happened while I was watching The Amazing Spider-Man this weekend: I lost all sense of time. Usually during movies I nervously check the time so I can gauge what point of the movie I’m in, but the 136 min. running time of the new Spider-Man movie felt like no time at all. The bottom line is that director Marc Webb (known for (500) Days of Summer and some Green Day music videos) creates a flat-out fun blockbuster movie. And it’s that sense of fun that the Sam Raimi films from a few years ago lacked.
Don’t get me wrong: Spider-Man 2 is one of my favorite movies. But the throw-away lines and forced humor in the earlier trilogy rang false to me. The Amazing Spider-Man has a great sense of fun that (I can only assume) evokes the comics themselves, while at the same time fleshing out the characters people love into real people. Which is hard to pull off.
The strongest point of this movie is actually its weakest as well. The webslinger’s origin story is re-told in the movie, and it takes about an hour to complete the transformation. It’s a bit sloggish, but the origin of this movie is actually more interesting than the earlier movies. And it’s the first half of the movie in which we are treated to watching the characters (and the amazing actors on display here) just interacting. It’s the scenes between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone that are the strongest (one rooftop scene in particular), but Sally Field, Martin Sheen and Denis Leary are also a treat here.
Garfield pulls off something that Tobey Maguire never could: he makes Spider-Man another character. When Peter puts on the suit, he truly becomes another person, adding a whole new layer of complexity to the story.
I really hope this movie makes enough $$$ to warrant a sequel for Sony (I’m guessing it will), just because I can’t wait to revisit these characters and the cast. Peter Parker / Spider-Man are names that will always remain relevant, and it’s great to see Spidey on the big screen again.