The summer of 2012 began with a bang with the highly anticipated release of Marvel’s The Avengers. With the success the film has had over the last few weeks, the summer box office was geared up to receive all other superhereo movies with open arms. With that in mind, Sony Pictures unleashed their re-imagining on one of the most well known and most celebrated superheroes in both cinema and the comic book world, The Amazing Spider-Man. Having opened on Tuesday, July 2nd, the movie was not a remake of the famous trilogy starring Toby McGuire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, and directed by Sam Rami. Instead, this film was an entirely new entity of its own, bringing a new perspective to the origins of this hero, and having a special focus on the teenage boy behind the Spider-Man mask.
Starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker himself, the story focused on a pivitol story within the comic books, and that was the sudden disappearance of Peter Parker’s parents. Unsure of who he is and who is parents were, Peter Parker sets off on a journey of self-discovery, all the while navigating the chaotic halls of high school. Learning that his father worked with world-renowned scientist Dr. Curt Conners, Peter goes in search of answers, and in the proccess, is accidently bitten by that infamous radioactive spider, turning him into a bonifide hero. However, his journey also takes him down some dark paths, including the emergence of an unexpected foe, The Lizard. With the threat of a monstrous creature lurking the streets of NYC and the lives of millions hanging by a thread, Peter must avoid the police and search for a way to stop the creature before his life comes crashing down around him.
There are some great differences in this movie that seperate it from the original trilogy. The first difference is that this film focuses on Peter’s scientific mind, and instead of having one of his powers be to shoot spider-webs out of his wrists, we get to see the more traditional spider-web shooters that Peter builds himself, which comic book fans will immediately rejoice with. However, the big difference in this tale is the heavy romantic aspect of the film. Rather than the fiery red-headed Mary Jane Watson, fans are instead treated to the heartfelt portrayal of high school romance, as Peter finds himself infatuated with his soon to be high school sweethart, Gwen Stacy, (potrayed by the beautiful Emma Stone). A scientific genius herself, Gwen and Peter begin a whirlwind journey down love’s bumpy road, which includes having her father, (played by Rescue Me’s Dennis Leary), as the chief of police in NYC, and working for Curt Conners at Oscorp. With trouble lurking in every corner, Peter and Gwen must find a way to stay together amidst the chaos. This love interest is particularly good because Gwen falls in love with Peter Parker, not Spider-Man. While in the original trilogy, it took seeing Peter as the hero that he is to realize Mary Jane loved him, Gwen first sees Peter for the man he is without the mask, and that I think makes the romantic spin one of the most well written romances in the superhero genre of film.
Overall, The Amazing Spider-Man was a fantastic film. Filled with superb acting, a great story, heart-felt romance, and special effects that are so realistic one almost expects to see a man swinging through their city any time, the film was a true masterpiece, and lived up to the hype and the standards set by The Avengers. I give this film an A, and cannot wait to see what the next chapter in the trilogy brings us.