It has been about a year and a half since the promotional materials started arriving via email about The Amazing Spider-Man shot entirely in 3D, with a release date in theaters on July 2, 2012, including the title and the first shot of Andrew Garfield in the famous full mask and suit. I was excited to know that Emma Stone, Martin Sheen and Sally Field were part of the cast with Garfield starring as Peter Parker/Spiderman, one of the world’s most popular characters.
The information I received in 2011 included “a new chapter in the Spider-Man legacy” and “focusing on an untold story,” so I really intended on viewing something really new. Sadly, I did not walk away feeling like I learned that much more about Peter this time. This is not to say I was not entertained, because I certainly was. If there was going to be that much more of “an untold story,” I did not feel it was delivered through the screenplay written by James Vanderbilt, Alvin Sargent and Steve Kloves, based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
I knew there was trouble with the script when my guest, a huge Spider-Man fan, wondered aloud what “this was about” at a certain point early in the film. She was entertained, but there was confusion, so other Spidey fans just might be too until the action sets in motion.
The action adventure film is directed by Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) and he does a good job at capturing the many action scenes of Spider-Man in the air and in combat with the bad guys dubbed a “vigilante” by the law, Captain Stacy (Denis Leary), or battling with Dr. Curt Conners/Lizard (Rhys Ifans).
I am a fan of Emma Stone’s performances in The Help, Crazy, Stupid, Love, Easy A and Zombieland, so I looked forward to her delivery of the character, Gwen Stacy. The 20-something actress portrayed an intelligent high school student very well with her on screen light blonde hair in a pony tail. She is good at going from her comedic side to the drama in her scenes and did not disappoint with the great chemistry during the first onscreen kiss with Garrett at her parent’s home.
Adding Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben and Sally Field as Aunt May is an added plus. They both give grand performances as Peter’s caretakers during his formative years (Max Charles, age 4) and later, while he is struggling to fit in with the crowd in high school, still not knowing where his parents are, or what became of them. We see that Richard (Campbell Scott) and Mary (Embeth Davidtz) Parker leave Peter with Uncle Ben and Aunt May, but that is it. When Peter starts to poke around in old files, ends up leaving home and later, Uncle Ben is shot, it is still heartbreaking to see him die and feel for the loss.
The Amazing Spider-Man is the story of Peter Parker (Garfield), like most teenagers, is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Stone), and together they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. He begins a quest to understand his parents’ disappearance –and as Spider-Man, will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.
Grab a bag of popcorn and enjoy!