Lowcountry Movie Night: By Justin Peterson
Just 10 years ago, our favorite web-slinging super hero first appeared on the big screen, bringing in more than $400 million, and making way for two sequels.
And just after Hollywood finally delivered the black suited Spiderman and the much anticipated villain Venom, director Sam Raimi's Spidey saga came to an abrupt halt.
Now five years later, the Spiderman franchise is getting an all new start with actor Andrew Garfield taking over for Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker.
With so little time before this reboot, I was certainly not expecting much until I saw the 3D trailer with Spidey battling The Lizard, which was more than enough of a reason to add The Amazing Spiderman to my list of movies to see this summer. While the 3D was not bad, it is by far not the only reason audiences will be delighted by this new Spiderman.
The first element that stands out is how much better Garfield is as Spiderman. Instead of coming off as cheesy and nerdy, Garfiled gives Parker a more intelligent but shy quality.
What really makes this movie succeed is the pace and storytelling. I was pretty bored during Spiderman 1 when they took so long to show how Spidey got his powers. But in this version, they came up with new clever twists to build up the tension of seeing Parker become Spiderman without letting the story drag.
Big props to Martin Sheen for delivering a memorable and moving performance to the tragic Uncle Ben Story. Sally Fields was alright as Aunt May, but she felt very absent from the movie. As a final note on the supporting cast, Emma Stone does a brilliant job as Parker's love interest Gwen Stacy. Stone delivers not only a charming girl next door vibe that offers great chemistry for Garfiled, but her character actually helps to advance the plot. The filmmakers also did a great job of showing that while Gwen's relationship with Spiderman will be complicated, they will still continue to care for each other.
The Lizard is an interesting and dynamic villain for the movie's action scenes. It's similar to what we saw from Doctor Octopus in the second movie.
While Spiderman swinging from the buildings of New York is nothing we have not seen before, this time around the filmmakers offered a unique point of view angle to change things up. It is also admirable how the audience gets to see how all the damage Spiderman endures actually impacts his ability to move around the city, leading to one of the more triumphant moments of the movie -- it even follows him home towards the end.
While this version is slightly rougher around the edges, it is still your friendly neighborhood Spiderman, a perfect for PG-13 movie goers.
I have mostly enjoyed all the Spiderman movies, and I think this time the filmmakers learned from some of their mistakes and are bringing Spiderman to an all new level. I truly hope the masses will embrace this new Spiderman, and he will be around long enough to see Venom return to the screen along and villains like Carnage and Shocker.
Lowcountry Movie Night gives The Amazing Spiderman 4 out of 5 stars.
P.S. -- Make sure to wait until the end of the first part of the end credits for a taste of what villain may be coming up for the next Spiderman movie.