The Amazing Spider-Man

Long before, when The Amazing Spider-Man released its trailer, the general viewership were split into two. One half had a sense of sheer excitement; the other half, absolutely doubtful. Their questions: wouldn’t it be bad to make a remake of Spider-Man just a decade after, and who the hell is Andrew Garfield–why pair him up with Emma Stone?!

Naturally, I was in the geek zone: the first half. To clarify, The Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man are two different stories, sort of Spidey’s alternate histories. It isn’t a remake of the first two films, but a different story altogether.

And that answer about Andrew Garfield will come later. I have too many feelings for this movie, so hold on.

Overview

In this installment of Spiderman, Andrew Garfield plays a teenage boy who lives with his uncle and aunt, because his father, long ago, left him–some secret responsibility he never really knew about. The girl of his dreams, Gwen Stacy, played by Emma Stone, works as an assistant in the same research company his father apparently worked for before he left. Bit by a radioactive spider, like the usual, he develops powers and decides on that responsibility. The rest of the story is spoiler material.

The Webb-Vanderbilt Team is a Genius

The writing for Spider-Man is incredible. It was the most well-written Comic-based superhero movie in the past decade. James Vanderbilt and the team made sure that every single moment that happens in this film will be connected. There is an astounding amount of character development squeezed into one film that it seems as if, for the first time, you’ve truly understood Spider-Man. Other than character development, the feasibility of the plot was so well-researched that the great nerds of science will squeal at the sight of real equations that make sense and graphs of cell biology, etc.

You know, if you’re going to steal cars, don’t dress like a car thief.

Inconsistencies

But the inconsistency of things aren’t in the sci-fi areas, but the smaller things, like why the hell is Spidey going around NY inconspicuously swinging around like no one’s going to watch him swing home and follow him and find him out? How’d he get to those spiders without getting caught by security? And if scientists were so against the machine that can cure a plague for it being misused to spread toxins on entire cities, then why is it not deactivated? Seriously, Dr. Connor looked at it through the glass wall and said that he was sad that it’s only there to gather dust–but the gears were moving, and puffs of smoke were coming out. It wasn’t gathering dust; it was alive in that glass encasement, ready to be stolen and used to create a new species of Homo Reptilia.



We all have secrets; the ones we keep, and the ones that are kept from us.

Similarities and References

There are so many reference jokes any film buff or geek would be able to make of this movie. The Godzilla reference was openly spoken by the Captain of the NY Police, “Do I look like the Mayor of Tokyo to you, son?” But at some point, you could almost rename The Amazing Spider-Man to Peter Parker and the Chamber of Secrets, with sewer tunnels leading to a hidden room, a giant reptile whispering to himself like a schizophrenic, a large green-faced noseless antagonist, and a boy running around with his glasses on, trying to find out what happened to his father.

Ready to play God?

TAS had a lot of scenes that centered on responsibility over vengeance, or hate or other radical emotion–it’s exactly the kind of film that suits with The Box and Hollow Man, the sci-fi flicks that ask the question of the misuse of power. But it also puts you in the feeling that you’ve seen this somewhere: Kick-Ass 2010, which opened its film (and its comic) with the lines, “With no power comes no responsibility, except, that isn’t true.” This high school boy makes his own costume, gets his powers by accident, and in that intro where his mother died, he said that it didn’t go the usual way, “I WILL AVENGE YOU, MOTHER!”-style. Instead, Kick-Ass thought that if you could help people, you should, which is exactly what Uncle Ben will tell Peter–the line that sends everyone on a guilt trip. (Well okay, granted, Spiderman inspired Kick-Ass, not the other way around. But you feel it in this movie. He even tests out his powers in dark alleys, beats up thugs and becomes a Youtube sensation. Also to note, Aaron Johnson was in the shortlist for the role of Spider-Man.)

The ending also feels like Marvel’s The Avengers, where Spider-Man has to run up a tower and activate something that will shoot up into the sky that would ultimately save everyone. And that saving everyone part is saving everyone from a breed of human-reptile hybrids: Doctor Who‘s Homo Reptilia.

Sony Pictures

Before you even ask, The Amazing Spider-Man is not produced by the same company as the recent Marvel Comics movie franchise: Thor, Captain America, IronMan and The Avengers. This would explain clearly as to why TAS doesn’t at all feel like them.

Music

The music in this film is confusing. I’m still pretty iffy about it. At some point, I think there was a Coldplay track. But over-all, it feels like you wouldn’t know if you were watching an action sci-fi film or a horror movie about a haunted house. The mis-toned piano smash works to creep you out a bit, but doesn’t exactly give you that overwhelming sense of dread for the person who’s going to be found hiding in the closet. There is nothing particularly glorious sounding like proper victory swinging music for Spiderman either. And that’s just the disappointment there, because isn’t Sony also a music company?

Product Placement

And Sony is also a gadgets company. If anyone managed to keep count of the tech that was featured in this film, please update us. Every TV screen, every phone, every camera is in Sony. And it’s okay, I get it–a company would have less expenses if it used its own products as props. But to feature the phones, when Uncle Ben calls Peter, or when Peter plays a game on his phone while waiting for Dr. Connor to come out of the Chamber of Secrets–now THAT was product placement.

And I’m sorry, Sony, but your phones’ UI is ugly in comparison and zooming into it on a big screen won’t get people to buy it, even if Spider-Man himself uses all your stuff.

Casting

The Parkers are especially lovable, even though May Parker has that high-pitched annoying aunt voice. She comes up pretty endearing towards the end anyway. But for the two lead roles, Garfield and Stone get center stage.

Andrew Garfield is Spider-Man

Stan Lee says that the reason why Spidey is so popular is because all of us can relate to him, and I agree. I needed Spidey in my life when I was a kid, and he gave me hope. In every comic I read, he was living out my and every skinny boy’s fantasy of being stronger, of being free of the body I was born into, and that swinging sensation of flight. And upon receiving his power, unlike most who have become corrupted, he used it for good. And I think that we all wish we had the courage to stick up for ourselves more, to stick up for a loved one more, or even a stranger you see being mistreated, and Peter Parker has inspired me to feel stronger. He made me, Andrew, braver. He reassured me that by doing the right thing, it’s worth it. It’s worth the struggle, it’s worth the pain, it’s worth even the tears, the bruises, and the blood. (Andrew Garfield, at San Diego Comic-Con.)

Can I just say that I love Andrew Garfield? I first saw him in Heath Ledger’s last film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and then again as Eduardo Salverin, the CFO of Facebook on The Social Network. Andrew has these small, special quirks about him, and his acting is always spot on. His weird smiles, the way he moves his head, how his lips quiver or the way he cries, the way he gesticulates sometimes even–there are things that are seemingly unnoticeable that Garfield brings to add character. And very adorable character too. I don’t know if he’d take it too well to be called “adorable” in his role as a superhero. I know he doesn’t look like the American Dream like Chris Evans does, or the God of Thunderous Beef like Chris Hemsworth. But without that Hollywood [se]X-factor, nobody really cares because he just acts so damn well. My favorite of those said quirky moments would be when he was asked how he managed to solve the decay problem, he put a pencil to his head and show–with his face–that he thought it up. I couldn’t find a picture of that exact moment, and it’s a moment that’s worth going to the cinema for just to see.

Andrew Garfield includes in his range some small quirks and kicks that you won’t get from conventional Hollywood film actors.

Though his name may be new to many, those who know this young actor’s work understand his extraordinary talents. He has a rare combination of intelligence, wit, and humanity. Mark my words, you will love Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker. (Marc Webb.)

Honestly, the first thing that got me attracted to the trailer for TAS wasn’t that it was a Spider-Man re-boot, but because I suddenly saw Andrew Garfield. AS THE LEAD ROLE.

Does it have to do anything with him being British? Maybe. That’s another reference to Kick-Ass by the way, who was played by Aaron Johnson, a Brit. I don’t know how Garfield manages to stay on an American accent for so long, what with him having scenes with Dr. Connor played by Rhys Ifans.

Rhys Ifans

He was exceptional as an antagonist, and one who understands that The Lizard isn’t a ‘bad guy’ completely, but “a good guy who made a bad decision.” His words during an interview. You can almost feel the Mein Kampf in the way Ifans’ Dr. Connors talks about how he could go beyond curing ills. Even you would end up believing in the power of Oscorp. Ifans, for those who don’t recognize him, played Xenophilius Lovegood from the Harry Potter franchise, and was most recently as Winton Childs in The Five-Year Engagement. I first saw him as a devil from the Adam Sandler film Little Nicky way back in the start of the new millennium, but other than these three films, I’ve never really been exposed much to Ifans. I guess this is why I lack a basis of judgement on his acting. I’m sorry for anyone who thinks I should have known him better, but I really just haven’t encountered him that much. Here’s to hoping that Spider-Man will put Ifans front and center when it comes to his career, and that more people would be able to experience his talent on screen. I definitely want to see more of him.

Emma Stone

Emma Stone on the Red Carpet for The Amazing Spider-Man

Everyone loves Emma Stone, without explanation. Easy A, Friends With Benefits, Zombieland–her face is a category on its own on Tumblr. Her doll-like eyes are just amazing. And does she have a lisp? It’s cute. I still prefer her with auburn hair, but at least she rocks those boots with her skinny legs so well.

Emma Stone got tangled in Andrew Garfield's Web for The Amazing Spider-man

With her acting as Gwen Stacy? Everyone thought that Emma was going to overpower Andrew in this film, because people knew Emma better. We’re proven wrong. She compliments Andrew Garfield so perfectly, that a pairing so unrealistic–so unthought of–is here and it’s happening. And they managed to make it work. I can’t judge much of Emma’s acting, because most of what she did was just to put Andrew in the front row. Her Gwen is a little sexier, a little sassier than how Gwen conventionally should have been. But there’s just this unconventional outburst of Cute that is especially in the Emma Stone brand. My favorite scene with her would be where she tells her father that she doesn’t want hot chocolate, as she peeped from behind a door.

I can almost imagine Andrew Garfield’s smile from behind that couch as he says, “Chocolate House?” This pair is adorable. And I’d love to see that sequel.

Sometimes, [the promises you break] are the best kind.

For those who don’t know, Emma and Andrew are dating.

The adorable chemistry between these two is partly why I don’t like the videogame–the characters don’t look like them, and they did not voice them.

AND MARTIN SHEEN!

I love you!

Viewer Impact

I was gripping onto my seat, to be honest. Not just on the edge of the seat, too. I meant I reclined and held on to the back because the seat itself wasn’t enough. And women cried. And small children were running down the aisle away from their parents mid-movie to try to touch Spidey’s face. I do dislike, however, that just when I’m about to tear up, there’s a sudden comedic moment that you’ll both love and frustratingly be annoyed at. But the jokes are witty and absolutely brilliant, so it’s all okay and forgiven.

Remember to wait through the first of the flashing credits, right before the rolling ones, because the sequel hint will show. Dr. Connor is in the prison, talking to Mr. World Low Key Lyesmith an unknown character that hopefully will be revealed in the movies to come.

Needless to say, we thoroughly enjoyed.

9.

They can do better in the sequel.

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2 thoughts on “The Amazing Spider-Man

  1. This review is totally awesome! I can’t help but read everything with excitement. :))

    I was just able to watch this film recently (haha, too bad for me), and it really exceeded my expectation. So, I absolutely agree with you on this. :)

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