The Amazing Spider-Man

Last week, I grabbed ten dollars and a knapsack, and headed out the door with most of my family to drive to the theater. After a quick stop to pick up one of my younger brother’s friends, we arrived at the mall. My brother, his friend, and I exited the car and headed inside where a group of my friends were waiting to meet up with me. In only a few short minutes, we went inside and took our seats (they were pretty good ones, right in the center). The previews were showing, so we sat patiently until the lights dimmed and The Amazing Spider-Man began.
May I just say that the title describes the movie quite well. I loved it! I’ve never really liked the original Spider-Man because of numerous plot holes and unbelievable¬†characters, but The Amazing Spider-Man did an incredible job of fixing those problems.
For starters, the acting was much better in the remake. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were the perfect people to cast for the roles of Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy. They pull of the awkward high school romance beautifully. The older Spider-Man never made any of the younger characters seem like actual high schoolers. Sure, Peter Parker was nerdy and MJ was popular and out-of-reach, but they never came across as believable, angst-filled teenagers.
This brings me to another perk. I never liked MJ as a character. Not only was she a bit of a pansy, but it never made sense that she would end up liking Parker. She was popular and she had a lot of boys to choose from, but she went for the dork. However, Gwen Stacy came across much better. She was Peter’s intellectual equal, and she proved herself to be independent and able to take care of herself. Not only that, but she was also not way out of his reach. She spent time with one of the popular kids, but she tutored him, she was not dating him. So, their relationship made a whole lot more sense.
Peter Parker himself was a much more interesting character than he was in the first edition. He was incredibly intelligent and obviously loved photography, but he had more depth than that. Marc Webb, the director, did a brilliant job of making Parker’s back story more than him losing his parents at a young age. Instead, there were hints that there was something far more sinister at play in their deaths. Webb also did a wonderful job of keeping Peter’s emotions real throughout the movie. Peter doesn’t fit in perfectly with his aunt and uncle; he had many moments where he disappointed them and couldn’t accept their authority because they weren’t his actual parents.
After his uncle died, he didn’t decide to become a hero because his uncle said something that inspired him. He started hunting down thugs because he wanted revenge. There was no fake sense of nobility, there was only hatred for the man who murdered his uncle. His nobility was sparked after he saved a young boy from falling to his death after the Lizard attacked for the first time, which seems more understandable than the first movie’s motivation.
This brings me to another important aspect of any movie: the villain. A lot of people have claimed that the Lizard is a weak villain, but I think that works in a beginning Spider-Man movie. Spider-Man logically can’t be a professional hero in his first movie; he had no idea what he was doing, so if the Lizard had been, say, the Green Goblin, Peter probably would have died.
I’ve also heard some complaints that the new movie spent too much time developing a story that had already been told, but I think it was necessary. The remake was to give a new perspective on an old story, but that doesn’t change the fact that the plot line is still inherently the same. People seem to forget that The Amazing Spider-Man is a remake of the original movie, meaning it starts at the beginning. With that in mind, I think Webb was smart not to give Parker’s back story ten minutes and then move on to the action. Instead, he drew out the back story, and made it flow a lot better than the original did.
So, in my opinion, if anyone wants to go see a good movie, I would recommend The Amazing Spider-Man.
“Then shouldering their burdens, they set off, seeking a path that would bring them over the grey hills of Emyn Muil, and down into the Land of Shadow.” —The Fellowship Of The Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien