I'm talking here about The Amazing Spiderman. If you've read the lukewarm reviews, then I have only this to say: ignore them.
This movie's fantastic. It's terrific fun and although it may seem rather soon after the previous version of Spiderman, I'm really happy to have it. Perhaps I can express the strength of my feeling in this way - I never was a fan of Spiderman, I found the Tobey Maguire movies entertaining enough but never felt the urge to watch them again... and now, I can't wait for this latest movie to come out on DVD so I can add it to my collection.
For me, it succeeds where the previous series failed for a number of reasons. One of the most important is subtlety. Peter Parker doesn't have long rambling soliloquies and Aunt May doesn't wax poetic with long anecdotes on every subject in life. Conversations are natural (it scores over The Dark Knight there, as well as the previous Spiderman movies). People fumble around. They talk over each other. It's almost like a seventies movie in that way.
As a result, the characters feel like real people. And that's another thing I liked about it. Just like in real life, the characters in this movie are allowed to evolve. Even the school bully evolves and in a believable manner too. And there's something clever just in that. There's a scene where that character tells Peter Parker that he's sorry about what happened to his uncle and it's very sincere. And in having that scene, the audience isn't able to see this kid as a boo-hiss character any more. It's not black and white.
Also, the movie deals with a range of tones and handles the transitions deftly. It is at times quite moving, sad, thrilling, funny and it even had some good scares as well. Nothing too out there but good jumpy moments. I thought the villain was quite scary in certain scenes too - and not always the ones that you would think.
I'll try to avoid spoilers for a change until I get a feel for whether the regulars here have all seen it or not. However, I will say a few other things:
- I found absolutely no plot-holes to speak of. None. And the attention to even minor subplots was impressive. Tiny things were followed through to the conclusion of the movie in a way that I just couldn't help but admire. There were some plot-contrivances, sure, but they were all for a good cause - which was damn good entertainment.
- The action scenes were brief and just did what they needed to do. It's hard to express how good it is to see restrained action scenes in movies these days. BRAVO!
- There is no Mary Jane and I didn't miss her a bit. The character of Gwen Stacy is wonderful in this. The actress Emma Stone who portrays her does a terrific job, as does Andrew Garfield with the title role and they have great chemistry together.
- On that note, all the performances are terrific and full credit to the cast.
- There is no cage wrestling match. The movie scores huge points over the first Tobey Maguire movie for that alone as the cage wrestling match is a major reason why I can't be bothered watching that movie again; I don't want to see the entertainment of the lowest denominator on TV so why would I want to see it in a movie?
- There's a scene where some citizens of New York help Spiderman. Unlike similar scenes in the previous series, in this movie the citizens actually help him.
- There is a terrifically tense scene near the end of the movie, with the villain nowhere in sight. Those who've seen the movie will know what I'm talking about.
- The movie deals with some quite weighty themes and does so in a mature fashion. Yet young children can see it and enjoy it as well. It goes to show that the mentality that heavy issues can only be dealt with if they go hand in hand with 15+ ratings is rubbish.
- And on that note, for all that the movie deals with quite heavy material in places, and has characters who behave like real people, its not ashamed of the fact that its a comic movie and it relishes the medium. Big points over The Dark Knight there.
- I found more entertainment in this than in the three Sam Raimi pictures combined.
The Amazing Spiderman is first-rate entertainment - and while it appears to be something of a hidden gem at the moment, it's sure to become a favourite down the road.
This post has been edited by Just your average movie goer: 13 July 2012 - 08:50 AM