I have a splitting headache. I’m not used to staying up late in the morning anymore. I had to stay up late though to catch the IMAX midnight screening of the Amazing Spiderman movie. Fortunately, the movie was well worth a few hours of sleeplessness. In fact, I forgot I was watching a movie at midnight.
When the movie producers announced that they were making another Spiderman movie, I was very happy to hear the news. The third installment of the previous Spiderman franchise was absolutely terrible. I thought that they could do better and with the latest Spiderman reboot, they did just that.
I didn’t know much about Andrew Garfield and I thought he wouldn’t make a good Peter Parker. I was so wrong. He makes a great Peter Parker. Unlike the previous Spiderman movies, Garfield is given ample time to really show his acting range. In the previous films, Tobey Maguire basically had to act glum. In the latest Spidey flick, Andrew Garfield’s character, Peter Parker goes through a series of emotions from sadness, angst, anger, elation, grief and love. Many other things also happen to Peter Parker in this film and I don’t mean just emotionally. In this film, Peter Parker gets cut, bruised and bleeds. I love how human his character is. There’s another dimension to his character here as he searches not just for who is but also where he comes from. He has so many questions regarding his long lost parents. Peter Parker has abandonment issues as well.
This film though is not nearly as iconic as the previous two Spiderman flicks. I mean, who can forget the upside down kiss between Spidey and Mary Jane? Who can forget the scene where Spiderman was carried by the people on the train? There’s one scene in this new film though that stands out. That’s when Spiderman tries to rescue a little boy. This scene is one of the best scenes in the film as the tension is truly palpable. I was at the edge of my seat wondering if the boy was going to get rescued or not. I believe that it was at this moment that Peter Parker realized his mission in life. He was no longer just a masked vigilante. This was when he became a hero.
The visuals in this latest film is so AMAZING. It helps that I watched it on IMAX. It’s so wonderful how technology has changed so much in 10 years since the first film came out. I mean, the villain, Lizard Man, looks so real and so menacing. In fact, a girl watching with us in the back row, was constantly screaming whenever Lizard Man would appear. It’s how realistic the monster is. Of course, I didn’t shout since I’m desensitized to movie monsters. Another great thing about the visuals is that Spiderman looks real as he swings from building to building. In the previous three films, Spiderman obviously looked like a CGI character. In the latest flick, I didn’t know which was CGI and which was real. The CGI was that seamless. The CGI is so detailed and just so mind-blowing. I love how the director tries to use the first-person point of view in some of his shots. The audience can see what Peter Parker can see as he jumps from buildings or swings from building to building. I can’t rave enough about how breathtaking the visuals are.
Rhys Ifans does an ample enough job as Dr. Connors aka. the Lizard. His character however is not as iconic as the Green Goblin or even Dr. Octopus. However, the Lizard is probably the scariest villain in the movie franchise. Unfortunately, Emma Stone is the weakest link. I don’t know why she was cast as Gwen Stacy in the film. She was only able to display a few emotions such as infatuation convincingly. I wasn’t convinced as to how she expressed grief. I wasn’t really drawn into her performance the way I was drawn in to Andrew Garfield’s performance. Also, there isn’t really much onscreen chemistry between the two unlike Tobey and Kirsten. I have a feeling that she may be replaced by another actress in the sequel. I’m not saying that she’s a bad actress. Somehow, she just doesn’t fit into this kind of genre.
I totally enjoyed watching the film and may watch it again. Overall, the film is visually spectacular. The performance by Andrew Garfield is great. I just can’t get over the fact that there aren’t that many iconic scenes or scenes that really cling to you. What made the original so memorable was the fact that it came out at the time when September 11 had occurred two years prior, and people everywhere were looking for a hero. Spiderman became symbolic somehow. But today, with the number of superhero flicks that are churned out yearly, there’s almost a ‘hero surplus’. Did the movie tug at my heartstrings the way the original did? No it didn’t. But it sure is enjoyable and very watchable. What I love about this film is that it’s not more about Spiderman, the hero, but about Peter Parker, the lost boy in search of himself.