A buddy and I watched The Amazing Spiderman in 3D last night. Since the movie claims to be amazing, I’m going to stack it up against that word in a bunch of categories. No plot spoilers in this review.
Is The Amazing Spider Man Amazing?
1. Acting Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker is truly amazing and brings a conflicted humanity to his role we haven’t seen before. Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy is amazing. The chemistry between the two is amazing as well. Curt Connors is brilliantly played by Ryhs Ifans. Sally Field is amazing. Everyone else… is really, really good.
Verdict: The acting in The Amazing Spider Man is amazing.
2. Dialogue. Lets just say a whole lot of people have watched Iron Man and learned from the exceptional dialogue in that picture. The banter between Peter and Gwen in particular is brilliant. Gone are the days of Arnold Schwarzenegger one liners, now replaced by intelligent repartee.
Verdict: The dialogue in The Amazing Spider Man is amazing.
3. Plot. I really appreciated the “dark past” angle this iteration of Spider Man pursued, which put it a few notches above the second and third Maguire Spidey flicks. Given the fact that this movie could only be a fresh derivative at best, I think it did well.
Verdict: The plot in The Amazing Spider Man was really good, but not amazing.
4. Effects. There are some moments of true special effect wizardry in this film, and for the most part they kept me caught in the fantastical web. Here and there, though, this magic was replaced by cardboard cutouts and left me wishing for more.
Verdict: The effects in The Amazing Spider Man were great, but not amazing.
5. Screenplay and editing. It’s difficult to differentiate between a screenplay and cutting room skill because editing can make a mess of the screenplay. The scene-by-scene product in this movie confused me. The story kick-started several ideas and left them hanging without a purpose, making me wonder if the original screenplay made sense of these elements before the snipping began. Several cuts between shots or scenes felt like changing channels on a cheap TV.
Verdict: The screenplay and editing in The Amazing Spider Man were a little weak.
6. Thematic strength. Director Marc Webb has accomplished a noble reboot of a flagging franchise. He located the story more firmly in the real world and populated that world with first class actors. For this reason, the fantastical elements of the story feel a bit more garish when they pop up. And while his cast imbues the story with a fresh dramatic gravitas, the theme still felt too familiar. Case in point, the verbal gymnastics Uncle Ben had to perform in order to say “With great power comes great responsibility” without actually using those words.
Verdict: The thematic elements in The Amazing Spider Man were nothing special.
7. Action. Webb, ironically, seems to like Spidey’s webbing—so we get to see more creative uses of webbing than we’ve seen in a long time. While that was cool and all, I found myself wanting more punching, more displays of Spidey strength. That said, the action sequences were pretty spectacular… er, amazing.
Verdict: The action in The Amazing Spider Man was amazing.
8. Fun Factor. Bottom line? Loads of fun. Really entertaining. Fresh. But is the movie amazing on the whole?
Mmmmm, not quite.