The Amazing Spider-Man is a perfectly fine reboot for the Spider-Man series1. Andrew Garfield playing Peter Parker is more emo than nerd. That might have bothered me but for this movie, it worked. It was a good idea to start with Peter’s relationship with Gwen Stacy (a charming Emma Stone) if only to differentiate itself from the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire films. Starting with Stacy as the love interest allows the producers of this series to stretch out Parker’s time in high school and slowly lead up to Mary Jane Watson.
There are two things I will give this film over its predecessor. They handled Parker’s intelligence well, having him design his web shooters and have intelligent conversations with Doctor Conners (Rhys Ifans). Also, the improvements in CGI technology allowed Spider-Man to look more fluid and less cartoony than Raimi’s Spider-Man.
Despite having movies I have been anticipating for years, this looks like a pretty lame year for summer tentpole films. This year, “summer” starts on March 4th. I don’t imagine that I’ll be seeing a lot of movies this summer but I am definitely going to try and see these five.
Even though Spider-Man 3 was pretty bad, I still hate how quickly they rebooted it (I know there are legal reasons they needed to do it but still). I think Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone (as Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy respectively) are well cast and appreciate that they are going back to the mechanical web shooters (which highlights Parker’s intelligence) but tying Parker’s parents into the origin and that horrible suit have me shaking my head. All I know if J. Jonah Jameson appears in the sequels, they better get J.K. Simmons back.
It’s a testament to David Fincher’s direction and Aaron Sorkin’s amazing script (where was this wit when I suffered through Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip?) that a movie that featured A LOT of talking, the main character spending half his screen time behind a computer and depositions that i found the movie entertaining, funny and sometimes exciting. The two-hour screen time flew by.
The acting was great all around. Jesse Eisenberg, who should at least be nominated for an Oscar, will never be compared to Michael Cera again (Unless Cera is buying the rights to any stories about the creation of Twitter). Andrew Garfield was good but I’m still skeptical about him being the new Peter Parker/Spider-Man. I really hope Armie Hammer gets nominated for playing both Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (with the help of a body double). This was the first time I saw Justin Timberlake in a movie and didn’t think to myself, “Aw look, Justin Timberlake is acting. Good for him.”
What I Didn’t Like:
The conceit that everything Zuckerberg did was to get the attention of this one girl was a bit much.
I hated the final scene. The last line of the movie was a little too on the nose.
The drama with Saverin (Garfield) and his crazy girlfriend, Christy (Brenda Song), felt like it belonged in another movie.
I know Fincher likes dark tones in his movies but it felt too dark for the subject matter. It’s like nobody paid their electric bill in Harvard and everything was filmed in candlelight.