Monday, July 9, 2012

Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

This latest look at Marvel's wisecracking, web slinging, photo snapping science geek has been deemed unnecessary by some. I disagree. Spidey's story brims with potential, and another interpretation is welcome. I point you to 2009's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which was remade in 2011. Both versions were enjoyable. To me, Spider-man is the same.

The Amazing Spider-Man benefits from an updated story and strong performances by its leads. Andrew Garfield and his huge grin work well as teenage Peter Parker (in real life, he's 28). Emma Stone plays Gwen Stacey, his equally brainy love interest. Martin Sheen is great as Uncle Ben, the reason for Spider-man's heroism. Sally Field mostly mopes around as Aunt May, but she shows spark when required. Rhys Ifans is sympathetic despite needing more screen time, and Denis Leary is hilarious as Gwen Stacey's police captain dad.

This time around, the story centers on the mystery of Peter's parents, who leave him in the care of his aunt and uncle when he's young. One day, Peter finds his dad's old briefcase and notes (dun dun dunnnn!). He also finds a photo of his dad with some dude, who happens to work at the nearby giant research corporation, where Peter's love interest happens to intern. Plot advancement ensues, involving genes and regeneration and a Serum of Doom, whose warning label goes like this:
Use of this product may turn you into a giant muscular lizard. Please see your closest SWAT team if you experience heightened aggression, voices in your head, difficulty using the bathroom, and a tail that lasts for more than four hours.
The drawbacks of this movie include the predictable music and the glaringly inserted just-for-3D scenes. Geez. I saw it normal mode. It was perfectly fine. If you're going to see this movie, save your money and watch it in digital. Or you could save yourself a trip and wait for it on cable. Your life will remain unchanged. I realize that's not the most glowing recommendation given how I started this post, but this one is really up to you. If your geek/boredom levels are high, watch it. Otherwise, since we were on the topic of, er, enhancements, you can read about the caterpillar fungus that's apparently China's latest aphrodisiac.

Happy Monday!