In 2002 Columbia Pictures released Spider-Man the Motion Picture starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and James Franco. At the time, it was a highly anticipated film and did very well in the box office. However, the following two films in the franchise were met with disappointment despite their box office success due to weak plots and character development that did not make sense—especially in regards to Peter Parker.
Ten years later Columbia partners with Marvel to reboot the franchise and the result is The Amazing Spider Man with Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider Man and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy instead of Mary Jane Watson. In a number of ways this version is superior to the version released a decade ago. A Better plot and story arc, characters in touch with their humanity and fight sequences that seem to have leapt out of the pages of a Spider Man comic are the elements that make this a superb film.
An intriguing aspect of the newer Spider Man story is that this one attempts to answer the question that has burned in our minds for the last forty or so years: What happened to Peter Parker’s parents? Ultimately Peter is lead to his destiny while in search for that very answer. Unfortunately, finding a key to his past also brings unforeseen consequences that only Spider Man can vanquish.
A story this good needs characters that the audience can become vested in. Fortunately for all the cast in this movie pour every ounce of talent and experience into the people they portray. Especially of note are Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben, Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield. However, each member of the cast seems born to portray the characters they embody. It will be difficult to see any of them in any other movie for a while.
For more than five generations Spider Man has been in comics, cartoons and video games. Anyone who has read the comics, watched the cartoons or played the video games knows that Spidey has a certain way of fighting—flipping, jumping and shooting webbing with the accuracy of a marksman—and we have all come to expect it. Spider Man’s fighting style is so accurate in the film, it is easy to believe that this is truly the Spider Man from the comics. It suffices to say that it was a joy to watch.
In the wake of the epic battles in The Avengers Movie, The Amazing Spider Man seems a tad smaller. That is far from being a flaw because this film is nothing short of amazing. Truly a must see this summer.