Spider-Man was the first full-blown superhero film franchise that I saw in the theaters. (Technically Batman and Robin, but lets just scratch that one out of memory). This spanned from 2002 to 2007. Spidey was never my favorite superhero (Batman and Superman take that spot) but here's a movie that makes me want to reconsider. I still thoroughly enjoyed the first two films, especially Spider-Man 2 (2004), which happens to be one of the best superhero films ever made. Like the majority, I agreed that the third Spider-Man film almost ruined the franchise.
Heres a reboot, which arrives too soon but is so good. It handsomely breathes new life into a franchise which decided to self-destruct. Not only did I unabashedly love this movie, I also liked this better than all the previous Spider-Man movies. We already know the origin story of Peter Parker but here its done with remarkable insight. Making us care for the character. Needless to say, Andrew Garfield nails it. Tobey Maguire was good but didnt quite cut it. This Spider-Man has the teenage angst, the anger, the vulnerability and the arrogance. The detailed action scenes give you enough time for you to involve yourself. Making it easier for you to center yourself into the action. The scene where Spiderman saves a child is crafted so well that despite having seen hundreds of those, it manages to be a nail-biter.
There are 7 basic plots. But, the director of The Amazing Spider-Man, Marc Webb disagrees. He believes there is always only one: Who Am I? Not only does Webb perceptively make the origin story, a self-realization story as well, but he also infuses it with sharp wit that you could easily mistake for a standard teenage rom-com. Its not and yet it is. Not just due to his last name, it's evident why Marc Webb was chosen to direct this after making the brilliant romantic comedy- (500) Days of Summer (2009). Emma Stone is achingly charming as Gwen Stacy. Her chemistry with Andrew Garfield will make even the harshest critics sit up and forget they are watching a superhero film. The biggest change that Spider-Man has gone through in this film is that despite having the most formulaic plotting, it has certain scenes, which unravel moments of naked sensitivity. The humorous banter between Peter and Gwen and their awkward physicality happens to be observational and quirky. Even while the film is preoccupied with being bigger it still manages to have the less is more thing going for it. The ending is also a testament to that.
Rhys Ifans is endearing as the Lizard. It successfully blends monster movie cheesiness with superhero movie campiness. There is also an action sequence in Peters high school (about time we had one of those). We also get a scene that has Spidey web-slinging his way to a skyscraper. We always thought it was very easy for him to just spit out the silk from his wrists and fly his way through New York. Here we see how he actually gets there. In real time (almost). Movie magic happens right there.
You only have to be a film critic to be disappointed by this marvel of a film. Thankfully, they are only 0.0000001% of the worlds population. A little less cynicism and little more awesome please?
Side-note: The movie also features an underrated Coldplay song. Brownie points to the filmmaker.