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Kingdom Reviews a Movie: The Amazing Spider-man

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Please note that I may or may not use spoilers. Be warned if I do.

From what I've gathered, people have either loved it or hated it. But that seems to be the case for most any film anymore. With Spider-man, I realize it's such a quick turn around reboot. But you have to consider that people became too expensive, creative differences occurred, and unfortunately, Spider-man 3 occurred. I was not deterred and frankly, this film is the 3rd most anticipated film for me this year (behind Prometheus and The Dark Knight Rises, just narrowly ahead of Skyfall). Spider-man is and has always been my favorite comic book character for many reasons I will spare you the time to read. Instead, let me start off with my initial concerns with the film:

1) I personally enjoy the rogue's gallary for Spider-man. He and Batman have the best and most eclectic hall of villains. They each have extremely iconic and horrifying baddies (Green Goblin, Venom, Carnage and Joker, Bane, Riddler). And of course, they've been hit and miss on film (nailed Joker twice, screwed up Bane once, failed completely on Venom). For me, The Lizard, not a fan. First off, he didn't come across very menacing in the movie as he tends to be in the comics. But we have never seen the Lizard on screen so I give them props for that. He wasn't terrible but again, not menacing in my opinion.

2) Gwen Stacy. If you really know nothing of Spider-man, just skip this paragraph, it won't mean as much to you. The character of Gwen Stacy is a symbol of complete and utter chaos, tragedy, and transformation for Marvel. Before there was Mary Jane Watson, there was Gwen Stacy. It's one of those characters that, while it makes sense to use for the reboot, I completely hate that she's in the reboot (Spider-man 3 does not count). Emma Stone is a wonderful and extremely likable actress. And you will love the character that she plays. There is a down fall to knowing the history of Spider-man, because I know as these new movies unfold, the ultimate outcome for Gwen Stacy. I can only hope that with the reboot, they do this right because this is not something you can fudge. You just cannot. It's heart breaking in a sense, especially if you manage to care about the character.

3) The suit. Edgier? Too hipster? I don't know. I have to grow on the idea.

For me, I will tell you up front that I REALLY enjoyed The Amazing Spider-man. I think Andrew Garfield was exceedingly better as Peter Parker. Tobey McGuire is not at all believable as a geek or outcast. Garfield was. Was Spider-man, he was the only thing almost completely absent from the original 3 movies- sarcasm and wit. Spider-man has many talents and abilities to fight enemies, but one of his greatest is the ability to simply piss a guy off with his mouth. He's funny. Toby McGuire was not. More so, Garfield is a Spider-man geek. I like it when actors actually know the stuff they're portraying. For me, it showed in part. More so, the relationship between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy felt real. I honestly never got that sense in the original movies sans a couple of moments- at the end of the first Spider-man movie and the reveal in Spider-man 2. Beyond that, eh. I blame most of that on cardboard acting in Kirsten Dunst.

I would not rank this ahead of The Avengers in terms of comic book films. It's certainly on par with X-Men: First Class or Captain America. Good, solid, enjoyable comic book films with potential to grow. And Marvel movies are smart, they set up for future films seamlessly. The Amazing Spider-man is no different, with the open ending after the initial credits roll. Is that Norman Osborne? Allistair Smythe? Who knows. The spectacle that is the comic book world, is that through many many reincarnations, characters undergo more transformations than Madonna. Case in point, in one alternate series of comic books for Spider-man, Gwen Stacy becomes....Carnage...while I don't expect that to happen, you never know where the sequels will go. But, we will have sequels.

The movie isn't overly long, I know the origin part can bog you down initially but it's told a little differently than the original films because there is so much emphasis on the mystery surrounding Peter Parker's parents. With Amazing Spider-man, perhaps not since The Dark Knight, has there been a particularly emotional comic book superhero movie. And there's many of those moments. On top of the fact that if you know the backstory, you're watching Gwen Stacy and wondering when...

I am fine grading it an 7.5-8 out of 10. There's room to grow. There is potential.
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  1. DirtyKash's Avatar
    Even not being a big comic book or superhero movie guy, in the last few years, I have somehow ended up seeing: The Avengers, Thor, Captain America, X-Men First Class, The Green Hornet, X-Men Wolverine, GI Joe The Rise of Cobra, The Dark Knight, Hancock, The Incredible Hulk, Wanted, all three Spider-mans, both Iron Mans, and both Fantastic Fours. That's a little too much. And now you're telling me there's another Spider-man movie?!?!