Having to follow "The Avengers" and released just before 'The Dark Knight Rises," the relaunch of ol' Spidey couldn't have come at a more challenging time, especially with audiences now so savvy as to what is possible in superhero movies, yet "The Amazing Spider-Man" delivered superbly. Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man was perfect casting. In fact the entire cast was perfectly picked. After seeing Garfield take on Peter Parker, I'm left wondering how we ever accepted Tobey Maguire for three films. This new Peter Parker is just how he is in the comics, convincingly genius, witty, joke cracking, and moves with real fluidity. Maguire's performance now seems so dull and sluggish compared to this newer, more exciting, funner to watch version which ironically is spot on to what gives the comic book version so much likability. Emma Stone as Gwen Stacey was awesome. I liked her more than Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane, and surprisingly Sally Fields as Aunt May, although not as visually similar to the comic books as the previous incarnation of her, pulled off being Aunt May completely and believably: she was Aunt May.
There was nothing wholly original about the actual story plot. That is not what makes the movie so great. Yet, the story did move along at a very nice pace and you never get bored. What does make the movie so great? Besides the acting, the look and the feel of the movie are more realistic and you feel like Spider-Man could actually belong in our world. Rather than a comic book looking, colorful spectacle it went for the grittier, more real feel, with New York playing a large role in that. The action scenes were really entertaining to watch because instead of fighting one guy, this Spider-Man takes on several at once and in more than one spot in the movie. The special effects have stepped up since we last saw Spidey in Spider-Man 3 back in 2007. The web swinging was much more realistic like the rest of the movie was and perhaps the biggest jump in technology besides the upgraded costume was the webbing which now shoots much more believably and in more creative ways. The villain was The Lizard and he falls nicely into the regular line of Spider-Man's rogue gallery. Nothing special made him stand out compared to Willem DaFoe's Green Goblin, etc. but he was fun to watch nonetheless.
Overall this film captured the true essence of Spider-Man, making him move from a bright colorful character that could only exist in comic books to a real flesh and blood hero that could and should surface any minute from behind a skyscraper. What is interesting about Spider-Man is that he was always meant to be that really relatable superhero, the teenager with girl problems who finds himself facing tough choices and this movie manages to deliver on that in a way the previous films came close to but didn't quite do. "The Amazing Spider-Man" is a great time at the movies and for a couple hours makes you hopeful, leaves you emotionally uplifted and reignites that small flame we all keep buried deep down for heroes to come and save the day. (Oh, make sure to stay until the end of the beginning credits; there is one bonus scene.)
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I'm David Carus. From overcoming one of the most dangerous cities in the country and graduating from one of the most prestigious colleges in America to leading an educational movement as a teacher and running for Congress at the age of 25, I decided the best hope our world has is through art.