With the recent release of Amazing Spider-Man 2 (which I have yet to see) I figured I would give my opinion on the first movie in the Spider-Man relaunch.
My first reaction to this movie was just how impressed I am by Andrew Garfield’s interpretation of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. For the most part I enjoyed the original Sam Raimi trilogy, but did not like Tobey Maguire’s performance. I thought he never got the character’s intricacies correct and just played him like the stereotypical nerd who just happens to get super powers. He never seemed comfortable when firing off Spider-Man’s trademark quips and in my opinion was not very believable in the dual role. Garfield is now the quintessential live action Spider-Man.
He nailed Parker’s awkwardness and the tragedy of his Uncle’s death, plus he perfectly captured the freedom the character feels dressed as Spider-Man with his snappy one liners and seemingly carefree attitude. In my opinion he was as perfect for the role as one could be. We will see him for at least 3 movies and I really look forward to his character progression.
The other improvement this movie made was in the female lead. Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane in the original 3 movies was a terrible choice. Mary Jane is a character that has personal issues but always hides it behind this perpetually positive attitude and outward confidence. Dunst clearly had no clue about the character and portrayed her as a brooding, emo girl which was a terrible decision on her part. To go with Gwen Stacy as the initial female lead in these new movies was not only a great idea, but the casting of Emma Stone was pure genius. Not only does she truly capture the character, but her chemistry with Garfield (I am sure dating in real life helped) really made this movie work on many levels.
Ryhs Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors/The Lizard also worked well despite the CGI for the villain being a little off in places. He was a sympathetic villain and played his part in the movie quite well.
The rest of the cast really rounded out the movie perfectly. Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Ben and May Parker was a great casting choice as was Denis Leary as Captain Stacy. Stan Lee’s expected cameo was also entertaining as always.
As for the movie itself, it was a great start for this reboot. I initially felt it was way too soon to completely recast the movie and pull the Hollywood reboot routine, but it worked out well and I am really looking forward to future installments.
With mixed opinions on the sequel and the fact that the studio seems to be going a little overboard announcing Venom and Sinister Six movies so soon, I cannot help but be a little concerned with the directions the franchise may be going in, but I will remain positive and look forward to more Spider-Man goodness for years to come.