The Score: The Amazing Spider-Man [Movie Contest]

Tuesday, Jul 3, 2012 11:00AM

Written by J. Bachelor

Watch Trailer
  • The Amazing Spiderman
  • Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone
  • July 3, 2012
MSN Movies 3/5 4.5/5
STL Today 4/4
Newsblaze 3/5
Charlotte Observer 3.5/4

Superhero season has returned. Beating The Dark Knight Rises to the box office is The Amazing Spiderman, featuring an all new cast, writing team and director. The story has a few new twists here and there, but fans of the iconic hero rest assured: Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is remains a web-slinging, joke crackin' wall climber, ready to do what it takes in the name of justice.

A decade after actor Tobey Maguire donned the famous red and blue suit, a new lead takes the reigns, as The Webbed Warrior returns to theaters for an all-new adventure.

If you wonder what constitutes a movie generation in this time of super-accelerated change and ever-shorter memories, "The Amazing Spider-Man" has the answer: 10 years. Tobey Maguire and director Sam Raimi created their version of Spidey in 2002, following that origin story with two sequels. Now Andrew Garfield and director Marc Webb reboot the tale with a different heroine, villain and sensibility. Did we need another Spider-Man this quickly? Debatable. But if you wanted a new interpretation - especially one where story and action stay in the right balance - this is it.(Charlotte Observer)

The Social Network co-star Andrew Garfield steps into the role of nerdy teen turned masked avenger Peter Parker this time around, turning a radioactive spider bite into an opportunity to defend the citizens of New York City against the forces of evil.

Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) takes on the lead role, and he gives it an edgier flavour than we tasted in Tobey Maguire's more yearning reading. It starts (like Hamlet, actually) as a story of revenge, but there's also teenage romance, lots of 3-D special effects showing a guy swinging across the city on silvery webs, and a drama -- and here it really departs from Shakespeare -- about a villain who wants to create a race of giant man-eating lizards.(O Canada)

True to the comics, Spidey's reptilian foe is a one-armed scientist that becomes a humanoid-lizard hybrid thanks to a lab experiement gone wrong.

Peter has a real uncle -- although not for long, as we remember -- but the role of the Shakespearean uncle, the one responsible for the death of his father, is found elsewhere. Dr. Connors (Rhys Ifans), his dad's ex-partner in biological research, is the agent of destruction here. He's a man with issues of his own, a one-armed scientist who is trying to discover the secrets of limb regeneration. The ability of lizards to grow new parts is his inspiration, and we know where that usually leads.(Montreal Gazette)

Unlike the previous Spider-Man stories brought to the big screen, the latest edition gives more insight to Parker's humble beginnings and struggle to answer questions about his family's dark past.

The new movie delves a bit further into the backstory. One night, years in the past, Peter's parents need to leave town in a hurry, so they drop him off at the aunt and uncle's house and never come back. Peter ends up with Martin Sheen as a surrogate dad - winning! - with Sally Field, in effect, fulfilling motherly duties. Field's role doesn't amount to much besides fretting, though she can fret with the best of them, but Sheen gets to land Uncle Ben as the fundamental pillar of Peter's moral decency.(SF Gate)

Critics agree that, while the latest reboot of the popular comic-book-turned-franchise packs its share of thrilling action sequences, it breaks no new ground in the action hero genre.

Though the film's conclusion is also appropriately rousing and contains "Spider-Man's" most impressive 3-D vistas, it has to overcome the burden of that over-extended running time and the parallel tendency to treat Parker's story with excessive reverence. Even the Lizard, heaven help him, though effective in moments, is not quite an opponent for the ages. Garfield and Stone are good enough to ensure that you won't miss their predecessors, but you may well wonder where Doc Ock is now that we really need him.(LA Times)
By the time we get to the film's climax -- surprise, it involves a doomsday device with a ticking countdown placed atop a skyscraper -- the cynicism of the whole enterprise has become unavoidable. The producers obviously think they only have to make a new "Spider-Man" and we'll show up, and, sadly, they're probably right. That's still no excuse for this cash grab. "The Amazing Spider-Man" isn't a movie, it's a mugging.(Boston Globe)

SOHH/Amazing Spider-Man Contest:

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