I’m going to get something out of the way right off the bat. There will be no comparison to Spider-Man (2002). As far as I am concerned the two films have nothing to do with each other. Also, give Marvel’s propensity for multiple universes, I choose to believe that these two Spider-Men movies exist along side each other, never to interact.
Savvy? Then lets proceed. [**Warning: Possible Spoilers Ahead!**]
To the summary!
Peter Parker moves in with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben after Peter’s parents discover that his dad’s office has been ransacked. We fast forward to a Peter who is attending Midtown Science High School. He takes photos, gets picked on, and is an all around nice guy. He learns a bit about his parents past, and sneaks into Oscorp’s (yes as in Norman Osborn) headquarters. He goes where he shouldn’t and gets bit by a super spider. Que transformation montage. He gives a bit of help to Dr. Curt Connors, a former co-worker of his father’s. Dr. Connors now has the keys he needs to create the serum required to grow back his arm. Pressured into human trials, Dr. Connors tries the serum on his own arm and finds it works. But, it turns him into The Lizard. Peter learns of this, and since he helped created The Lizard, he feels the responsibility to stop him. He does, but not without losses along the way. Movie ends with promises of a sequel.
To the cast!
Andrew Garfield – Peter Parker aka Spider-Man
Emma Stone – Gwen Stacy
Rhys Ifans – Dr. Curt Connors aka The Lizard
Martin Sheen – Ben Parker aka Uncle Ben
Sally Field – May Parker aka Aunt May
Dennis Leary – Captain Stacy
To the deeper thoughts!
I liked this movie quite a bit more than I was expecting. Andrew Garfield was a great choice to play Peter Parker. I thought he nailed the uncomfortable, geeky, nerdy aspects of Peter. Once he was transformed Garfield nailed the snark of Spider-Man. I also enjoyed how they seemed to include all of Spider-Man’s abilities with the webbing. Speaking of the webbing. I know in the comics he creates his own shooters. Which he does here, and was a really neat sequence of the film. But this was one thing that always bugged me. He gets ALL the powers of a spider, except web generation? But I got over it quickly.
Emma Stone was great as Gwen Stacy. I must admit, I’m not all to familiar with her source material, other than she came before Mary Jane Watson. And as far as her father, played perfectly by Dennis Leary, they are drawn into Spider-Man’s world rather quickly, and both of them come to accept and help Peter/Spider-Man in their own time and way.
Short aside about Aunt May and Uncle Ben. I’ve always been a fan of Martin Sheen and I thought he and Sally Field were great choices for Aunt May and Uncle Ben. There is the obligatory Uncle Ben power speech and death. Both of which were done differently than we’ve seen before. And done well.
Of course there was a Stan Lee cameo. Lets just say this was one of my favorites.
I have no doubt that there will be a follow up. I’d like to think that they won’t go straight to Green Goblin, but the end of the film seems to point that way. I would like to see Kraven the hunter myself. A very different villain for the new films. Heck, I’d throw The Rock in as my choice to play him. I’d also like to see Venom brought back and done better (ok, so I made one reference to the other films) Its clear that they will have some old favorites in the next film as well. I think this is a great start to a new series of films, and I look forward to the next installment.