Daily News header

The Amazing Spider-Man Review: Sometimes I Feel Like A Fatherless Child

By     get stories by email

Just as formidable as fighting crime Spidey's way in the new and occasionally different The Amazing Spider-Man, is spinning a tale that captivates in a really crowded field of comic book derived action blockbusters. But this reboot of a well worn classic does bring something rare to corporate filmmaking. Namely, with the input of indie director Marc Webb ((500) Days Of Summer), lots of heart amid the loads of hi-tech mechanical wizardry.

And that is helped not in the least, in bypassing a celebrity status actor as the main course, for Andrew Garfield. Which avoids the frequent extra-curricular challenge, in this case the enhanced without benefit of steroids high schooler, of doing battle in a way with oneself, in a toe to toe between superhero and superstar offscreen.

spider
Photo: www.rottentomatoes.com

In any case, an homage to the original comic book yarn remains pretty much intact, in a distraught young male world of powerless patriarchs and bad dad father figures. Along with that teen angst, sometimes I feel like a fatherless child vibe.

Garfield smoothly inhabits both Peter Parker and Spider-Man with a winning combination of humility, light humor and stylish intensity that bypasses any of the usual star power self-consciousness. Subjected to nasty bullying at school, especially at the hands of the simple minded hunk played by Chris Zylka, Parker astonishes himself as much as he does his ensuing villainous victims, with mysteriously miraculous new physical powers. And following that mixed blessing bite by a lab spider while investigating what might have befallen his deceased dad at the suspect cross-species experimental science institute where he worked. But you already know that story, and the movie adds little to that narrative thread.

What does amaze along the way, with comical pit stops such as Parker's sudden inexplicable fondness for pigging out on frozen macaroni and cheese, is for instance the dual personality's involuntary beatdown brawl confronting singlehandedly, a posse of menacing thugs riding the train. While potentially dispensing tips for audience subway survival, who knows.

Then there's the obligatory first kiss romance between Parker and Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy. Potent, high octane erotic moments that emotionally enhance raging spider hormones to vivid lyrical effect, in the typical action movie more prone to excessively relying instead, on mechanical and technical elements to tell a story. Did I mention Rhys Ifans' far too synthetic Lizard who substantially overstays his welcome.

So how does this Spidey incarnation measure up to all those previously preceding men in tights screen superheroes? The sheer sense of youthful invincibility and euphoria tempered by literal and figurative flight brought down to earth by something as mundane as remembering to pick up organic eggs for Aunt May (Sally Field) during time out from saving the world, is in large part worth the price of admission.

Or more to the point, close to the final fadeout of this top heavy special effects blockbuster with whimsical indie sensibility, a class lesson that says it all. Telegraphed to the students and the obsessive bells and whistles moviemakers out there alike, as back to basics advisory: 'All stories have only one plot- Who Am I.'

Sony Pictures
Rated PG-13
3 stars

Trailer of The Amazing Spider-Man:

Prairie Miller is a NY multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio, and on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network's Arts Express. Read more reviews by Prairie Miller. Contact Prairie through NewsBlaze. Read more stories by Prairie Miller.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Movie reviewer, Kam Williams sums up this moving memoir as a remarkable testament to the indomitability of the human spirit as well as a mighty reminder why the evils of the Holocaust must never be forgotten.
Movie reviewer Kam Williams reviews the film, 'White or Blace' 3 stars and says it is very good. To sum it up, he says the film is about White and Black grandparents clash in a courtroom drama.
Movie and celebrity interviewer Kam Williams chats with Kevin Costner about his new film, 'The Black or White' and shares it with NewsBlaze readers around the world.
Movie reviewer Prairie Miller interviews UK Director Kevin Macdonald about his new movie, Black Sea on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network's Arts Express.
Movie reviewer Kam Williams reviews the film, 'The Imitation Game' which is a life story of unsung hero for cracking Nazi Code.
The detours along this suburban noir road movie are endlessly convoluted, peppered with such richly conceived verbal literary abandon, that all is forgiven.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

landing page ad

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site