Hello, everyone! It’s Susan’s friend Cooper from The Morning After… The Movies. Remember me from Susan’s New York adventure last November, as well as my Cars 2 review last summer? Well, I’m glad to be back this summer for another guest post in the form of a movie review of The Amazing Spider-Man while Susan and company enjoy their time up here in Pittsburgh. But I’m not the only tech-loving teenaged boy making a comeback this summer.
That other boy's name is Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), a high school senior who loves to skateboard, flirt (particularly with the geeky chic Gwen Stacy, played by a blonde and banged Emma Stone), and stick up for his bullied peers only to become the target himself. However, after a radioactive spider bites Peter, the wanderer gains a target of his own.
The targets are a crop of NYC's everyday roughest brutes, as well as a not so commonplace human-sized lizard slithering through the sewers and hunting prey on the streets. It turns out it really is a small world after all seeing as Peter already knows his new scaly nemesis in human form as his deceased father's former colleague, Dr. Connors (a sly Rhys Ifans).
So maybe Spidey's new Public Enemy Number One is a nice curveball as opposed to the premiere trilogy's more suspecting villains, if totally "out there". But that's a piece of what makes Amazing much more thrilling than the Toby Maguire films because the kick-off of the new trilogy, or possibly series, is much more closely drawn to its Stan Lee-created comic book origins. Marc Webb's new action-packed with pulp fiction romance is more spirited and fun-loving than the predecessor films that tried so hardly to inject a tortured, Gothic serum into our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
Of course we don't have Dr. Connor's menacing dark side to credit for this. Instead we can write our notes of thanks to real-life couple Garfield and Stone, and their red-hot, match-made-in-doofy-heaven chemistry. Both do an exquisite job at outshining the other cinematic Spider-Man couple we know because they're friendly faces that pop out with glee against the cold wall of crime and death that Amazing hesitantly tries to build every now and then only to crumble. But is such puppy love a gift or a curse for Peter Parker, a boy who must fight crime but still find time to pick up a fresh carton of eggs for his widowed aunt? Despite the teen flick amore dimming the interest in the action sequences, I will have to go with the former. Kisses and smiles soften the web-slinger's newest, and most fun, adventure, making The Amazing Spider-Man one of his proudest achievements to date... Or at least that's what my spidey sense told me the morning after. B+
• Andrew Garfield
• Emma Stone
• Rhys Ifans
• Denis Leary
• Sally Field
• Martin Sheen