The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
April 22, 2022 11:19 PM - Subscribe

Peter Parker is an outcast high schooler abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents' disappearance, leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors, his father's former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors' alter ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.

I came to this film nearly 10 years after its original release, mostly because of this Spider-Man's (Andrew Garfield) appearance in the current Spider-Man: No Way Home (on FanFare); I'd skipped it (and the sequel, also on FF) for maybe one of the most Comic Book Guy-ish reasons that I've ever skipped anything that I'd usually see: I'd seen a still of Garfield as Peter holding a skateboard, and Peter just didn't seem like a skater to me. But Garfield impressed me enough in NWH so that I thought that I'd give this one a chance.

And it was pretty good, good enough, I'd say. It wasn't perfect; both Garfield and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy seem a bit too old to pass as high schoolers. (I wondered if Chris Zylka, who plays archbully Flash Thompson, was Ed Skrein.) I also was skeptical not only of the Stacys' apartment (maybe NYPD captains earn that much, I dunno) but also of the precinct that Ned Stacy works in. And I found myself wondering exactly why Peter told Gwen about his secret identity. But the rest of the movie rolled along pretty well; even the skateboard came into play as Peter was learning the extent of his powers. The bit with his parents put a bit of variation into the very familiar origin story, and having the spider be part of a spider-silk-spinning project at Oscorp also helps tie the origin together, as well as giving a plausible reason for speeding up the development of Peter's web-spinners. I kept expecting Norman Osborn to make at least a cameo, but no dice. Anyway, Curt Connors was fine as the villain, and it looked like he might have made a return appearance if they'd gone ahead with plans to do the Sinister Six with this cast. Oh, and I really liked Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben.
posted by Halloween Jack (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Oh, by the way, if people are trying to keep track of all the Spiders-Man, here's the main ones in terms of modern movies:

Spider-Man (2002)
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Spider-Man 3 (2007) - these three directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) - these two starring Andrew Garfield and directed by Marc Webb

Spider-Man: Homecoming
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Spider-Man: No Way Home - these three starring Tom Holland and directed by Jon Watts

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - starring various and directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman, with two sequels planned

This is in addition to various other cartoons, a live-action TV series back in the late seventies, an abandoned James Cameron project in the early nineties--here's the Wikipedia article with the whole shebang.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:32 PM on April 22, 2022 [3 favorites]

I wasn’t a fan of this movie for a bunch of reasons, but the main one was this: In the comics, Spider-Man created his web shooters. In this movie, the web shooters created Spider-Man.
posted by ejs at 7:17 AM on April 23, 2022 [2 favorites]

I mostly like this movie. Not as much as the Raimi films, but a "grim-dark" Spider-man could have been a lot worse.

Garfield did a very good job. However, I could not buy that he would be bullied in high school. The dude is almost six feet tall with the body of a middleweight boxer. He could have put Flash Thompson in a coma even before the spider bite. And what the hell are jocks even doing at this school? Doesn't Peter Parker go to a magnet school for science nerds? Even the the basketball team should be made up of nerds.

The version of Flash in the MCU made much more sense. Peter Parker's bully should be a little wiener like him!
posted by riruro at 8:09 AM on April 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

I thought the action sequences were well done, and I loved the first person view when Spider Man swung from building to building, but the third act in the second film ruined everything. At that point, I hated Parker. I wouldn't have bothered watching the third movie, so I wasn't upset in the least when Garfield got the axe even though it's not his fault his character was such a toxic shithead.
posted by Beholder at 11:38 AM on April 23, 2022

Things that I like about this version of Spider-Man:

- Martin Sheen is a great Uncle Ben
- the Lizard is pretty well done
- the scene where Spider-Man makes a web in the sewer and waits to feel it be disturbed by the Lizard is really cool
- Andrew Garfield’s attitude when he’s Spider-Man is great

Things I’m less happy about:

- the re-design of his costume is ugly, especially the gold-tinted eyepieces. Yuck.
- You hire Emma Stone, who in her daily life looks EXACTLY like Mary Jane Watson, as drawn by John Romita Sr., and you cast her as GWEN?!
- don’t care much for Denis Leary as Capt. Stacy
- Sally Field doesn’t really work for me as Aunt May
- Andrew Garfield just doesn’t come across as an awkward teen at any point, especially given his height.
- the grimdark revenge-seeking angle after his uncle is killed is a bit too much Batman for my tastes
posted by wabbittwax at 5:40 PM on April 23, 2022

Oh, hey, I just rewatched this with my son (10) last week. He had seen No Way Home and he didn't really know who Garfield was. So we watched this movie so he knew what "universe" he was from.

Man, this movie is a drag. I do like everyone in the movie, even Leary, but the overall tone of the movie is just so damn depressing, and that's not what a Spider-Man movie should feel like.

But I do like Garfield, and I enjoyed seeing him appear in No Way Home. It would have been good to see him in a lighter-tone Spider-Man movie.
posted by Fleebnork at 4:57 AM on April 25, 2022

The dude is almost six feet tall with the body of a middleweight boxer.

I'm not gonna let my tumblring of awards season go to waste, and i have to say, it's hilarious to come out of NWH thinking him as the tall one and then later realizing at 'only' 5 ft 10 he's only tall-presenting lol.

I genuinely liked this movie for all its problems, of course i was one of those who was super-into the social network and thought his casting news as interesting if not excellent choice. Though I did leave the cinema back then, going, "who is this reboot for??" Not realizing of course this was only the beginning of ridiculously accelerated rebootquels turnovers of the modern blockbuster era.
posted by cendawanita at 11:19 PM on April 25, 2022

Though I did leave the cinema back then, going, "who is this reboot for??"

Sony. It's for Sony.

From Wikipedia:
Sony's 1998 license, covering all Spider-Man films (including 900 characters related to Spider-Man), is perpetual provided that Sony releases a new Spider-Man film at least once every 5.75 years.
posted by Fleebnork at 4:18 AM on April 26, 2022

No, i know, but you know.
posted by cendawanita at 5:24 AM on April 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

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