SideReel Review - The Amazing Spider-Man starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone by Yael Tygiel

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Attempting not to compare this movie to Toby McGuire's role in Spider-Man (2002), I find that I must point out viewers may find themselves with a “wait, I’ve seen this one” feeling. Marc Webb's 'The Amazing Spider-Man' starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone is a beautifully made, action-packed telling of the classic Spider-Man story. We start with an adorable little Peter Parker, watch him see his parents for the last time, and then grow into the teenage Peter Parker who must deal with becoming a hero while trying to win the girl – Keeping with the comics, Peter is fighting for the correct girl this time, as Gwen Stacy was his first love. (Sorry Mary Jane, you come into the picture much later). That's enough summary as I'm pretty sure you're familiar with the premise  (unless you’ve been living under a rock). But prepare to laugh quite a bit, and cry just a smidge (aw, Uncle Ben). 

Refreshinly, we get to see Emma Stone play the role of sexy, smart, good-girl and Gwen does not stutter and fumble with her words. It’s Andrew’s turn at playing the awkward nerd. Comedian Denis Leary unflinchingly plays Gwen Stacy’s father/ the Police Chief who wants to arrest Spider-Man, and Rhys Ifans takes on the role of gruesome villain, Dr. Conners.

For the TV watchers, some actors you may recognize in the movie include Richard and Mary Parker, played by Campbell Scott (Royal Pains) and Embeth Davidtz (Mad Men). School jock/bully, Flash, is played by Chris Zylka (The Secret Circle). And another Royal Pains actor, Jill Flint, plays the Oscorp Receptionist.

Lastly, any Marvel comic fan can tell you, Stan Lee likes to make subtle and creative appearances in all his movies – this cameo is by far my favorite. Also like other Marvel movies, stay into the credits for the “secret” clip. If you’re a Spider-Man fan you may even understand the reference. 

One final note: Definitely see The Amazing Spider-Man in 3D! I'd even say drive to your nearest IMAX if you can.

The Amazing Spider-Man is rated PG-13 and is now playing in theaters everywhere. 

-Yael Tygiel

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