I’m not the biggest fan of comic book movies these days. I guess I just got to the point where I kind of lost interest. I will still give them a try if one appeals to me or if it happens to be on TV, etc. but usually won’t go out of my way. Spider-Man, however, has always been one of my personal favorites. I enjoyed the Sam Raimi/Tobey McGuire Spider-Man films very much (and yes, I do recall even enjoying the third one). However, once I heard of this latest reboot, starring Andrew Garfield and directed by Mac Webb (who directed 2009′s 500 Days of Summer, one of my personal favorites), I was a bit skeptical.
Once I saw the trailer for this latest rendition, following a different storyline in the comic book series, I have to admit I was much more intrigued. The new cast and new storyline was exciting, and the action looked to be impressive. While I think the movies are cluttered far too much these days with movies based on comics, reboots, sequels, etc., I felt this one had the potential to bring something different to the table.
The story follows Peter Parker (Garfield), a high school senior who finds a clue about why his parents disappeared when he was a young child. While investigating, he’s led to Oscorp, where he meets his father’s research partner Dr. Connors (Rhys Ifans). At Oscorp, he’s also bit by a spider in a genetic research lab, which by no surprise gives him arachnid-like qualities.
On top of Peter’s new transformation, he struggles with many other things at home and in his personal life. He falls in love with Gwen Stacy (played by the outstanding Emma Stone), and constantly quarrels with his aunt and uncle (Sally Field and Martin Sheen). However on one tragic night, his life changes and effects all those around him as well. From that point on, Spider-Man has a new agenda of his own.
The rest of the story is full of well executed action scenes that provide both thrilling and comical moments. I think the main reason I’ve always enjoyed Spider-Man compared to other superheroes is that he’s a normal teenager. The reason behind his choosing of the Spandex suit and mask are shown well in the movie, and make sense. Garfield (who in real life is close to 30) does a great job playing the likable underdog.
This film really was the treat that I hoped it to be. It had a superb cast, a good storyline, and great fantasy action. It didn’t only just succeed with the action aspect, the drama surrounding family, love, and selfishness are explored well and drive the film, making it more than just eye candy. This is one of the under-appreciated films of last year in my opinion, and I’m most certainly looking forward to Part 2 in 2014! On a side note, I just had to chuckle when Irrfan Khan’s character said “Richard Parker”!