This is possibly one of the best films of 2012, said by everyone including myself. That is a testament to how much a film can benefit from a good baddie. We all know the story of Spiderman, but alongside his origin story comes that of Dr. Kurt Connors, whose ambition to make humanity a stronger and more equal species leads him to grave extremes. This is where I feel this story triumphs, because essentially, Dr. Connors is not a “bad guy”. He is simply a man who has fallen victim of his own ambition. His motives are good but deranged, altered by the drug that makes him The Lizard. This then creates a genuine and emotive antagonist, comparable to that in Snyder’s Watchmen.
Personally, this is one of the best pure superhero films I’ve seen. By superhero film, this excludes films like The Dark Knight Trilogy and Watchmen, films where the subliminal messages on existentialism, politics, law, and justice are just as rife as the action scenes in them. The Amazing Spiderman ranks with films like Iron Man and Thor, films that evolve around the characters themselves.
This puts a tremendous burden on the actors themselves, and they rose to the challenge. Andrey Garfield delivers and incredible, layered performance, his quick sly wit covering his convincing social awkwardness and frailty. Opposite him, Emma Stone, with this being another fine outing for one of the finest young actresses at the moment. I commented earlier about how convincing and intriguing the antagonist was, and this is in no small part due to Rhys Ifans passionate portrayal of the character. Oh and this has to be the best Stan Lee cameo in any of the Marvel films.
In rare seconds, the film was let down by its special effects. The effects were great, generally speaking; The Lizard being detailed and believable, but… When I judge CGI characters I pit then next to Gollum not Jar Jar Binks. Now compared to the latter, The Lizard was beautiful, but it still cowers next to the mighty Sméagol.
Some of the shots I loved as well, not just the swinging fast-paced action ones, but the moody ones, like the ones that take in the scope of the entire scene with Spiderman there in the middle distance, “small but mighty”. Or the funeral shot from above with the black umbrellas, one turning up to reveal the visage of Gwen Stacey. In most of the shots, Marc Webb displayed a notable refinement that really helped advance the entire cinematic experience.
Possibly the best superhero film in years, right up there next to modern favourites; the first instalment of Iron Man, and Thor. One shall eagerly await the sequel.