Tuesday, July 3, 2012


The Amazing Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man If you are bitten by a spider, you probably simply get an irritating itchy bump on your skin. However, if you are the Spider-Man, a superhero character portrayed in Marvel Comics, you will gain incredible strength and be able to fly among the skyscrapers in New York City. Just in time when most of the nation are experiencing heat waves (except in San Francisco), you can find some a satisfying relief in a theater near you to witness Spider-Man's new heroic actions in director Marc Webb's "The Amazing Spider-Man" (USA 2012 | 136 min.). This entertaining fourth Super-Man installment will surely reenergize the Spider-Man franchise. Yes, the Spider-Man is back, awesomely in 3D.

Like most superhero films, it doesn't matter how much, if any at all, you remember what happened in the prequels. It's a given that you should anticipate a fair amount of mindless action sequences that involve fighting with a monster and rescuing a pretty girl. This film is no exception to this money making repetitive formula that targets the mass audience. Luckily, besides that, this film's dazzling 3D effects, reasonable character development, and the decent casting and performance makes this a better Spider-Man film.

The new Spider-Man is Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), a soft-spoken handsome high-school teenager who is bullied at school. He is raised by his uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and aunt May (Sally Field) after losing his parents when he was a child. He discovers the secret notes his father left behind that contains the key research about cross-species generic transformation. When he sneaks into OsCorp, a high-tech genetic research firm led by his father's colleague Dr. Curt Conners (Phys Ifans), he gets bitten by a spider created by the OsCorp lab. Peter immediately gains super power that enables him to shoot out sticky cables and to fly around with lightning speed.

Peter's life is transformed dramatically, both in school and on the streets. He gets a girlfriend Gwen (Emma Stone). He designs his own tight signature body suit and then secretly takes up the responsibility to help out the police to capture criminals. However, Gwen's police chief father (Dennis Leary) thinks the masked Spider-Man is a dangerous enemy and is determined to capture him. Before long, they realize that the real enemy is Dr. Conners whose experiment of regrowing his lost right arm goes to the wrong direction.

Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man

Despite predictable plot outcome and many unconvincing moments (Dr. Conners camps out in NYC's sewage system to run his genetic science lab, really?), director Marc Webb manages to find time between the busy action sequences for the characters to develop. Do Peter and Gwen have chemistry on screen? Indeed. Are they as touching as in Marc Webb's "(500) Days of Summer?" Absolutely not. Oh, whoever designs that formula Peter's father left behind probably never takes a math-course in college.

However, we all know what this type of superhero movies is aiming for—a blockbuster entertainment that can be as spectacular as the fireworks during the July 4th weekend throughout the country. In that regard, this film certainly hits the mark, especially when it is shown on a giant IMAX screen in 3D.

"The Amazing Spider-Man," a Columbia Pictures release, opens on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 at Bay Area theaters.

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