Movie Review: Spider-Man

Movie Review: Spider-Man



PG-13 for sequences of action and violence.
Genre: Sci-fi fantasy, action, adventure, adaptation.
Running Time: 2 hours 16 minutes

Peter Parker – an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as boy – is now a teenager who’s been raised by his Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Like most teens, Peter is simply trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today.  In the midst of trying to figure out who he is, Peter Parker is also navigating his way through his first high school crush with a girl named Gwen Stacy. The pair struggle with love, commitment and secrets.

Then – in the midst of his high school journey – Peter also finds a briefcase that belonged to his father. This leads to a quest of understanding 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.

Spidey Revamped And Re-Launched

The much anticipated relaunch of the Spider-Man franchise has arrived. Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst are gone as we say hello to the younger combination of Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. Rounding out the usual cast of Spider-Man characters we also have Sally Field in the role of Aunt May and since this relaunch takes us back to high school – before the death of Uncle Ben – Martin Sheen shows up in that role.

I was really torn going into this movie. Part of me is tiring of the whole comic book hero movie genre and I was already burned out on the Spider-Man franchise after the second movie in the series. Granted this is an admitted re-boot of the franchise but I’m still left wondering if all the hype is really worth it. Actually, I sometimes wonder if the hype is nothing more than an attempt to generate more interest than the movie really needs. While some will love this movie, others will hate it and others – like me – will fall into the category of “It’s an okay movie” – the bottom line is this…

The producers of the Spider-Man reboot did well in their attempt to reboot and re-launch this franchise.

For me this movie lacked the “jump off the screen” feel I was hoping for. Clocking in at a little better than two hours, there is not much down time. While I did look at my watch once, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I had made it through most of the movie before hitting the “okay when will this be done” thought. The movie was almost over with only 10 minutes left. But, even after saying the movie kept my attention, when I discovered there was only 10 minutes left I knew the story line was about to move at a break-neck speed as they still had much ground to cover and little time left to cover it in. Even after saying this I’m still trying to figure out why Spider-Man Four didn’t pack the punch I expected. The 3D effects were cool and I’m pleased to report you don’t need motion sickness pills to make it through the movie. Those involved in this movie could have gone way over the top when it came to 3D effects flying through New York City with Spidey. But, somewhere along the line they resisted the urge to go overboard. Instead, there only “wild ride” so to speak comes at the end of the movie as Spider-Man is making his way to the Oscorp high rise.

I believe one reason this movie lacks the “jump off the screen” aspect I was expecting revolves around the villain. While The Lizard is an ominous opponent to Spider-Man, the follow through seems somewhat lacking. Once again there seems to be a rush to introduction with this character. While it is obvious from the beginning who the villain will be, there’s little to no character development. The Lizard just suddenly appears on the scene and of course has a hatred for Spider-Man from the beginning. It’s here the movie seems somewhat disjointed and confusing. In the end, The Lizard pretty much crawls away wounded, hurting and defeated with little to no true conflict.

From an acting standpoint, Emma Stone is wonderful in her role as Gwen Stacy, the love interest of Peter Parker. Andrew Garfield – while he plays the role well – is somewhat of a lack-luster Spider-Man at best. Maybe in the days ahead he will grow into the role better. But the true surprise comes from the appearance of Sally Field and Martin Sheen. No where along the line by viewing the trailers for Spider-Man was it known that Field and Sheen were cast as Aunt May and Uncle Ben. The appearance of these two veteran actors helps bring a sense of stability and calm to the overall flow the movie.

For the most part – while we’re only giving Spider-Man three and a half Lloyds, we did enjoy the movie. It is a breath of fresh air from how the franchise left off with the third installment of the series. It was obvious after the box office smash of the third movie the producers involved were simply interested in a cash grab in deciding upon a fourth movie. It’s a good thing they re-thought the whole process. I do not believe Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Durst could have pulled off a fourth movie. But with this re-boot of the series, maybe there’s hope for our web-slinging hero after all.

Enjoy the show!

Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.