Spider-Man is back and more limber than ever in this new reboot of the franchise.
The original story of everyone’s favorite superhero is retold with a new cast creating an entirely different take on the Spider-Man legacy. In fact, as I was watching the film I couldn’t help but constantly compare it to the original film made just 10 years ago.
This time around the origin story follows the original comic books a little closer so in almost every way this feels like a different film and a different Spider-Man journey. Sure, the original story of Peter Parker getting bit by a spider and getting web slinging powers is still there. But in this more drawn out origin story, I give credit to the filmmakers who take a story so recently created and make it feel oddly new and different.
I feel that most people won’t be able to help themselves but compare and contrast the new actors to the old actors. I think this new Spider-Man film has great actors including Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, and Dennis Leary, Martin Sheen and Sally Field. However, in the original “Spider-Man” the actors playing the characters weren’t just actors; many of them seemed to embody the characters. When watching this film in particular I felt like I understood the difference in a movie that has good actors in it versus a movie that’s well cast. In this new version, everyone gives good performances. The trick is to give such a good performance that the audience forgets about the actor playing the character and can only pay attention to the character itself.
Don’t get me wrong, in this reboot there is nothing the filmmakers cannot do, and they don’t hold back. The action sequences are smart, suspenseful and well choreographed. With the enhanced technology that is available in 2012 compared to 2002, this new Spider-Man is able to do many more amazing things, making the original Spider-Man film seem a little dated, even only 10 years later. Sure, you could argue that there is something more special about having a stuntman swing off a building instead of it being all done on a computer but with the potential of digital effects it’s just more cost efficient and practical to have some shots be digitally enhanced rather than put a stuntman’s life at risk. Almost every single action sequence encompasses scenes that couldn’t be accomplished in earlier Spider-Man films a few years ago.
Spider-Man still is the friendly neighborhood hero that people can easily relate to, he’s not a billionaire like Iron Man, he’s not a God like Thor, and he’s certainly not popular in high school. What will always be the beauty of Spider-Man is how he’s just an average guy who falls into extraordinary circumstances and must learn what responsibility really means. Though I’m nostalgic of the original “Spider-Man”, there were enough amazing moments that I made some room in my heart for this new version too.
Three and a Half stars out of Four. Running Time 137 minutes. Rated PG-13.