The Amazing Spider-Man 3D: THE RIDE OF YOUR LIFE!

Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man/Peter Parker
Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy
Rhys Ifans as The Lizard/Dr. Curt Conners
Denis Leary as Captain Stacy
Out in theaters July 3

I know what you’re thinking…a Spiderman reboot? It’s only been 10 years since the first Spiderman film and 5 years since the mega flop that was “Spiderman 3.” When this version of “The Amazing Spiderman” was announced, I was definitely skeptical- especially after the “SM3” fiasco. I have been reading Spiderman comics since I was 8, so you can imagine how sensitive I am regarding any adaptations. As far as the first two Tobey Maguire movies, they were OK, but the third movie sucked so bad, I never wanted to see another “Spiderman” movie. That is, until I saw the extended trailer.

This version of the wall-crawler’s saga explores and redefines what you think you know about Peter Parker. Yes, we all know he is an orphan, but why? Who were his parents and why in the middle of a dark and stormy night did they bring little Peter to live with his Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen)?

We see the shy, gawky, awkward Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) grow into a young high school student who just wants to blend in and not make waves. A gifted student of science, he is often bullied by jock Flash and has a crush on fellow student Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). Peter seems to have accepted his lot in life, but we feel, as does Peter, that there is something missing.

It’s not until Peter finds an item that belonged to his father that the questions he has about that night and the fate of his parents begin to come back to haunt him.

Peter seeks out answers. Sifting through his father’s belongings leads him to one of his father’s colleagues, Dr. Curtis Connors (Rhys Ifans), who works for the scientific branch of the mysterious mega conglomerate Oscorp. This Oscorp division is dedicated to finding a serum that can enable people to regenerate lost limbs. Experiments include genetic enhancement and recombining human and animal DNA.

Once Peter begins to help Dr. Connors, we find that the doc is being pressured from “above” to get results. We also get the feeling that Dr. Connors knows a lot more about the fate of Peter’s parents than he is letting on. Peter and Gwen (who also works at Oscorp) continue their awkward friendship/courtship. It is also here that Peter receives that fateful spider bite that turns him into the web-head.

As Peter begins to discover his powers, he feels a need to stand up for the little guy. He begins to patrol the night defending the innocent citizens against thugs and muggers, and slowly creates his persona, and costume. Being an extremely gifted young scientist, he creates “web-shooters,” which allow him to swing from a thread or to bind and thwart his enemies. When criminals start piling up, and sightings begin, the NYPD, headed by Captain Stacy (Dennis Leary), puts Spiderman on its radar as a vigilante nuisance who’s just as bad as the criminals he collars.

When Dr Connors is finally put on the spot to get results or have his project shut down, he decides to take matters into his own hands and test the existing limb-regeneration serum with disastrous results that could possibly endanger the entire population of New York City.

I much prefer this movie to its predecessors. It has a more grounded realistic feel. The first movies were all about flash, hype and product placement, which to me gave a very superficial view of all the characters involved. You never got any feeling of depth at all.

In THIS “Spiderman,” as with the original comic, you really get a feel for who all these people are and where they are coming from and that’s what draws you in. You are invested from frame one.

Andrew Garfield is pitch-perfect. As Peter, We see the whole experience totally through his eyes. From child to teenager to superhero, we feel his pain and confusion as he tries to put the pieces of his life together. As Spiderman, Andrew brings all the dry sarcastic wit we have come to know and love from the web-head, especially in his battles with the villain.

Importantly, it’s really awesome to see him swinging through the skies of New York pulling all those comic book poses in 3D. It’s all through his eyes as he takes you web-slinging along with him. I don’t remember a superhero movie where I have actually been on the edge of my seat.

Yes true believers, “The Amazing Spider-Man” has a very subtle come-on, but it does NOT skimp on the action and suspense…not by a long shot. Now all you nit-picking boys keep your dirty mitts off this flick, which, in the wake of the “Avengers,” holds its own. So, grab yourself a bucket of popcorn, put on your 3D glasses, and get ready for the ride of your life!

FYI – you’ll want to remain through the credits. True to any Marvel superhero film, there’s a seed of what’s to come. Also, keep an eye out for the obligatory Stan Lee cameo; it’s short, but fun! ‘Nuff said!

4 out of 5 stars.

Check out the trailer for “The Amazing Spider-Man” below:

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