This may look like a Twilight moment, but the relationship scenes are some of the best around for a superhero movie

I used to think Tobey Maguire was our generations Spider-Man, well not anymore.  In The Amazing Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield brings the character of Peter Parker more life than Maguire ever did.  Now, I’m not saying Maguire was bad, as I enjoyed the first two of his movies (and like to ignore the third), but too many times he seemed weak when being Peter.  On the other hand, Garfield is able to take the geekiness of the character while maintaining a more believable character.  Though, this may be in part to Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, who together with Garfield played off the awkwardness of their characters to make them rather likable.

Honestly, this movie reminded me somewhat of Cowboys & Aliens, since Spider-Man was a pretty good drama/rom-com and Cowboys & Aliens wasn’t a bad western.  Being able to establish a familiar basis allowed the unique part of each movie (super hero and aliens) to mesh into the story rather than being forced into it.  It seemed like a good hour before Parker began to realize the potential of his powers, which may seem like a long time, but it allowed characters to develop.  Of course there were the obligatory scenes with Parker’s Aunt May and Uncle Ben, but I was relieved to see these two actually have entertaining and often funny banter between each other.  It’s hard to explain, but each character really was likable (well, except the villain of course), and I think it’s because the characters were never forced on the audience.  There were no “with great power comes great responsibility” drawn out nonsense that real people wouldn’t say and no upside down kisses in the rain.

The movie didn’t go out of its way to have those sort of memorable moments.  Instead, it created characters, portrayed by an all around fantastic cast, that will not soon be forgotten.  Though, there was one particular scene leading up to the final battle that I felt was a bit over-the-top, but it did remind me at one part of The Other Guyswhich is always good and it wasn’t that long so I’ll forgive it.

It’s not just the promo pic, this Spider-Man is not a fan of his mask

However, I don’t think I can forgive another part of the movie.  Apparently we’re still in the whole fad of making everything 3-D, and there was no exception here.  Several scenes swinging around the city were seen through Spider-Man’s eyes, which probably would be interesting to see in 3-D, but it will be really odd when watching at home and in fifteen years or so will seem really dated.  Luckily, there wasn’t much swinging around, as noted earlier this movie was strongly focused more on drama than action. Likewise, the scale of the movie didn’t feel quite as large as Maguire’s trilogy.  Even discovering his spider powers required no more than a warehouse, leaving behind the running from rooftop to rooftop of Maguire’s first film.  Again, this led to more time for a character driven story.

I nearly forgot to mention, there is a villain, The Lizard (aka Dr. Curt Connors when in human form).  He has some plan to take over the world, which is actually somewhat annoying since the first half of the movie he wants to do the complete opposite.  Really, he only seems to be there to have a villain and is a friend of Parker’s father.  It was nice have some insight on his parents, and from a short clip during the credits it seems like the second movie will go more into his father’s back story.  I think I was so uninterested in the villain because I was more caught up in Parker and Stacy’s relationship, which really goes to show how super hero movies can have a soul and make you root for the main characters (there were a few scenes in which Parker nearly died as Spider-Man and showing not only his vulnerabilities but also his human element of being more than an over-the-top superhero).  This is odd, since I never had that feeling when watching either of the past two Batman movies, even though he really is just a human with a bunch of cool gadgets.

Basically what I’m trying to say is please go see this movie if you have any interest in superheros, Spider-Man, a rom-com, or most importantly a good drama.  For me, The Amazing Spider-Man may be the best superhero movie I have ever seen, and I look forward to seeing more Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone together in the future.

On a side note, I’m pretty sure you can make a good drinking game out of how many times Spider-Man takes off his mask.  Really, I’m amazed more people don’t know who he is.