Screw Top Ten Lists!! Whoever said there must be TEN best movies of the year is obviously wrong. There’s always that ONE movie clamoring its way into it but just not making the cut. So I’m breaking protocol and calling out a top 11. One movie a day for the next 11 days (hopefully).
And here goes the first.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
Haters are gonna hate on this but the fact of the matter is, TAS was actually a supreme successor to the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire Spider-mans of yore. This does not however diminish the greatness of Spider-man 2 – which I honestly believe to be one of the best comic-book movies of all time (where Tobey Maguire actually sells a dorky Peter Parker even though that isn’t who Spider-man is and Sam Raimi brings about a successful villain in the troubled yet sadistic Otto Octavius played by Alfred Molina).
The Amazing Spider-Man shows who Spider-man REALLY is – a geek who’s also a smart-ass. He wasn’t always a geeky dork but actually a geek with a snide streak hidden underneath it all – at least, that’s how I saw Peter Parker in the comics.
And the Brit-but-not-just-like-how-Nicole-Kidman-isn’t-really-Australian actor Andrew Garfield gets it right. Also put into play is Gwen Stacy played by Emma Stone. And THANK GOD FOR HER. Gone is the screeching, annoying and downright dreadful Mary Jane Watson played by Kirsten Dunst, and in comes someone with smarts, looks, and actually gives off some semblance of chemistry between her and Garfield. (no wonder they started dating).
The Amazing Spider-Man also went the Batman Begins route by essentially focusing on the hero rather than the villain, which probably explains the weak villain in the Lizard. While Rhys Ifans played him well, I’m glad he wasn’t necessarily the main focus of the story. (Comic book movies love their villains only because they’re more interesting – thankfully some directors/writers out there know that even the hero can be just as interesting).
Director Marc Webb definitely stepped up to the plate and proved that he’s not only just for romantic comedies (Webb’s responsible for making 500 Days of Summer). He successfully balanced the fine line of using special effects in just the right doses while also pulling an even layer of character development. And I have to admit, I loved the bridge sequence in this movie.
There are two other comic-book movies that were released this year that were better than TAS (as you’ll see when I get to them later on this week) but the great thing about The Amazing Spider-man was its ability to impress me and actually had me enjoy this comic book’s origin story.