June 28, 2014
The Amazing Spider-Man
There are other disappointments too. Chiefly, Sally Field. It's frustrating to see such a talented and dare I say beloved actress playing such a dull role. All she gets to do is look concerned. She plays the loving aunt of Peter Parker, and she mostly just worries about him as he traipses into the house late, forgetting to pick her up from work or get eggs from the grocery store. Martin Sheen gets a little more speechifying, but he's so obviously set up as a kind of philosophical mentor--a Yoda figure if you will--that he doesn't really resonate. You may end up thinking of the previous Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson) intoning, "With great power comes great responsibility." (And for some reason I kept picturing Glenn Ford, from Superman.)
The villain in this Spider-Man entry is a scientist named Dr. Connors (played by Rhys Ifans). His research in genetic mutation is the catalyst for Peter Parker's transformation into Spider-Man. But unlike Peter, whose physicality is enhanced by a bio-magical spider bite, Dr. Connors turns into something hideous and terrifying when he injects himself with a serum that's supposed to regenerate his missing arm. He turns into a giant lizard, thus enabling Marc Webb to play a little Godzilla. Fortunately The Amazing Spider-Man has more finesse than a Godzilla picture.