The Franchise that Couldn't: Looking Back on the Amazing Spider-Man
By Felix Quinonez Jr.
January 16, 2017
And the supporting cast was an area that benefitted from extra development. Here, Flash Thompson was elevated past the one-dimensional bully portrayed in the Raimi films. The movie offered a glimpse beneath the surface of Flash Thompson and even hinted at a sense of loss driving his anger.
In a particularly effective scene, it initially seems like Flash is about to bully Pete but the movie makes a more interesting choice that leads to them sharing a moment of understanding. Peter, like the audience, thinks that Flash is about to give him a hard time. But because his uncle has recently died, he's not in the mood for this and fights back, pinning flash against the locker. Flash simply asks, “It feels better, right?” With a single line the movie managed to show not only that Flash was going through something similar but also that he was using his bullying as a coping mechanism. And by the end of the movie, the two of them seem to have not only come to a truce but perhaps even become friends.
Sally Field, however, wasn't too happy with the franchise, but her performance was great, adding emotion and heart to the movie. Her pain over the loss of her husband and concern for Peter are palpable. She also has a wonderful chemistry with Andrew Garfield. And because Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) is pretty much only here to get killed, it's hard for him to really make a lasting impact. However, he and Peter do share a few touching moments.
But Gwen Stacy, winningly played by Emma Stone, is easily the highlight of the supporting cast. Some might even argue that she was the highlight of the entire movie. Stone has a very charming personality and she really shines in the role. One of the best things about her character was that she was a more active love interest. She isn't just damsel in distress. In fact she actually plays a pivotal role in defeating the lizard. (Rhys Ifans)
And even people who didn't like the movie seemed to enjoy the Gwen Stacy/Peter Parker romance. The fact that Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were dating at the time certainly didn't hurt. The two had such great chemistry that seeing them on screen was a delight. And their relationship seemed more real and better developed than the one in Raimi's movies. In that series, the romance was between Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) and Peter. (Tobey Maguire) Unfortunately, it seemed as if they were together simply because they were supposed to be. In fact, their relationship and history were very inconsistent, changing from one movie to another.
But a discussion about The Amazing Spider-Man wouldn't be complete without talking about Andrew Garfield, and he was great both with and without the mask. Some people thought Garfield came off as too much of a hipster and preferred Maguire's take. But there is an argument to make that while very different; both actors' portrayals were very good.
Maguire's Peter seemed to be more influenced by the old fashioned Stan Lee/Steve Ditko era of the character. And Garfield took his cue from the Ultimate Spider-Man era by Brian Michael Bendis/Mark Bagley. Garfield's Peter wasn't so much a geek but more of an outsider.