The Amazing Spider-Man Movie Review -

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Sunday, 8 July 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man Movie Review

Is the web-heads latest offering Amazing? Or does it swing aimlessly through (the CGI) New York? Read on!

10 years ago when Tobey Maguire donned the Spider-Man suit, critics raved over how the arachnid hero and as his love interest, Mary Jane (Kristen Dunst) were brought to life.
From L-R: Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, Kristen Dunst, Emma Stone

I actually watched the original film the other week, and although I loved it when it came out - it hasn't aged well. I didn't find Maguire convincing as Peter Parker, and don't even get me started on how that trilogy ended (we must never speak of the abomination that is Spider-Man 3).

So fast forward to the present, and we have a new Spider-Man/Peter Parker in the from of Andrew Garfield (The Social Network), and love interest Gwen Stacy played by Emma Stone (Easy A). After Sam Raimi's trilogy shattered box office reviews, earning a staggering $114 million in its first weekend alone, the reboot was always going to need to fill big shoes.

Directer Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) brings us The Amazing Spider-Man, a reboot that revisits Peter Parker's origin story, but this time we get to see Peter as a child, and for the first time (in a Spider-Man movie) his parents (played by Campbell Scott and Embeth Davidtz); who, after a break-in at their house, rush Peter over to his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May's (Sally Field) house for safekeeping.

This is where we see many will feel shortchanged. Sure, the story is there, and it's hard hitting having to see Uncle Ben shot by a thug that Peter could've easily stopped, but we've seen it all before. The only thing being new is the setting/location of how he gets shot.

I personally didn't want the reboot to totally start all over, and I know it may have seemed odd to start the new trilogy with Peter already as Spider-Man, but the whole "becoming Spider-Man" was very samey.


If by some chance you'd never seen Maguires flick, then it's a solid story, with Garfield who's acting has an instinctive wisdom, bringing a great deal of emotion to the science whizz Peter Parker. I much prefer this carnation of Peter Parker/Spider-Man to that of Maguires - he's a lot more loveable when he's being anaganised at school, he's nervous and twitchy in a way a social outcast would be believed to behave, but most importantly, he's both playful and bad ass as Spider-Man, something Maguire never brought to the table. One scene in particular shows this, where Spider-Man makes a web all through the sewers to act as a noise/movement alarm for the Lizard. This scene not only shows us that Parker is indeed very clever, but also that Spider-Man is a fun character (something that was never shown by Maguire), as he sits and plays a game on his phone whilst he waits.

Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill) does a great job as Dr Curt Connors/The Lizard, although, again, the semi-schizophrenia moments feel terribly familiar to Willem Dafoe's Norman Osborn/Green Goblin. But on a whole, The Lizard was a very good choice of villain, and Connors involvement with Peters father brings certain puzzle elements to whether or not the good/bad Dr. was involved in their death.

Where some of the film falls flat, the action sequences are very well done, with Spider-Man performing all of the acrobatic skills you'd expect, and the POV segments, although lacking, are a great addition to the film, allowing you to see first hand what Spider-Man is doing, its just a shame there wasn't more of these moments.

Whilst it's by no mean a contender to The Avengers crown, The Amazing Spider-Man is an enjoyable film, that, although lacking in parts, it did still deliver a much more believable Peter Parker with Andrew Garfield. I just hope the next instalment is more resourceful in where it heads.

Release Date:
US (wide): July 3, 2012
Genre: Super-Hero
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Language: English

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