Review: The Amazing Spider-Man

This is the controversial re-boot of the Spider-Man franchise only five years after the last Sam Raimi directed effort. Apparently this time what Marc Webb’s version  goes into is the back story of Peter Parker’s parents and how he ends up living with his Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Does anyone really care? Maybe. But not when it’s a rather laboured 15 to 20 minutes where nothing is truly explained until the middle of the film anyway, meaning that the film could have contained 15 to 20 minutes more web-slinging.

What this film does have is a believable cast. Andrew Garfield is a brilliant Peter Parker who you actually believe could be a 17-year-old high school nerd (even though he is actually 29). He conveys his character’s relationships really well, whether it’s with his aunt and uncle (played wonderfully by Sally Field and Martin Sheen), or his blossoming relationship with Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy (not difficult though as it is rumoured that the two actually started going out while filming).

Garfield’s Peter Parker dons the suit for slightly more selfish reasons than Toby Maguire’s from the previous film, who just wanted to clean up the streets. This new Peter Parker seems to be constantly causing damage to himself and those around him with bad decision-making, eventually ending up with the death of his uncle Ben.

Even his noble efforts at helping his father’s old colleague, Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) to complete their work at interspecies genetics results in the creation of a monster. Ifans manages to portray a scientist striving for good only to be forced into a situation he can no longer control pretty well and even manages to give a soul to an otherwise completely CG giant lizard.

The humour is well placed and the scenes of tragedy and threat are handled well too. But There is a certain amount of flair missing where Sam Raimi is so proficient, which is a shame. There have to be the villains with good at their core, and Ifans manages this very well, and the obligatory patriotic moment where the citizens of New York band together to help spidey out. When it did happen towards the end of this film I must admit that I did groan out load as it felt out-of-place for a reason I can’t quite put my finger on.

I have now seen it in both 2 and 3D and have to admit that a couple of sequences looked really good in 3D, but a lot of the film really didn’t need it and a few scenes didn’t have the effect at all. It was here that I took my glasses off and realised quite how dark the glasses made the ‘experience’. I preferred the 2D, which shouldn’t be a surprise.

Anyway, all-in-all this film surprised me with how good it was even though the shadow of the old trilogy has barely shuffled over the horizon. There were some scenes that could have been cut for a bit more action, but then how would they set up the story line for the inevitable sequels? I would say that it outshone Spider-Man 1 and 3, but still not quite as goon as the second Raimi film. definitely worth a watch, though perhaps not for young kids as one father at a screening I was at had to take his upset child (of no more than 5) out before The Lizard even showed up.

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4 Responses to “Review: The Amazing Spider-Man”

  1. Nathaniel South Says:

    you spelt scenes wrong Mr Tom! I still love you though! (Here for reference: ‘The humour is well placed and the scences of tragedy’).

  2. Man, a copyeditor versus a blogger!

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