Directed by Marc Webb (apt surname..)
Starring Emma Stone, Andrew Garfield and Rhys Ifans
Rebooted, reinvented, rewritten. Just a selection of synonyms used by director Marc Webb while trying to avoid the taboo word in cinema: remake. But let’s face it, The Amazing Spider-Man is precisely a remake of Sam Raimi’s film from 2002. Many critics have claimed that it is simply too soon to reinvent the franchise already, and part of Amateur Reviews agrees with that. However, from a Sony point of view, it makes perfect sense. To freshen up one of the only Marvel superheroes missing from Avengers Assemble before embarking on a sequel seems like excellent timing.
The plot shares the main back bone with Raimi’s previous offering: nerdy school boy who lives with his Uncle and Aunt gets bitten by a spider and develops web slinging talent. The difference being that Webb has tried to focus more on the individual characters and look further into Peter Parker’s back story. Trouble is, a lot of these extra plot threads which seem to make The Amazing Spider-Man different to your generic superhero movie seem to be lost by the final explosive act. But credit to Webb, he has incorporated some of the quirk from (500) Days of Summer and the exchanges between Parker and his love interest, Gwen Stacy, really capture the awkwardness of youth.
Our two leads are superb. Andrew Garfield is great, given the fact he’s a lot older than a 17 year old, he is extremely convincing in his mannerisms and posture. We all knew his was a fair actor after The Social Network, but Spider-Man has cemented him as one of the most talented youngsters currently working in Hollywood. As far as comparing to Toby McGuire’s portrayal, Garfield’s Parker is a lot edgier with better hair and mad skate boarding skills: but the same character spirit remains. Emma Stone stars as Gwen Stacy, daughter of NYPD policeman who is hunting down her beau. Stone concocts her signature balance between sex appeal and goof ball, terrifically endearing. Rhys Ifans is the villain of the piece, and it’s hard to hate him, as he only goes off the rails as he is so driven to do good. Still, he’s nonetheless impressive and different enough from the Green Goblin to be original.
The Amazing-Spiderman, as a stand alone film, is cracking. Except the issue is it’s not stand alone. Every other week it seems a new superhero movie is released. The Avengers was one tough act to follow, and The Amazing Spider-Man was not dramatically better than its predecessor, not to mention Iron Man, Thor and Captain America. The Amazing Spider-Man lacks what Nolan’s Dark Knight had by the bucket load: character acting, breath taking action sequences, darkness and a complexly intricate plot. Even so, this is a quality summer block buster, with good acting and some striking visuals, it’s good fun and so very worth a watch.