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When I heard they were rebooting Spiderman, I admit I despaired. Not because the original films were so hot, because they weren't, but more because the thought of another remake/ reboot/ call it what you will it's the same damn thing, made me want to just curl up and die.
Even putting this on, and I had to watch it as a long time Spidey fan, I had my doubts. These were not made any better by my first sight of Andrew Garfield.
'OMG, what have they done? He's a skater boy!' Was my first cry. Then something happened...
Was it the script, was it the fact that everyone in this acted so damn good, was it because it stayed almost entirely more faithful to nhe comics than Sam Raimi ever did?
Actually, it was a combination of all three. I am now convinced.
Andrew Garfield IS Spiderman!!!
The script follows Peter Parker's original story: bit by a radioactive spider, he develops spider- like abilities and, after the death of his Uncle Ben, goes onto become one of Marvel's mightiest heroes.
In this film, it is all about The Lizard. Doc Connors wants to replace a missing limb and uses a genetic procedure involving lizards to make it regrow at Oscorp, the company he works for.
Of course it goes wrong and Parker is forced to take on his old mentor to try and stop the Lizard from rampaging through town. There's more to it than that but to say any more would give it away.
This film expertly sets things up for future installments. It introduces Oscorp as a company responsible for genetic experimentation and is where Parker first gains his powers. Gwen Stacey is introduced as a love interest as well she should be and there are glimpses and hints of Oscorp's ailing founder, Norman Osbourn.
With star turns from Stan Lee, Sally Fields and Martin Sheen, the only thing missing hee is J.Jonah Jameson!
Even the Daily Bugle gets a cameo, as does Parker's early journalism career!
Ignore the critics, this film is superb. This is how good it is: as soon as it finished myself and my wife looked up when the new one is released and swore we would see that one at the cinema!
This really is Spidey's best outing to date and I simply loved it.
Bring on The Sinister Six!
Star - Spiderman
Genre - Comic Book
Run Time - 136 minutes
Certificate - PG13
Country - USA
Blockbuster Rental- £1.49 per night
Amazon -£5.00 DVD (£7.00 Blue Ray)
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Its 50 years since Stan Lee's Spiderman first leaped into our imaginations, and after young Toby McGuire had to hang up the suit its step forward Andrew Garfield. Maguire didn't want to go willingly like any self respecting James Bond would after an excellent trilogy, Sam Raimi, Maguire and the studio falling out with Sony Pictures after they couldn't agree the way forward on Spiderman 4, Raimi hating the script so much he walked out. There is no Mary Jane, either, so the irritating Kirsten Dunst also asked to leave the building when Sony decided to start again. That I can live with but my word McGuire was good, he and Christian Bale's Batman saving what had become a very camp and tacky genre over the decade.
It's a big ask for a relatively unknown American born British actor like Garfield to carry such a huge franchise, the Amazing Spiderman budget coming in at $230 million. You do the first film you have to do at least two more or you could face a hefty lawsuit. The 30-year-old Brit is now dating the beautiful and intelligent Emma Stone for reward. He seemed to gain favor after good a performance in the overrated 'The Social Network', and with the appropriately named and equally inexperienced Marc Web (500 Days of Summer) named alongside as director, the spideysense was tingling here for trouble to come. Happily, to use an Americanism, they smashed it; bringing in $750 million dollars, the 50th highest grossing film of all time.
Andrew Garfield .... Spider-Man / Peter Parker
Emma Stone ... Gwen Stacy
Rhys Ifans ... The Lizard / Dr. Curt Connors
Denis Leary ... Captain Stacy
Martin Sheen ... Uncle Ben
Sally Field ... Aunt May
Irrfan Khan ... Rajit Ratha
Campbell Scott ... Richard Parker
Embeth Davidtz ... Mary Parker
Chris Zylka ... Flash Thompson
Max Charles ... Peter Parker (Age 4)
=== The Plot===
Quiet high school kid and school photographer Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is bullied but clever, abandoned by his parents when he was very young, dumping their kid on relatives after fleeing the authorities for mysterious reasons. Ever since then he has been looked after by his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field) after his parents were killed in a plane crash on the run.
Things are about to change when Peter discovers an old briefcase belonging to his scientist father, a man called Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), it holds a clue to what dad was working on when he fled. OSCORP is the location, a genetics company downtown working with animal and incest enzymes and soon Parker is their head office looking for answers, where he goes off-piste by exploring an off limits lab where he gets bitten by a spider. Connor and his boss Rajit Ratha (Irrfan Khan) believe that a small tweaked thread of spider DNA can change patient's chances of surviving multiple sclerosis, an unseen OSCORP client in need of that cure and so paying big for secret experiments, one that Parker is unwittingly now part of.
Peter quickly develops spidey skills from his bite and getting to grips with his new super powers, whilst also developing a reciprocal crush on high school hotty Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone).
When tragedy strikes his family it's the first true test of his crime fighting skills, scouring the town to find his man, driven by the guilt of the event. He is also trying to build trust with Connor, the professor unaware of Peter's powers but aware of whom the kid is, helping Connors solve a scientific equation by using his dads work in that briefcase. But can the doc be trusted with that knowledge?
Gwen's dad is the local police chief (Denis Leary), a man that is about to go up against the mysterious man in the spider suit, the superhero quickly labeled a villain by the press after one or two misconceptions about the webbed one. But the city is about to have bigger problems and they are going to need the man in the funny suit if they are going to get anywhere near tackling them.
It's a more intellectual Peter Parker this time around and like Dr David Bannister (the Hulk), can make his own kit, suit and web shooters. No avuncular Michael Caine or Morgan Freeman to do the techy stuff or deliver the wise words here, a break from comic book convention. All superheroes need butlers.
It's a much darker film than the Toby McGuire ones and homage clearly being paid to Christopher Nolan's brilliant Batman trilogy. The boyishness has gone from the franchise and not surprisingly too, Garfield not young at 28 and Emma Stone a worldly 25-years-old, not really looking their film age and so a little off-putting. The fact Garfield looks like Andy Murray is the real issue for me though.
It's a good hour before the suit goes on and the serious crime fighting starts as Garfield gets into a good rhythm after the scene is set. Nearly all of the all - important web swinging scenes are shot at night in the city and you expect that is to make sure the realism sticks from the first three Raimi films, a bit of raw director insecurity on show, maybe. If you don't get that key special effect right you don't have a comic book movie in this modern CGI age. It was so often the case that the camp superhero films of the 1970s and 80s simply didn't have the special effects to make them credible, all capes and pump fists. Now is the perfect time to be creating comic book action movies.
There are a few twist and tweaks on those Spiderman conventions here, none more so than the airbrushing of Mary Jane and the Daily Tribunes J.Jonah Jameson stuff. I'm not complaining that Kirsten Dunst has gone but I'm pretty sure the newspaper side of things is all important to the original comic book. But we will see where it all goes and that redaction probably why Raimi jumped ship.
Like the Judge Dredd relaunch its good stuff, entertaining and pacey, action packed and fun. It's suitable for most ages and has more of a young adult appeal than the Batman films. Garfield is great in the lead and brings a cerebral edge to proceedings and kind of cool that a classy and smart actress like Emma Stone would be willing to play second fiddle although you get the feeling that she will play a much bigger role in the trilogy the way Gwyneth 'Pepper Potts' Paltrow does in Iron Man as the trilogy rolled on. I think it's fair to say that Spiderman is in safe hands and you can be reassured your not seeing the same film all over again.
Imdb.com - 7.1/10.0 (272,456 votes)
Metacrtic.com - 66% critic's approval
Rottentomatos.com -73 % critic's approval
Director Marc Webb talks about his movie
Printable archive picks for comic book fans
Fox News.com -' The Amazing Spider-Man" would be amazing if we didn't just see it a few years ago'.
Daily Telegraph - 'what it feels like to be a spider, especially when tied to the emotions of a teenager'.
The Times -' This umphundredth origin story of a nerdy outsider turned unlikely crime fighter is surprisingly enjoyable'.
Film.com -' If you've seen half a dozen superhero films, and the box office results suggest you have, then you've also seen what "The Amazing Spider-Man" has to offer'.
American Statesman -' The recasting works. If Maguire is the Spider-Man of Spidey co-creator Steve Ditko, this is the Spider-Man of artist John Romita: a little slicker, a little more modern. Spider-Man in skinny jeans, if you will'.
The Sun -' For a superhero origin film, it's pretty good, but it's hardly amazing'.
Efilmcritic.com -' I go to a Spider-Man movie to see the guy duke it out with powerful bad guys. I'm simple that way.'.
Screenrant.com -' The potential is there for a much bigger, better, Spider-Man movie universe to come, even if this movie doesn't fully realize that potential'.
I was eagerly anticipating this movie when it hit the cinemas knowing this would be a reboot- I loved the original trilogy starring Tobey Maguire and I felt this movie would detract from the original, but add more depth and story as it focuses on a different time of Peter Parker's life.
The movie begins with young Peter Parker being taken to his aunt and uncle's house whilst his parents go away for business, only to result in their tragic death. Zipping to his high school years where he's at the bottom of the social spectrum, he discovers a satchel left by his father that will change his life.
After seeing a photo of his father with a colleague, it leads Peter to Oscorp, a company exploring cross species genetics. After bumping into Gwen Stacy, his high school crush, he explores the facilities and ends up being bitten by a spider... transforming him into Spiderman.
As he learns to harness his new found powers, a tragedy happens, challenging him to use his powers for good. When a new evil arises in the city, it is up to him to stop 'The Lizard' before it's too late.
The pace of the movie was average, with a lot of build up and character development to start the movie with, which is understandable given this is a reboot and they want to pack as much information in as possible. But it did start to drag.
The linear plot line also did not help to ease as you expect most of what happens to happen, just how. The lack of twists and turns weakened the plot, but there was still a lot to love.
Themes from the comics and the first movie seemed to reoccur, bringing what you loved most from the first set of films to this. One of the most anticipated scenes was the highly talked about kiss scene. Many speculated how it could top the upside down kiss of the first film- since becoming an iconic cinema moment- and I have to say they didn't do a bad job. It was slick, but iconic would be going too far.
As soon as the world vigilante popped up I couldn't help but think of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy- the dark tones which seemed to creep into this movie. It wasn't bad but I felt it could've had its own spin.
Both the characterisations of Peter Parker and the villain 'The Lizard' were done extremely well. The character development of Peter was diverse and shed new light to his personality, whilst the villain was relatable and wasn't all that typical.
Once the groundwork was set, the film sped up and it was definitely an enjoyable climax, with a satisfactory ending which doesn't just finish, but give you an appropriate conclusion. And if you watched till the end of the credits, you'll see a potential hint to the next film which is scheduled for 2014. Can't wait. I'm sure it'll be slicker than the first.
Andrew Garfield- Peter Parker
Emma Stone- Gwen Stacy
Sally Field- Aunt May
Martin Sheen- Uncle Ben
Rhys Ifans- Dr. Curt Conners/ Rhys Ifans
Andrew Garfield was perfectly cast for the role of Peter Parker, bringing a combination of shy geeky awkwardness and a cool confidence when transformed. The chemistry between Garfield and Stone is astounding and sweet- no wonder they're dating in real life. Stone has a sass about her which can be seen in her other movie roles (The Help, Easy A), which makes her a non-typical actress.
'The Amazing Spiderman' was a solid reboot, offering a deep serving of character building in the beginning and edge of the seat action towards the end, with a hint of romance and a giant lizard. Whilst the plot was linear, it wasn't shallow but could do with more twists and turns. Let's hope the second movie will take us to that next level of cinema this could potentially be.
About the film
The Amazing Spider-Man is a 2012 superhero film, which has a DVD release date of 26th November. The film is rated 12A due to violence and action and it has a run time of 136 minutes. This film is a reboot of the Spiderman series, with the other series starring Toby Maguire now being cancelled.
Peter Parker is your average teenager. He's had a rough upbringing with his parents leaving him in the care of his aunt and uncle and later disappearing. Peter doesn't have the best time at school either and struggles to make friends. Upon finding his father's briefcase, Peter begins to ask questions about what his Dad really did. Knowing that his Dad used to work with Dr Curt Connors, Peter heads to Oscorp to discover the possibilities of what his Dad could have been working on. However, here Peter encounters some radical theories on genetic development and after an accident with a spider biting him, he becomes to realise he has powers.
Peter must learn how to live with these new found powers and to learn how to make them work for him before a crazy lizard threatens to change everything forever.
Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker / Spider-Man
Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy
Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors / Lizard
Denis Leary as Captain George Stacy
Martin Sheen as Ben Parker
Sally Field as May Parker
Irrfan Khan as Dr. Rajit Ratha
Chris Zylka as Flash Thompson
What I thought
I really enjoyed the Spider Man Trilogy which has been brought out since 2002. However, by the third film I was beginning to get a bit bored of it and I never really liked Toby Maguire as Peter Parker. When I found out about there being a reboot, I was excited as it looked far more interesting.
So, this version, The Amazing Spider-Man shows a slightly different side to Peter Parker and his story while still keeping some aspects of the original trilogy. Peter is still a geeky teenager, this time with a skateboard in tow. He's still into photography, he's still a geeky science lover (due to what his father does/ did) and he doesn't have friends and gets picked on at school. However, there is no Mary Jane in this film and instead we have the love interest in the form of another girl.
As I didn't like Toby Maguire, I was just as unsure of Andrew Garfield who I had never heard of before this film, maybe that was why I was so unsure. However, I liked him a whole lot more as Peter. While he played a geeky character, he was not quite as strange as Toby Maguire. I found his character (even though it was the same character) to me much more likeable and I warmed to him quickly. I also thought he showed a much braver and stronger side to him than I was expecting which I thought was a good addition to him. I also found the way in which he became Spider-Man to be more interesting, although again, pretty much done in the same way.
I think a lot of this was due to the plot differences. I loved the inclusion of Dr. Curt Connors who was played by Rhys Ifans. As Dr. Connors was Peter's father's partner, there was a background story to discover. Although I think this could have been done in a bit more detail, I think it gave Peter a great reason for going to Oscorp in the first place. He wanted to find out more about his parents and he knew that only Dr. Connors could have explained anything about what happened/ about what his father was like. I felt a real connection between these two characters early on in the film which was a nice touch. Ifans was fantastic as Dr. Connors who later turns into Lizard.
In comparison to the other Spider Man film, I preferred this villain due to there being a sort of awkward friendship between the two characters, which wasn't there in the other film. When Dr. Connors becomes Lizard, he changes completely into an angry and resentful person (?). I loved how this showed exactly what the effects of untested drugs could do to a person, along with the obvious problem of being turned into a lizard. Ifans was able to be a nice character and show sympathy and empathy whilst also playing someone who was mean and hateful.
I absolutely loved Emma Stone as the love interest Gwen. She was one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to see this film to begin with as I have loved her in everything she has been in. Her character is slowly brought in to Peter's life as he begins to get to grips with his abilities. She has an interesting family relationship, which affects Peter very much as he becomes Spider-Man. These things mixed in with her personality and likeability, made her a great character and one which really made the film better overall. I do think that she could have been used more in a few places but I'm hoping the next film brings in her character more.
Yes, there will be a sequel. Or a few. If this first film is anything to go by though, I think this will be a fantastic series overall and I can't wait for the next release in 2014 now.
Too soon? Too late? Whatever your opinion is on the timing of the arrival of a new, rebooted (a popular trend sweeping across Hollywood these days) Spider-Man film, the franchise is set to get going with a fresh batch of faces, ideas and director. The unimaginative title, clearly a product of the original comic book this is based on, does very little to impress or put some serious tone into a franchise that is trying to reinvent itself. You might be a touch disappointed to discover that in the end, this new version has very little original to tell, since the Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire team did such a competent job at delivering the origins story ten years ago. Yes, it's only been ten years since the first film, and five since the most recent outing.
A lot remains the same: perhaps too much, although the opening scene does promise something else entirely. We see a young Peter Parker, walking through is father's office which has been broken into. His father (Campbell Scott), looks worried and decides to drop the young Peter at his brother's house, under the care of Peter's Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Marin Sheen). The parents disappear, never to be heard from again. It's when the young Peter Parker grows up (Andrew Garfield) that we start getting a direct flashback of what we've seen before. As a skateboarding recluse who gets picked on by the school bully (Chris Zylka), he has an awkward crush on Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). Being a science nerd doesn't help with the popularity, and his inquisitive mind takes him to a fancy lab where next generation science research is taking place under the supervision of Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), an ex-colleague of Peter's father who looks like the typical evil, disturbed scientist with a shady background.
So surprise, surprise, the film's main and quite possibly only villain turns out to be this deranged man who believes in a massive scientific development that goes a touch wonky when he himself becomes the lab rat for his genius serum of DNA splicing and recombination. To cut to the chase, he turns himself into a giant lizard, terrorising the once peaceful city of New York. To prevent chaos, Parker must race against the clock, brush up on his skills of becoming Spider-Man and protect his loved ones. The adjustment period is lightly covered with fairly humourous elements but is ultimately undone by the ridiculous amount of staggeringly brilliant DIY the unreasonably clever Parker manages to complete within a matter of hours. This time, Peter Parker is equipped with fancy web-shooting gadgets which he invents himself. Calling a character a science-whizz and nerd doesn't immediately give the director (Marc Webb) a free pass to cook up anything he pleases, which he enjoys doing too much here.
Once we get past the period in which Spider-Man fights petty criminals and enjoys his new-found powers (and appallingly, that tacky, first-person game-like view of Spider-Man roaming around the city rooftops which was used in some of the film's ill-advised advertisement, is incorporated into the film), he needs to go face to face with the real antagonist. Further disappointment follows as all Spider-Man can really do as an action hero is rather limited. He has speed and agility, and don't forget the shooting webs, but other than that his ability to take on a hilarious over exaggerated villain (both in terms of size and importance) doesn't fare well. Therefore whatever action we get feels tame, despite the skillful camerawork and angles that capture all the hectic twists and bends that occur with the fights.
More successfully done however are the human aspects of Peter Parker, portrayed so wonderfully by Garfield who should have no trouble winning over new fans, as well as continuing on with the popular franchise. His timid, awkward and shy personality is conveyed so convincingly by even the smallest movements from the actor's face, and he makes for an incredibly likable and somewhat relatable hero. He does undergo a dangerously cheeky personality change moments after he starts donning the Spider-Man costume that verges on turning him into an arrogant scumbag who needs a good reality check, but he is soon grounded by the lizard that is clearly no match for him.
Yet another highly excellent addition to the cast is the cool and beautiful Stone, who has her share of shy and timid moments opposite the similar Garfield that leads to some priceless high-school love-confession scenes that bring about a welcome but much necessary side plot of a blossoming romance. She also is a much less whiny and annoying version of Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane Watson, also displaying some intelligence despite the usual role of "damsel in distress" she is at times stuck with. In the usual scenario, the girlfriends are always far too slow to find things out, and are irritatingly blind when it comes to reading our hero's true feelings. So thank goodness Stone's character never falls to that usual trap and catches on quickly. With Stacy, we are also introduced to her family members, and her father (Denis Leary) turns out to be Captain Stacy, i.e. the guy who is in charge of hunting down Spider-Man, someone who the strict police chief believes to be a masked vigilante, a dangerous individual who should not be taking the law into his own hands. This little tension and friction make way for yet another highly amusing moment of comic relief around a dinner table, as small, slightly inconsiderate remarks coming from Parker manage to quickly offend the Captain.
That remains to be this reboot's trouble - with the humans and quick dialogue, the film more than adequately delivers. But it's when it comes to the action there are too many underwhelming sequences that severely lack any adrenaline-fuelled fun. Ifans is a suitably insane and chilling bad guy, but there is a lack of anything that strongly defines a dramatic showdown. More lizards do make brief appearances, thanks to Dr. Connors' master-plan, but this goes down the drain as everything wraps up so quickly and fails to build up any sort of tension. It is all solved by a genius machine that literally creates "The Antidote" (seriously, those words are what get typed in to save the day). Talk about a let-down ending. The film's one last attempt to salvage the ominous tone in its post-credit scene also falls flat, as by that point hardly anyone would be interested, and the overdone ambiguity will spark very little curiosity. There will of course, be a sequel. And for that to be a resounding success, only one aspect needs to be improved. The film needs to find footing in the kick-ass action.
Despite being a big superhero fan I was finding it hard to get excited about the Amazing Spider-man. For the most part I enjoyed the Sam Rami trilogy, which helped start the trend of turning comic books into blockbuster movies, so I was hoping to see the established series continue. Instead, after a messy third film, Rami gets axed and we get to sit through yet another reboot. My expectations of the movie were lowered even further when I heard the project was being handled by an inexperienced director whose only other feature film is a romantic comedy. Did they just pick Marc Webb because he has a spider themed surname?
One of the reasons that reboots irk me is because, more often than not, they end up retelling the character's origin. I'm already acquainted with the Spider-man mythos so can't we just skip all that and adapt a more interesting tale from the Marvel library instead? No such luck. A good chunk of the Amazing Spider-man deals with how Spidey got into the crime fighting game. Evidently the studio has no faith that movie goers, interested in the film, might already know how geeky Peter Parker got superpowers from a spider bite. At least they try to come at the story from a different angle focusing how Peter, who is in the care of his aunt and uncle, deals with being abandoned by his parents at a young age.
Andrew Garfield is the new Peter Parker/Spider-man and although his performance wasn't bad it wasn't significantly better than Tobey Maguire's take on the character. Many reviewers retroactively criticise Maguire's work in the Rami trilogy, but I think he pulled off the "nerd with a heart of gold" part better than Garfield. This version of Parker comes across as more angsty, although that may due to his hairdo which resembles Edward from Twilight. In costume Garfield handles the Spider-man quips better than his predecessor, but the witty banter Spider-man is known for doesn't get dished out as often as you would think. The only examples I can recall were a hilarious bit where he confronts a knife wielding thug (which you may have seen in the trailers) and an exchange between him and the movie's main villain which to be honest was rather corny. Overall Garfield was okay although I got peeved at him constantly removing his mask in mid-combat to grace the audience with his dashing good looks.
Peter's love interest in the movie is Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) instead of Mary Jane. This decision may have been taken to differentiate the movie from the Rami films or because Marvel is trying to pretend that the MJ relationship never happened after erasing their marriage via a deal with the devil (I wish I was making that up.) Emma Stone has more chemistry with Garfield than Kirsten Dunst had with Tobey Maguire, although I think the love story in the Rami films developed more naturally due to better writing. In this movie Peter has just one date with Gwen (a disastrous dinner with the family) before becoming smitten to the point of being comfortable enough to reveal his secret identity to her. Either way I cannot fault Stone's acting and I am pleased to report that Gwen's role in the story was more than just a tacked on romance for the girlies to swoon over.
Denis Leary plays Gwen's father who happens to be a captain in the local police force. He seems to have taken the mantle of Jonah Jameson who chastises Spider-man for being a dangerous vigilante. From what I remember in the comics the character was more supportive of the hero and even asked Peter to take care of his daughter. In this movie, although he eventually changes his opinion on the loveable web head, he never seems to approve of the Parker/Stacy relationship and flat out tells Peter to keep his distance from her. The Captain Stacy from the comic book pages was more fleshed out and likeable, in my opinion, which is a shame. Had the onscreen version of the character been more relatable certain story elements would have had more impact in my eyes.
My biggest disappointment with the film would have to be the antagonist of the piece - Curt Connors, a former acquaintance of Peter's dad. In the comics Connors (aka the Lizard) is presented as a tragic villain you can sympathise with. He's a research scientist who wants to use reptilian DNA to restore his lost arm. Desperate to overcome his disability, with his wife and son used as the source of his motivation, he prematurely experiments on himself transforming into a monster. The movie version, smothered by the lengthy Spider-man origin, lacks the touching back story which hurts the character. What we get instead is a scientist who gets sacked and in a moment of desperation injects himself with an untested formula. The end result is his transformation into the manic Lizard who wants to turn the populace into cold blooded scaly humanoids because it's the sort of thing bad guys do.
The visual effects didn't help endear me to the character either. The CGI version of the Lizard doesn't have a snout which makes him look very un-lizard like. If I had to describe the design of the character I would say that it looks like the enemies from the Super Mario movie mixed with a generic monster you would see battling the hulk. In most scenes he doesn't even sport his trademark lab coat, instead preferring to engage in diabolic deeds in the buff. The action scenes between Spider-man and the Lizard weren't as amazing as the title would suggest either. Yes the special effects aren't as dated as what we got in the Rami movies, but seeing Spidey swing across the city isn't that impressive now that we have seen better in other superhero films.
For the most part I have been a tad harsh when describing the movie because despite it's faults I found it to be entertaining. Had the villain been better I would have awarded the movie an extra star. Some choice editing would have also helped in regards to pacing too. It feels like ages before Peter dons the legendary costume and towards the end I did start to lose interest as the aftermath to the story dragged the running time to the two hour mark. There's nothing wrong with the Amazing Spider-man, but I liked its predecessors better. It's a mid-tier superhero movie whilst the first two Spider-man movies rank amongst my favourite in the genre. Compared to the other films it has a darker tone which doesn't suit the character, but was probably incorporated to the story because the studio wants to capture what has worked so well for Batman. Don't get me wrong, it's a fine superhero film but it does feel like something that was churned out as Sony need to produce a new film every few years to retain the Spider-man rights. I'm sure the Amazing Spider-man will do well in cinemas, in the short term, but in a season including the Avengers and Dark Knight Rises I doubt it will be memorable enough to be remembered a few months down the road.
Reboots are everywhere at the moment; everything's going retro, but using bigger and better technology to do it. It was actually another of these reworked reimaginings that I'd intended to see at the weekend - Christopher Nolan's hyper-hyped third part of his Batman franchise, but such was the queue to see it on any screen, let alone on IMAX, I ended up with this less stellar offering.
The fact that I wasn't enormously excited about seeing the new Spiderman probably reflects the decision to junk the previous trilogy and start over again. After a promising first film with Tobey Maguire as the web-slinging protagonist, film two was fun but silly and film three featuring a lot of shark-jumping. As much as anything, Maguire just wasn't a terribly convincing superhero.
Enter new blood, then - director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) and star Andrew Garfield (Never Let Me Go), and a new approach to the series. There's nothing radically different from the previous three films here - not in the way that Batman Begins marked a clear break from its predecessors - but it does feel like there's a slightly stronger emphasis on character development here. The film seems more preoccupied by Spiderman's background and the mythology that surrounds him, and the character's inner turmoil is pushed to the fore. This was a theme in Sam Raimi's movies, but it often seemed like lip-service to the idea, whereas Webb manages to get under his hero's skin (and Spidy-suit).
The director acknowledges this, saying, "I think we saw the origin of Spider-Man before but not the origin of Peter Parker." This makes a real difference to the character and underpins everything in the film.
The plot is constrained in a sense by the fact that this is another genesis-story. We know we're going to see certain scenes - the spider-bite, the transformation, the growing power/responsibility struggles, his uncle's influence - so there's an extent to which the film's fairly predictable. That said, the scenes are so well-done, and Garfield is such a charismatic, magnetic presence, you hardly notice that you've seen it all before.
The film's villain brings another twist to proceedings, and contributes greatly to the feeling of depth in the film - you always get the sense that there's so much more to the Spiderman world, and so many more stories the filmmakers want to tell you, and Dr Curt Connors is a big part of this. A former colleague of Peter Parker's father, he knows more than he's letting on about Parker's background and family, but that's evidently a story for another film (the sequel is out in two years). This time round, we focus on his struggles to perfect his wonder drug, which aims to harness the regenerative power of lizard DNA to rebuild damaged human bodies. Missing an arm himself, Connors hopes to be one of the first beneficiaries of his work.
Inadvertently, Parker's interest in his own past hands Connors the missing part of the drug's makeup, and the initial trials seem to work. Love interest Gwen Stacey (an impressive Emma Stone) appears on the scene too, and all seems to be going relatively swimmingly. Needless to say, this doesn't last. Bad things happen on the drug front, new villain the Lizard makes an appearance, and the film does its superhero thing and swings into save-the-world action.
This part of the film - the stunts and visuals - is impressive, but there's not so much of an impact here - we've seen it before, more or less. That's not a criticism, but it's the characters that make this film more than the action for me.
Garfield's a brilliant young actor, someone who can juggle nuances of personality with ease and make a person - even such a well-known comic book creation - feel wholly real. He's perfect for the role, and has the physical presence and swagger to play Spiderman as well as he does Peter Parker. He's also capable of darker turns than Maguire - he can play the hero, but he spends parts of the film being a bit of a jerk, which works. Despite there being a predictable arc to his acquiring of superpowers, Garfield steers the character safely away from stereotype.
Rhys Ifans does a fine job as Connors/The Lizard - another character who is conflicted and at war with himself, echoing Parker's troubles. Backed by an excellent supporting cast, there's barely a foot put wrong throughout the film (although the CGI Lizard looks a little odd).
Ultimately, this film did what the best movies do: it surprised me (albeit partly because I had low expectations). It's turned a failing franchise into something fresh and invigorated, and I'll certainly be in the queue for part two.
There were more than a few eyebrows raised when Columbia announced it was re-booting the Spider-Man franchise so soon. After all, apart from using a new villain where was there for the web slinger to go? With the arrival of The Amazing Spider-Man, we can now find out for ourselves.
Peter Parker is your typical teenager battling hormones and high school traumas. Unlike other school kids, though, Parker develops some amazing powers when he is bitten by a genetically modified spider and takes up fighting crime to avenge the death of his uncle.
The plotting is rather utilitarian at best and (considering the wealth of material there is to draw on) actually rather weak. At times, the film covers too much old ground (the origin story is re-told with only a few minor modifications) and you're left wondering whether it will have anything new to say. At other times, things are rather too convenient. Dr Curt Connors, for example, has been working in the field of cross-species genetics for over 15 years and been making only slow progress. Along comes Peter Parker and, based on a quick reading of his father's old notes and a couple of textbooks, comes up with a breakthrough that enables Connors to make some major leaps forward that just happen to have a bearing on the plot!
It's also rather obvious and slightly clunky at times. Who'd have thought, for example, that one of Spidey's early acts of heroism might be repaid later in the film? Or that a piece of equipment that is talked about at some length for no apparent reason in an early scene might be quite important later on? This is comic book plotting at its worst, treating the viewer like an idiot who needs everything explained to them.
Pacing is a little awry too. Possibly because it deals with elements that will already be familiar to most viewers (Spider-Man's origin story) the first section drags. Some scenes can be very dialogue heavy (with inadvertently cheesy lines to boot) and the whole thing feels rather ponderous.
Thankfully, the pacing picks up once Spider-Man has a worthy foe to fight and the presence of The Lizard livens things up considerably. Sure, the plot never gets above a utilitarian thing to justify a human spider and a human lizard slugging it out, but at least it makes for some exciting and watchable set-pieces. It's just a shame that the final scrap is over all too quickly (with a vomit-inducing "Hooray for New Yorkers" interlude that will jar horribly with non-Americans). Even when things are going well in The Amazing Spider-Man, it all feels a little sterile and empty. It certainly lacks the depth and emotional range of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 1 and 2.
At least the choice of villain is reasonable and The Lizard works better than I expected. I was slightly concerned that the idea of a human-dinosaur hybrid running around New York would clash with the darker, grittier realism that the rest of the film is aiming for. Yet aside from the fact that it relies on the much over-used genetic manipulation idea for a plot point, it was actually well-handled. The Lizard is used in a convincing way, integrating him into the grittier surroundings effectively and making him a worthy opponent for ol' Web Head/
Cast-wise, things mostly fall onto the shoulders of young (ish) Andrew Garfield. Thankfully, as he proved in The Social Network, he is more than up to the task. His Parker is a curious mix of angry, moody Emo teen and happy-go-lucky chap who just wants to help. It's a slightly confused characterisation, but one which works somehow works against the odds. Garfield portrays him as a typical teenager, full of uncertainty, arrogance and subject to wild mood swings and whilst the characterisation is sometimes a little uneven, Garfield himself is excellent, proving engaging and charismatic as both Parker and his web-slinging alter-ego.
The uneven characterisation does cause a few issues tonally. On the one hand, the writers clearly want to take Spider-Man down the Dark Knight path of gloomy, grim and gritty, but this is not necessarily where Spider-Man is strongest. Indeed, it's noticeable that one of the film's better sections (a mid-film scrap between Spidey and The Lizard) is one which gives rise to the wise-cracking Spider-Man from the comics. Spidey's not really a Dark Knight Vigilante, he's more the smart-mouthed kind and the film needed to make more of this. Thankfully, the assured presence of Garfield means that it (just about) works.
Elsewhere, the cast is given less chance to shine. Emma Stone looks far too old to be playing a High School Teen and is essentially reduced to a bog standard female role as love interest Gwen Stacey. Rhys Ifans is perfectly acceptable, but nothing special as Curt Connors/The Lizard. He's never really sufficiently menacing as The Lizard, nor sympathetic enough as the scientist driven to desperate measures that have tragic consequences
And now let's address the elephant in the room. No matter how acceptable The Amazing Spider-Man might be, you can never quite shake the feeling that Sam Raimi's trilogy has already done it all, and done it better. Doc Ock had a similar character arc in Spider-Man 2 and made a far more sympathetic villain; the burgeoning romance between Peter and Mary-Jane was far more emotional and convincing than that between Parker and Stacey; the plotting tighter and more interesting. The Amazing Spider-Man is not necessarily a bad film; it's just that Sam Raimi's trilogy is still too fresh in the mind. Inevitably, you end up comparing them and Raimi's films (particularly the first two) come out on top in almost every respect.
Every respect that is except one: the special effects are (as you might expect) significantly better than Raimi's already excellent effects. I could have done without the corny point-of-view shots of Spider-Man swinging through New York (complete with outstretched arms shooting webbing), but everything else is excellent. Sequences featuring Spidey swinging through New York, bouncing off sky-scrapers and racing from building to building are genuinely exhilarating. The Lizard is rendered well and the fight sequences between the two foes excellent. For once, the use of 3D is fully justified and it is integrated into the film well and used effectively. This is one film I'd definitely recommend you see in 3D to get the full, impressive impact of the effects.
Perhaps as might be expected, then, The Amazing Spider-Man is entertaining but not essential. The decision to reboot the franchise from scratch has a detrimental effect on the pacing of the film but once the action gets going, it's perfectly fine as a superhero movie. It's just a shame that unlike Raimi's or Nolan's game changers it does little to move the super hero genre forwards.
Not so much The Amazing Spider-Man then, as The Perfectly Acceptable Spider-Man. But I guess a title like that probably wouldn't have sold quite so many tickets or DVDs.
The Amazing Spider-Man
Director: Marc Webb
Running time: Approx. 136 minutes
© Copyright SWSt 2012
Spider-Man is my all time favourite super hero and I was dismayed to find out that they were going to remaking the films without Tobey McGuire. One of my pet peeves about movies is remakes that have completely different actors, though, of course, this only applies to remakes that are made fairly shortly after the originals. I was even more annoyed to find out that Andrew Garfield had been cast to play the lead role. My opinion of him at the time was less than favourable and I saw him as a skinny, ugly, nerd from The Social Network; however, I soon came round to the idea of him playing Peter Parker. He's grown on me immensely during the past year and now I think that he's a great fit for the role of Spider-Man because he's fit and nerdy, which is basically Peter Parker summed up. I got even more annoyed when I found out that Emma Stone was going to play Gwen Stacy (i.e. Mary-Jane) because in my mind no one can play the Mary-Jane character but Kirsten Dunst, but after watching the trailer I realised that the chemistry between her and Andrew Garfield was actually quite good.
As this is a Spider-Man remake, a lot of the plot lines are similar but not so similar that the film is a complete copy. The basic plot line is the same as the original but it all looks and feels different. The story starts with Peter Parker sneaking into OsCorp to find out information about his father's research and it is there that he gets bitten by the spider that completely changes his life. He immediately begins to feel the bite's effects with sticky fingers and incredible strength and after a fight with the school bully Peter realises he could use his new powers to help people. Peter helps his Dad's old friend, Dr Curt Connors, to create a cure for the dying which seems, at first, to be successful; however, it has devastating side effects causing Dr Connors to turn into a mutant lizard wreaking havoc across the city.
So as I said above, I really wasn't looking forward to a Spider-Man remake, but I have to say that I loved The Amazing Spider-Man and thought it was absolutely fantastic. I was really impressed with the visuals which were certainly a lot more impressive than they were in the original. There were better shots of the city and they managed to make Spider-Man flying through the air look even cooler than last time. There were some really cool shots of Peter Parker in action just as he was getting used to his new skills and it was just little things like that they made a big impression on my brain.
I was worried that the acting wouldn't be up to scratch and that it would ruin the movie, but both Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield are incredible actors so I had no reason for doubt. This pair had great chemistry and I can't wait to see their relationship develop in the sequels. The supporting actors were also superb with appearances from Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Sally Field, Martin Sheen and Chris Zylka. I can't say whether I prefer Andrew Garfield's interpretation of Spider-Man to that of Tobey Maguire because I got quite a different feel from the two films, but they are both excellent. I think I found this new film funnier than I found the original which was an added bonus.
If I were to compare this film with the original, I would have to say that there is less focus on Peter Parker's initial transformation into Spider-Man and his reaction to this. This may seem a little strange but since most people have already seen the original film and know all about what the bite has done to him, I suppose it makes sense that they didn't dwell too long on this. There was also less focus on how the public felt about Spider-Man with little on him as a new hero or the press coverage surrounding him.
I thought that some parts of the story could've done with a bit more development, but the film was already two hours long so I suppose they couldn't really fit more in. The ending to the film was great as it left it on a sort of cliff-hanger with definite room for a sequel which is set to be released in May 2014. I was so happy to hear that this new series will also be a trilogy because that means more Peter Parker for us! The new trilogy will revolve around how Peter is shaped by the disappearance of his parents so there are hints of the original series in the new series.
I highly recommend The Amazing Spider-Man for all - even if you haven't seen the original! It is a brilliant film with stunning visuals, great acting and a well written story. There are funny bits, cute bits, romantic bits, sexy bits, action bits, sad bits, exciting bits and more. Basically, this movie is awesome - go watch it.
This could possibly be dubbed the best pointless film of the year. Serving as a reboot to a series of films that barely ended yesterday, The Amazing Spiderman goes right back to the beginning of the Spiderman legend, tackling all of the plot points covered in the original Tobey Maguire version. In short, this is merely a remake of a film that was almost a reboot of a kids franchise itself.
Previously Spiderman existed as a tv character, a cartoon hero and a comic book legend, but just over a decade ago, the character was brought to life at the start of a hugely successful trilogy starring Tobey Maguire as the webbed superhero. In this adaption of that same story, Peter Parker is a geeky teen living with his childless aunt and uncle after his parents disappear. After being bitten by a spider on a visit to a laboratory, he finds himself with heightened senses and the ability to scale walls, not to mention extraordinary strength. After the death of a loved one though, he goes on the rampage in search of the killer, and finds himself at odds with the criminal underworld and local law enforcers.
As a standalone movie, this Spiderman is servicable, but as part of the Spiderman legacy, it is unneccessary. It merely repeats the already existing original Spiderman film, although it does add some depth to the once winsome Peter Parker. Even prior to his transformation, there is something deeper and more fragile about this Peter. The 3d effects are also hugely disappointing, and add nothing to the film. For the most part, we barely engage with that element of the film, and only a couple of times do any of the action threaten to spill out of the screen. Save yourself money and see it in 2d.
The acting for the most part lends little extra to the film. British actor, and relative newcomer, Andrew Garfield is entirely capable as Spiderman, giving the require amount of intensity for a rather darker and more brutal Spiderman. The fragility brought to the part by Maguire is still very present though. The rest of actors get less to do, with Sally Field discarded for a large portion of the film, and the always brilliant Martin Sheen given too swift a fate.
The biggest gripe with casting though is with Emma Stone, playing high school senior Gwen with too much maturity and level-headedness to be believable. Early on in the film, she's too grounded to suddenly become the flighty character required to fall for Peter. She's also a little too old to play the part, and this wouldn't normally be an issue for me, but the fact that the character is written older than a high school senior doesn't help or make it any more convincing.
Rhys Ifans is the biggest surprise, virtually unrecognisable at first as the Doctor corrupted by his own work. His is the most complex of characters, caught in a battle between his own conscience and his need for artistic recognition. As he descends further into the belly of the beast, literally, his conscience begins to lose the battle, speeding proceedings up, but lending a daftness to the film that its initial gritiness seemed keen to avoid.
Marc Webb is the director of choice and, having only cut his teeth on 500 days of Summer, delivers the action sequences deftly and convincingly. The progress made in special effects in the last ten years also mean that it looks better than the original Spiderman, its only saving grace in all honesty. Webb also pulls good performances from Garfield and Ifans, but seems to sacrifce the rest of the performances in Garfields wake. In the end this Spiderman serves its purpose as 115 minutes of enjoyable entertainment, but when you take the light up to it, its nothing more than a pale immitation of the superior Tobey Maguire effort.