Director: Marc Webb

Writers: James Vanderbilt, Alvin Sargent and Steve Kloves

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Denis Leary, Sally Field, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen and Irrfan Khan

Studio: Warner Brothers

“The Amazing Spider-Man” is a retelling of Spider-Man’s origin, something we saw only a decade previously with Raimi. As much as they change the details and give this story a very different tone, however, it’s telling us stuff with which we’re already quite familiar. A good chunk of this film, as nicely done as it is, has an unavoidably superfluous quality. At the more sluggish points of the plot, you can’t help but feel like you’d rather be watching Spider-Man IV instead of a reboot of the first movie. If anything, we can say that the creators were borrowing liberally from the late 60s run of Spider-Man where Stan Lee was showing signs that he needed off the book. Everything feels like a rehash with too much attention paid to the parents that left Peter.

Gravity is an actual thing in this film. Swinging isn’t floating. Swinging is falling with style, and through some beautiful camera work and acrobatics, we are reminded that Spider-Man isn’t Superman or Iron Man. He can’t fly. Objects have believable physical properties. When a tower falls, you get a real sense of its mass. CGI is present as it always has been in the new era of sci-fi/fantasy films, and no, it still doesn’t look photo-realistic, but motion capture is utilized to its full potential with today’s technology and most importantly, as said, the physics comes the closest I’ve ever seen a film get to mirroring our real world.

Andrew Garfield’s character didn’t have the inner “dweebiness” that Tobey Maguire’s genius take on the character had. It was a completely different take, one more faithful to the comics, and the new take was more safe in the long run, as people tend to like their heroes more conventional these days. This Peter Parker had a fire underneath him, he was a little violent, and a little selfish at times, but really smart and had the obligatory huge heart. Garfield’s acting is pretty phenomenal, so was the rest of the cast. They were very conscious to make this Peter Parker an already established super-genius before he got bit, to make him special from the start. The plot moved along fine, not dwelling on high school bullies rather, quickly getting into the action and the romance. Although I do think Emma Stone’s character became a little too quickly smitten for Parker for my tastes, it works.

Such interesting character development unfortunately does not hold together perfectly with the action. Of course, Spider-Man is foremost a movie that has to entertain; yet the cocky web-slinging CGI hero seems too unlike Garfield’s brooding Peter Parker. The quality of the special effects is largely inconsistent, with POV scenes of Spider- Man diving around the city impressing greatly, whilst his actual battles with The Lizard are considerably less ambitious. The weighty retelling of Parker’s familiar back-story also means that during the dénouement several large plot points, which could have expanded the action, are left undeveloped – and so the ending is a little too simple and unsatisfactory.



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