The Amazing Spider-Man: Superhero Reboot
Andrew GarfieldDenis Leary...
3DAction & Adventure...
Going into The Amazing Spider-Man,
you already know that it’s not going to be your typical superhero film. Just
take the choice of director for example. Marc Webb – the perfect name for a
director of Spider-Man – was hired on
the strength of his debut feature; the very non-superhero (500) Days of Summer.
The Amazing Spider-Man is
quite similar to its predecessors, so much so that it often feels like more of
a remake than a reboot. This time around, though, Spidey is a high-school pupil
and his love interest is his classmate Gwen Stacey, not Mary Jane.
Peter Parker (Garfield) is an outcast with an interest in science and a
crush on Gwen Stacey (Stone), who is also
scientifically inclined but completely out of his league. As a kid, Parker’s
parents were forced to flee, leaving him to live with his aunt and uncle, never
to see or hear of them again. He stumbles across some of his dad’s old papers
leading him to discover that he had been a scientist studying cross-species genetics and that his old partner, a Dr Curt Connors (Ifans), had not
given up on the experiments.
Parker goes to meet Dr Connors at his lab and,
unbeknownst to anybody, gets bitten by a radioactive spider. From here on out,
it’s your regular Spider-Man story. Uncle Ben gets killed, Parker blames
himself, he grows closer to Gwen as the police turn against him, Dr Connors
turns himself into a monster, Parker blames himself for unleashing Connors upon
the unsuspecting people of New York, big fight, the end.
While the story is in no way groundbreaking, the film does take a
slightly different approach to the characters than the previous trilogy. Parker
isn’t the goofy, super-nerd that he used to be and Garfield’s take on him is a
lot tougher and angst-ridden. He wouldn’t be much use in a fight (pre-spider
bite), but he’s not a complete pushover either – although he does get adorably
tongue twisted in Gwen’s presence. While he doesn’t reach Batman levels of
broodiness, he still has the ability to get pretty nasty and angry, and
indulging in these vices makes for some of the film’s best scenes. Gwen also has more substance to her than
Mary Jane ever did or even her previous incarnation in Spider-Man 3. Garfield and Stone, both immensely likeable on their
own, make for a highly adorable and funny duo.
In fact, the characters are hands down the best thing about the film.
It’s well cast and they’re pretty well fleshed out for a superhero film. The
action and CGI on the other hand aren’t all that different from Spider-Man 3;
they look ok but there’s nothing particularly innovative about them and the way
they’re shot is often confusing. Parker’s so much more interesting when he’s
not wearing his suit, Gwen doesn’t have nearly enough screen time and Connors
shows a lot of potential as a character until he morphs into the film’s very
lame, ugly and confusing villain. The film spends far too much time showing
Spider-Man swinging between buildings and tracking down petty criminals.
Even though The Amazing Spider-Man decent film, it ends up being somewhat disappointing.
If you’re rebooting a very successful trilogy barely ten years after its
success unleashed a tidal wave of superhero flicks on us,
you’d better have something incredible up your sleeve. The Amazing Spider-Man is fun but by no means does it live up to