Spiderman is back in his shiny new reboot, directed by Marc Webb with a whole new sense of direction and tone, The Amazing Spiderman re-tells the story of out of luck, nerdy teenager Peter Parker, who gets bitten by a radioactive spider and develops superhuman powers, Uncle Ben gets shot, you know the story. Andrew Garfield is the best Peter Parker/Spiderman to date, (though I think Tobey Maguire was also great), he fits perfectly as the initially insecure, awkward teenager that’s learning where he fits in the world, growing to be a more confident, assured person as he grows in learning how to use his powers effectively.
Emma Stone plays off him perfectly as Gwen Stacy, in a measured role that really fits, she makes Peter a mumbling buffoon which is funny to watch and they both have great chemistry on screen together, helped by the fact that Garfield and Stone are a couple in real life and became a couple because of the Amazing Spiderman. The rest of the cast is also pretty good, from Denis Leary to Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Irfan Khan, the actors are well cast and the film stands as a great starting point for the tone of the series and this new style of Spiderman film. Though the film has a very distinct J Jonah Jameson sized hole.
The high school setting maybe initially put people off but I think it worked really well, Garfield is perhaps too good looking to be an insecure nerd but he still pulls it off, believably being the nerd and later on the cocky new hero, while characters like Flash Thompson really give the film that high school feeling. The emotional points also hit quite well in the film, Peter seeing Uncle Ben get shot for example, for a generally lighter toned film, the dramatic moments are well done and work because of Garfields acting chops. Curt Connors is the antagonist in the film, genius scientist Curt Connors who lost his arm in an accident a few years previously, he’s well respected in his field but dabbles in weird science in the attempt to regrow his arm, leading him to developing a sort of split personality as The Lizard, in which he becomes an actual, bipedal lizard.
Rhys Ifans is a great in the film and brings a touch of sophistication as far as Spiderman villains go, though Doctor Octopus is also highly intelligent and ‘classy’, but he’s really good in the role, portraying Curts’ internal struggle, wanting to better his own life but getting his mind warped by the serum he’s invented and wanting to turn everyone in New York into lizards for some reason. Ultimately Curt is characterized by his morality though and I think he’s a great villain in Spidermans’ cinematic universe, complicated and three dimensional, intelligent and also a physical match for Spiderman, being stronger than him in fact. The action set pieces in the film are also great, the fights are very well choreographed and Spiderman is matched for most of the film, albeit not as strong as the Lizard which made him have to out think and plan his way around that, which was interesting to watch, more emphasis on Peters intelligence in the film was a welcome inclusion. As was Spidermans outfit which looks great in the film.
The Amazing Spiderman as a whole is just a very fun film with some well done dramatic moments, not the best Spiderman film to date but it’s still a goo watch and I think Marc Webb captured the essence of Spiderman at his most playful and it was great to watch, the series so deserved a third film in my opinion and it’s a shame it won’t be happening.
. Curt Connors is a great, complex villain both intellectually and physically
. Acting is great, Garfield and Stone have great chemistry and Ifans is great
. Action set pieces are good
. Well done special effects