The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) – Film Review
Director: Marc Webb
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans
by Dan Berlinka
Given that it’s only been 10 years since Sam Raimi’s comic adaptation you’d be forgiven for thinking that it would difficult to bring something new to this much-loved origins story. And you’d be right.
Of course, some parts are different – the back story is more science-y, the web spinning has returned to being a gadget, the love interest is Gwen Stacy not Mary Ann, and villain The Lizard is new to the screen – but there’s still a lot that’s pretty much the same, particularly in the first half – Peter Parker trying out his new powers, designing the costume, overcoming the school bully.
It’s not that there’s anything wrong with The Amazing Spider-Man. It’s just that (as I recall) these staples were better handled and more entertaining in the Tobey Maguire version. And by the way, while I’m on the subject of re-treads, I also think it’s time for a moratorium on ‘I’m walking here’ gags. Midnight Cowboy was 42-years ago, people. Let’s move on.
“Lots to enjoy”
Andrew Garfield in the rebooted title role is certainly a convincing teenager – by which I mean he comes across as self-absorbed, petulant and inarticulate, though not without a certain puppy dog charm, while Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy is, as ever, all feisty intelligence. But when the two get together their romance is so goofy and adorable that it verges on the nauseating.
Marc Webb – yes, I know – previously directed 500 Days of Summer, so if you liked that you’ll probably like this… and vice versa. Though Joseph Gordon Levitt as Spidey… now that would have been interesting.
Look, overall it’s fine (if a little overlong) and kids and franchise fans will undoubtedly find lots to enjoy, though of late Marvel always seem to be so busy planting seeds for the next movie sequel team-up, that the one you’re actually watching ends up feeling a little unsatisfying.