The Amazing Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man

In Theatres: 
Jul 03, 2012
Running Time: 
2 Hours, 16 Minutes

Spider-Man is without a doubt one of Sony Picture’s most profitable franchises, with Sam Raimi’s original trilogy grossing more than $2.5 billion worldwide. After Raimi’s falling out with Sony on the development of the fourth film, the franchise was put into hiatus. Nearly five years later, Spider-Man has return to the big screen with Andrew Garfield putting on the signature red and blue suit to reboot the series and further explore the origin story of Peter Parker.

The Amazing Spider-Man goes back to the beginning to when Peter Parker was just another nerdy, high school nobody. Peter eventually meets his father’s old research partner Dr. Curt Connors at Oscorp who is working on cross-species genetics. Basically he wants to make it so that genes from an animal can be spliced with a person to cure any ailment, say a lizard’s regeneration abilities to repair a missing limb. It’s at Oscorp where Peter is bitten by one of their experimental spiders and thus Spider-Man is born. Dr. Connors, on the other hand, experiments with his genetics serum and using himself as its first human test subject, transforms into The Lizard.

Director Marc Webb’s vision of the film is more character driven than previous versions, with the story focusing more on Peter Parker rather than his web-slinging alter ego. With his parents gone, he must rely on his Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) for guidance. There’s also a new girlfriend in the picture, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), as the story takes place before Mary Jane Watson is introduced.

For his part, Andrew Garfield plays a convincing Spider-Man. He has just the right amount of awkwardness of Peter Parker coupled with the sass of Spider-Man, although his transition from high school nerd to full-fledged jock is a bit quick. One moment he’s stumbling to find his words and the next he’s already trying to get into Gwen’s pants. In that aspect, Spider-Man can come across as a bit unlikeable. The way he carries himself makes him seem like he’s better than everyone else. It’s only when we see Spider-Man save the kid from the car dangling from the bridge do we finally get the sense that he’s become the superhero we know and love.

The film isn’t only about the characters as there is plenty of highflying, web-slinging action. The film looks beautiful in IMAX and the 3D isn’t too obtrusive. There’s also the occasional first person viewpoint that puts you directly in the Spider-Man suit which adds extra depth to the film. The Amazing Spider-Man is quite a sight to see.

That being said, there’s nothing particularly amazing about it. The film does many things well, but doesn’t stand out above the plethora of superhero films that have been released. The Amazing Spider-Man sets up the backdrop for all these interesting characters but leaves you wanting more by the end. It amounts to what is essentially a slow buildup to an inevitable sequel, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Want another opinion? Check out Lee Roberts' review!

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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