While The Amazing Spider-Man has been on everyone’s summer blockbuster list this year, I couldn’t help but wonder “why?” With Tobey Maguire’s version still fresh in my memory, and the more compelling superhero film – The Dark Knight Rises – just around the corner, my expectations were pretty low for the movie.
However, I have to admit that the reboot succeeds where the last film failed and I declare this a must-watch this weekend.
The Amazing Spider-Man is an origin story and starts with the young Peter Parker saying goodbye to his parents. He grows up with unresolved issues with his parents’ abandonment, while developing a strong relationship with his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field). Parker (Andrew Garfield) is a quiet geek at school who nurses a crush on Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). One day, he discovers his father’s files and decides to pay a visit to his father’s colleague, Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans). Parker’s curiosity leads to him being bitten by a genetically re-engineered spider and The Amazing Spider-Man is born.
Spider-Man has never been the most manly of Marvel’s superheroes – leave that to Thor or The Hulk – but he is loved thanks to his intelligence and being the guy next door. Garfield brings these traits alive in his version of Peter Parker. He is an awkward, nerdy teenager but manages to use his gift to do good. Garfield managed to show off his acting chops in The Social Network and the same skills support him in this film where he is able to switch from action to comedy to drama instantly. As an added plus, his derriere does full justice to Spider-Man’s spandex suit.
As with all superhero films, the heroine takes a backseat but Emma Stone shines as Gwen Stacy and pulls off being a teenager quite well. While the comic books tell us she’ll be replaced by Mary-Jane soon, I do hope Emma Stone makes a sizable appearance in the sequel.
Spider-Man is only as good as his opponent and Rhys Ifans does justice to the role of Lizard. Younger kids and jumpy teenagers may find the suspenseful moments overwhelming as demonstrated by my crushed fingers. New York City paints a great backdrop of the confrontations but the action sequences cannot be compared to the battle scenes of The Avengers.
There are certain portions of the screenplay that drag – I glanced at my BlackBerry at least 4 times). The usage of 3D is minimal and the film can be easily enjoyed in regular cinemas. Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan’s role doesn’t deserve all the hype that has surrounded it and an actor of his calibre deserves much more (i.e. The Namesake). The “extra” scene post-film credits seems like an add-on rather than the insight of the next installment.
Nevertheless, The Amazing Spider-Man lives up to the “amazing” in its title and will prove the same at the box office registers as well. Take your friends, take your family – you won’t regret this one. And I’ll definitely be queuing up on May 2nd, 2014 for the sequel!
Dollz Rating: 4 stars out of 5——-
Peter Parker (Garfield) is an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Sheen) and Aunt May (Field). Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Stone), and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents’ disappearance – leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors (Ifans), his father’s former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors’ alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.