The Amazing Spider-Man
- Director:Marc Webb
- Cast:Sally Field , Andrew Garfield, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen, Emma Stone
- Release Date:July 05, 2012
- Running time:136 minutes
- Film Worth:$17.50
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
If you can get over the feeling that this is all very familiar, this superhero flick is a winner – nailing both the impressive action and the touching personal beats.
In a situation rare even for the often hard-to-fathom world of Hollywood, The Amazing Spider-Man slings its way into cinemas while the corpse of director Sam Raimi's original Spider-Man franchise - which began in 2002 with the much-loved Spider-Man, got even better in 2004 with the superior Spider-Man 2, and closed out in 2007 with the solid but disappointing Spider-Man 3 - is practically still warm. And this is no ersatz continuation either, as Edward Norton and Louis Leterrier's The Incredible Hulk was to Ang Lee's five-years-previous Hulk with Eric Bana.
No, The Amazing Spider-Man takes us right back to the beginning again, as angst-ridden teenager, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) - now in the care of his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field) since his parents disappeared thirteen years ago - is bitten by a scientifically modified spider, develops spider-like powers, and then reinvents himself as the masked crime fighter, Spider-Man. He is thrown into conflict with pioneering scientist (and colleague of Peter's father), Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), who attempts to engineer a revolutionary serum to help re-grow limbs and human tissue. When he elects to be the first human test subject in an effort to regenerate his own missing arm, something goes horribly wrong, and Dr. Connors becomes something more than human: The Lizard. Witnessing the battle is the plucky Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), Peter Parker's girlfriend, and the protégé of Connors.
If you can get past the gnawing sense of over familiarity, however, something becomes strikingly clear: The Amazing Spider-Man is actually very good. Working from a nicely layered script by James Vanderbilt (Zodiac), Alvin Sargent (Paper Moon, Ordinary People, Spider-Man 2 & 3), and Steve Kloves (Harry Potter) that actually sticks closer to the original Spider-Man comic books than Sam Raimi's films did, director, Marc Webb, zeroes in on what makes the character so relatable. Peter Parker is an extremely intelligent, but ultimately recognisable, teenager dealing with all the crap that life throws at you during adolescence. As his debut film, (500) Days Of Summer, showed, Webb knows how to tell stories about young people, and he excavates all the pathos, awkwardness and everyday (and not so everyday) pain inherent to Spider-Man.
Ingeniously crafting both big action sequences and intimate, personal beats, Webb gets the best from his fine cast, with the eye-poppingly likeable Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone throwing appropriate sparks, and the excellent Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen, Sally Field and Denis Leary (a standout as Gwen's cop father, who is charged with bringing Spider-Man to justice) offering rock-solid support. Characters famously die in the Spider-Man story arc (god help us if Webb follows the comic books in any potential sequels), and in The Amazing Spider-Man, Marc Webb really makes you feel it, which gives the film a bittersweet resonance unlike any other recent superhero flick. Marvel is on a hard rocking roll right now with the likes of the critical and audience favourites, The Avengers and X-Men: First Class, and The Amazing Spider-Man is happily another winner. It might not have the shock of the new, but it'll still get you excited about what could potentially be a whole new series of surprisingly soulful superhero action movies.