THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is the story of Peter Parker (Garfield), 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).
Just five years on from the last of Sam Raimi's trilogy, 'The Amazing Spider-Man' brings the web-shooting hero back to the big screen to start the whole thing over again. This time Marc Webb is on directing duties while Andrew Garfield takes over as Peter Parker.
As a huge fan of the original films I was sceptical about the need for another telling of this story, especially so soon after the last one. Unfortunately, the whole film just feels unnecessary and offers little more than a profound sense of deja vu. As I watched I began matching each scene to its corresponding scene in the original Spider-Man, and found myself longing to see Tobey Maguire again. It's not that Garfield is bad, it's just that he's not given much to do beyond follow the path we already know the ending to. Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) is introduced as his love interest in place of Mary-Jane, which shows the filmmakers are at least trying to change things up a bit. Stone does well as Stacey, but her relationship with Parker strikes many of the same notes that Mary-Jane did.
The villian this time around is Dr. Curt Connors aka The Lizard (Rhys Ifans). The special effects when Connors turns into The Lizard look a little odd and brought some chuckles from the audience I was in. Not exactly what you want from your terrifying monster. At 136 minutes, there was plenty of time to tell the story yet the pacing felt completely off. It seemed like a lifetime before the first appearance of Spidey's suit and the final battle arrived before there was any time to enjoy Spider-Man's vigilante antics.
It seems to me that the filmmakers have forgotten that a large portion of their audience are children. The film fails to balance the weighty themes of responsibility and power with the light hearted scenes that made Raimi's trilogy so accessible. Take for example, Parker trying out his new abilities for the first time. Where we would expect to hear a lively, exciting soundtrack, 'Till Kingdom Come' by Coldplay is chosen instead. I like the song fine but its use in this scene is such a strange decision. It dulls down the excitement of seeing Parker harness his powers and would be more at home in a teenage drama series.
With the news announced this week that this is the first of a planned trilogy I can only hope that the next film tries to tell a Spider-Man story we haven't all heard before.
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. The Amazing Spider-Man is the story of Peter Parker (Garfield), 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. When 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.
Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans star in this superhero action adventure film based on characters from Stan Lee's classic Marvel comic strip. Gawky teenager Peter Parker (Garfield) lives with his aunt and uncle in New York City. Aware that there is some mystery surrounding his history and his parentage, Peter does his best to make sense of the few murky clues he has about his past - until one day he discovers the shocking secret that will change his life forever.