The Amazing Spider-man
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen,
Sally Field, Denis Leary
Director: Marc Webb
Andrew Garfield takes on the iconic role of Peter Parker, in this reboot of the franchise.
Abandoned by his parents when he was a young boy, Peter grows up with his Uncle Ben (the ever brilliant Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field). A typical teenage outsider, this Parker is a skateboarder who defends the picked on at school and gets a beating for his troubles.
But it also gets him the attention of Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone, in yet another excellent turn).
Trying to find out what happened to his parents, Peter's awkward quest leads him to Oscorp and the one armed Dr Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), his father's former partner. Connors' research is into tissue regeneration and when Peter helps with the research, he inadvertently sets in motion a chain of events which will have catastrophic life-changing effects.
The idea of a reboot of the Spider-man series wasn't one which had some fans and movie goers excited.
But The Amazing Spider-man certainly lives up to its name.
Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are the perfect pair as Spidey
and Stacy; they have a sparky, realistic relationship which is
grounded, human and benefits from excellent chemistry. There's a
playfulness underpinning the usual sadness of this relationship and
is a direct result of an early unveiling that Parker is Spider-man.
It's a bold creative decision which means this version of
Spider-man doesn't wallow or wander into emo territory, preferring
to bring a bit of spring into the proceedings.
It's also Garfield who rises high and above with this role - he's stunningly good in this, bringing the torture and outsider feel as well as the heart and pathos needed for such a dark origins story. Nerdy and a bit gangly, with a Spidey who delivers the quips from the comic books while he's crime fighting, this role deserves to send Garfield into the stratosphere. Throw in a bit of angst / romance with Emma Stone as a perfect foil, and these two actors showcase two young talents at the top of their game.
There's emotion which engages in spades here (even if there are a few cheesy scenes towards the end) and a romance which is well directed and realistic amongst the action sequences.
If you're being picky about this version of Spider-man, you could argue that the Lizard lets the side down a little in terms of creating a creature that matches some of the other FX work within the film; and his overall plot to take the world isn't anything spectacularly original or cleverly executed. Sure, this story's been told before to some degree - but this reboot is a welcome re-telling. Plus the film's ever so slightly long with some heavy handed cheesy moments towards the end - a scene where workmen line up cranes to help an injured Spidey get to the top of the Oscorp tower is painful to watch in some ways.
But all in all, The Amazing Spider-man is a stunning take on an established comic book favourite - and manages to put the prior versions in the shade, which is no mean feat.