Film Review: The Amazing Spiderman


Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
Director: Marc Webb
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen,
Release Date: 3 July 2012

When Columbia Pictures announced they were scrapping plans for Spiderman 4 in favour of rebooting the entire series with a new cast and crew it seemed slightly premature considering the original Spiderman feature had only been released in 2002. Critics and fans were sceptical, especially concerning who would play the spandex wearing hero in place of Tobey Maguire. However, director Marc Webb and Screenwriter James Vanerbilt have successfully re-imagined the story of Peter Parker and given an interesting new perspective on how he developed into Spiderman.

This time around the plot focuses on Peter Parker’s high school years as a nerdy underdog. It pays more attention to the story of Parker and his transition from boy to man and the challenges he faces growing up. Parker finds a clue that might lead to him understanding why his parents abruptly abandoned him when he was a kid, leaving him in the care of his Uncle Ben and Aunt May and as he sets out to find out why he discovers more about himself.

Webb’s effort hones in on the emotional aspects of Parker’s life and the relationships within it. Gwen Stacey replaces Mary Jane Watson as Parker’s love interest. She is a far more interesting character than the damsel-in-distress Watson and the relationship between her and Parker is given a great deal of attention.

Although some weren’t sure of Andrew Garfield (The Social Network, Never Let Me Go) at first, he has certainly silenced any sceptics with his performance as the webbed hero. He brings a sense of humour to the dorky and awkward Parker while portraying an equally humorous, sarcastic and mischievous Spiderman.

This was the first feature film to use the Red Epic Camera and thanks to John Swartzman’s cinematography the film does look great. Webb’s directing adds warmth and texture to the film. Filmed in 3D, the shots of Spiderman swinging around New York City are impressive but it’s slightly redundant in the rest of the film. Although Webb wanted the action sequences to be as life-like as possible, the CGI can become quite jarring at times but what do you expect when there’s a giant green lizard roaming around New York?
The interesting thing about The Amazing Spider-Man is that its villain isn’t a clear cut bad guy with a hatred for all mankind.  Dr. Connors is a flawed human being and there are many levels to this interesting character who believes that his actions can do good. Rhys Ifans plays the almost Jekyll and Hyde like character perfectly.

The Amazing Spider-Man is as clichéd as any superhero movie can get and comes loaded with cheesy one liners. It may pack more of an emotional punch but action wise it pales in comparison to blockbusters like Marvel Avengers Assemble.

In a Nutshell: It’s no game changer but is an interesting take on the story of Peter Parker and his transformation to superhero. Fans of the Spiderman franchise will appreciate it.

by Ciara Andrews