Only ten years after Toby Maguire brought Spider-Man to life director Marc Webb (500 days of Summer) has not only spun a new story on Spider-Man’s origins but has managed to make a really good film.
Like in all versions Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is bit by a genetically enhanced spider and develops skills any teenage-boy (and girl) would dream of. But this time around his advisory is the one armed scientist Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) who turns into a rampaging mutant lizard after injecting himself with a formula to regenerate DNA. Of course the love story is not forgotten but instead of the normally beautiful but boring Mary-Jane, Parker falls for his high-school classmate the sexy, sassy and smart Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). An extra twist is given when it turns out that her father (Dennis Leary) is the captain of the task-force trying to put Spider-Man in jail.
Unlike director Sam Raimi ‘s original trilogy, Webb doesn’t rely on action sequences but takes time in developing characters, which gives them more depth. This is most noticeable in Andrew Garfield’s portrayal of Peter Parker, he isn’t just the Hollywood version of a nerd or geek but has a darker side and harder edge to him. And while he is a good guy and tries to do the right thing he is believable still is a teenager trying to figure out life, not just his Spider-Man persona.
And with the charming Emma Stone playing his love-interest Gwen, who already has a crush on him before he turns into a superhero, the relationship is more believable and the chemistry undeniable. Stone definably is more than just a pretty face or arm-candy but a true partner who will not be sidelined.
Of course there are still some general bases of the story that The Amazing Spider-Man covers, like the killing of Parkers Uncle Ben, but Martin Sheen’s portrayal of him is edgier and somehow that makes his death even sadder. Sally Field cast as Aunt May is brilliant, she isn’t a caricature but a real person and you can feel her pain and confusion. She is a relatable mother figure and a good solid foundation to help understand Parker’s motivations.
This reboot of Spider-Man is well worth watching and while Webb only uses the 3D effects sparsely throughout the film they tend to stand out more and seem less of a gimmick. This makes The Amazing Spider-Man just as good in two dimensions and overall a better-told story. It is fast paced and you don’t feel the more than two hours it takes to come to the end. The film has a sleek slightly futuristic look and feel to it, which makes it all the more enjoyable to watch.
On a side-note it is well worth mentioning that the musical score by James Horner is interesting and exciting. And for all of you, who rush out of the movies once the end credits start to roll, sit tight as may get a peek at what a sequel could hold.