The Amazing Spider-Man

  • 2012-07-11
  • By Laurence Boyce

 Director: Marc Webb

Two questions arise about “The Amazing Spider-Man.” One, considering that Sam Raimi did a perfectly serviceable (and rather good) version of the popular comic book character only 10 years ago, why exactly do we need a re-boot of the franchise. And two: did director Marc Webb get the job of director thanks to his pleasing pun of a name?

On to the plot, many of the points of which you will be well versed in. Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is a nerdy teenager who gets bitten by a genetically modified spider and proceeds to develop the powers of a spider. Nurturing his powers whilst still attending high school, he begins to form a relationship with beautiful Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) whilst discovering more about his absent father alongside his former colleague, the scientist Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans). But – when Connors turns out to have a vicious genetic alter-ego – Parker discovers that with his power comes responsibility.

There is some nice stuff here, with Garfield giving emo sheen to the character of Parker and Stone being sassy as the love interest. But it all seems so utterly redundant. Despite the tweaks and changes, it’s all so familiar that – as is the curse of many stories charting the origin of a superhero – it’s easy to get bored with the set up and shout “Put on your suit and start doing cool fighting!” after an hour has elapsed. And it tries to cram way too much in. From Peter’s angst, to his mysterious past and Curt Connors Shakespearean fall from hero to villain, it’s all way too much.
There’s plenty of cool effects and some nice ideas (particularly a lovely bit involving cranes and the New York skyline) but there’s a feeling of familiarity which – whilst it doesn’t go all the way to breeding contempt – doesn’t exactlsy stir the soul.

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