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Review: The Amazing Spider-Man

July 8, 2012

Film + Entertainment | by Francesco Cerniglia


A decade ago, Spider-Man hit the silver screen in the form of Tobey Maguire, and was the first in a successful trilogy. Then, at the 2010 San Diego Comic Con, it was announced that Marc Webb would be directing Andrew Garfield in the reboot, starting the Spider-Man story from the beginning and I, along with most other people, thought it was just too soon for Spider-Man to be reappearing on our screens, especially with a little known Brit as the lead.

However, Marc Webb, as well as having the best name for the job, has taken Spider-Man onto a new level. He’s stepped away from Maguire’s angst ridden Spider-Man and turned it into a coming of age film, one that’s funny, clever and heart-breaking, all at the same time.

The story once again follows Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) as he is raised by his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field) after his parents disappeared when he was a boy When Peter finds a briefcase that belonged to his father, he is led to his father’s co-worker, scientist Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans). Whilst in his lab, Peter is bitten by the infamous spider causing him to develop unusual new powers. As if developing spider-powers wasn’t hard enough, the father of Peter’s girlfriend – Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) is hell bent on catching Spider-Man.

The casting was spot on. Andrew Garfield fits in perfectly as the new Spider-Man, embodying the geeky, socially awkward, teenage Peter Parker to a tee. This film sticks to the original story more than the 2002 version, with greater emphasis on the people around Parker and his back story than just his powers. We meet his parents and get to know his Aunt and Uncle as well as seeing the problems he encounters at school. This Spider-Man is the true teenage geek that is written in the comics. He’s cocky, wisecracking and completely bad-ass. Similarly, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy gives a strong performance as the ballsy, no-nonsense blonde. She is funny, intelligent and gives as good as she’s got.

The film is also visually spectacular. Although there is less first person swinging than suggested in the trailers, seeing Spidey swing through the New York skyline is an absolute thrill. Let’s not forget about Dr Connors. Seeing Ifans transform from the almost fragile scientist into the 10ft green lizard is brilliant.

As this is a Marvel film, remember to look out for two things; the best ever Stan Lee (creator of Spider-Man) cameo, and the mid-credits end scene. It seems after the success of The Avengers, Marvel are cleaning up at the box-office and show no signs of stopping, with The Amazing Spider-Man already breaking records by bringing in $35million on its opening, a record for a Tuesday release day.

All in all, this film is great. Garfield and Stone perfectly embody their characters, and importantly for all comic-book fans such as myself, it sticks to the original story. I believe that this is significantly better than the original Maguire films, and with the sequel set to be released in May 2014, it seems the only way is up, up and swinging away.

Stephanie Butcher