It was only 10 years ago when Tobey Maguire took on the role of Spider-Man, finishing his trilogy with Sam Raimi in 2007 with less than satisfactory reviews. Less than a decade later, Andrew Garfield is cast in a reboot of the web slinging hero in a very safe but entertaining Marvel blockbuster, ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’.
It’s essentially just a new take on the 2002 version revisiting the event that gave Peter Parker his special abilities but in a more scientific way… We get a much closer look at his childhood’s past and the on goings in Oscorp at the expense of a less developed latter half of the film. It was quite disappointing in that sense, but the development of Spider-Man is so significant and substantial in this film that it prepares us for a potentially magnificent sequel.
Anyone familiar with the comic books will be aware of the transformation of Dr.Connors into the Lizard, our villain. One of the franchises most iconic enemies, the Lizard is a compelling character to watch and question and is radically more frightening than people may have estimated. The film doesn’t dwell too much on specifics or intricate details regarding what makes the Lizard turn irrational and blinded with aggression but it’s hardly a flaw. It felt there was too much that the creators wanted to explore that they just couldn’t fit it all into the given time-scale.
Andrew Garfield was a suitable candidate for Peter Parker. His balance between sincerity and comical awkwardness suits the shy college kid, however he did seem too cool to be the outcast at his school. It’s difficult not to compare him to Tobey Maguire seeing as the films are so close together in terms of release and it’s safe to say Andrew Garfield is a far more contemporary Spiderman but perhaps one that doesn’t relate so closely to the character Peter is supposed to be. Emma Stone plays Gwen Stacey, Peter’s love interest and a character less known than the iconic Mary Jane. Gwen’s father is the chief of police only adding to the complex matters at hand, seeing he is after the “masked vigilante”. Other great performances include Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben and Rhys Ifans as Doctor Curt Connors. Let us not forget Stan Lee, it would not be a Marvel film without him making a tremendous cameo.
‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ is your average comic book movie. It plays it safe. It will not disappoint anyone, neither will it make any top lists but it is a very enjoyable summer blockbuster and a successful reboot to the Spider-Man franchise. The various routes a sequel could take are truly exciting. Perhaps not the “amazing” Spider-Man, but pretty darn close!