The Amazing Spider Man

The Amazing Spider Man

Director: Mark Webb

The last film telling the story of Spider-Manís beginnings was made only ten years ago. Since then, the huge success of the Batman and Avengers franchises, as well as the subversions of the genre through films such as The Incredibles and Kick-Ass, have developed a whole new set of expectations around superhero movies. As a result, this film feels like less of a reboot than an upgrade to match the style of the contemporary superhero. This version of Spider-Man touches on many of the same plot points as the original: the irresistible core fable, where Peter Parkerís failure to stop a thief leads to a life-defining personal tragedy; the spider bite and struggle to deal with the transformation that takes place; and finally the need to face the personal consequences of being a hero. The differences are subtle. Peterís character is wiser, the style is darker, and there are more mysteries left unsolved.

Though The Amazing Spider-Man isnít entirely original, mostly due to the need to retell the same story as before (although the inclusion of a countdown timer is less excusable), it makes up for it with virtually everything else, starting with leads Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, who do a great job of giving their characters depth and bringing chemistry to their on-screen relationship. The human story and action set-pieces are skillfully woven together in a way that gives the fight scenes the compelling necessity that distinguishes really good action films, and there are some great moments of humour to top it off. What we get is a more clever, more self-aware and more 3D Spider-Man than before. The world is the same and the same events are happening, weíre just experiencing them in a very different (and very entertaining) way.

4.5/5 stars
This article first appeared in Issue 16, 2012.
Posted 5:14pm Sunday 15th July 2012 by Alec Dawson.