The Amazing Spider-Man – Review

Reboots are all the rage at the moment. Most of them are either well and truly needed, or well and truly un-necessary. I had pre-decided, rightly or wrongly that The Amazing Spider-Man was the latter, but why?

The marketing machine behind the new Spider-Man was incessant, like a noisy fly at a picnic. Throwing clips, posters, featurettes and tidbits at us while we tried to bat it away with a newspaper. This approach raised questions in my head. If they are throwing this much at us (28 minutes of material) before the film has even come out, something must be wrong. This was, after all, my theory with Prometheus and it turned out to be accurate – in my opinion.

Tonight I saw The Amazing Spider-Man and I fucking loved it. In fact I loved every second of it. I loved it so much I want to see it again right now.

I found myself driving home tonight and trying to imagine what it is exactly that people didn’t like about it? I am still scratching my head now. Possibly the in the same way that I did when I found out that people liked Spider-Man 2.

The fact that I saw it in IMAX 3D may have helped, but not too much. Yes it added to the overall experience, but this cannot be the sole reason. That would be like saying you enjoyed a book because you read it in a comfortable chair with good lighting. No my friends, the truth is that I loved The Amazing Spider-Man because it nailed it. It perfectly nailed what Spider-Man/Peter Parker is. Exciting.

The film is carried by the brilliant Andrew Garfield. He plays Peter Parker like a cool nerd and is effortlessly interesting in every scene. He exudes charm and well and truly makes Peter Parker cool again (after the  whiny-weed that was Tobey Maguire). Garfield’s Spider-Man is fun, funny and most of all believable. While this film hasn’t plumbed Batman Begins style depths of believability in terms of explaining the science (and magic beans), it does a decent job and I was with it all the way. Emma Stone is just plain cute as Gwen Stacey. She and Garfield have perfect chemistry and their scenes together perfectly explain why Marvel wanted Marc Webb. The relationship that develops throughout the running time of the film feels personal to the audience and is one of the many successes of the film. Though casting in general is superb. Martin Sheen is an absolute masterstroke as Uncle Ben.

The only weaknesses I could find would be the mysterious parent back story being unexplored and Rhys Ifans perhaps lacking the moustache twirling chops to pull off a big bad guy role. Then again I really enjoyed the Lizard itself (particularly the whole sequence in the school – with Stan Lee’s best cameo yet). The soundtrack by James Horner also didn’t really deliver. He needed his big game for this film.

The action is inventive and some of the first person Spidey stuff is awesome. It was also really great to see the practical Spider-Man swinging through the city, rather than a horrible CG version from 2002.

Don’t listen to the haters folks. Get caught in Webb’s new Spider.

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