The Amazing Spider-Man - Not So Amazing

                      In January 2010, Sony announced that they'd be rebooting the franchise of Spider-Man, rather than moving forward with the fourth part. Many heaved with a collective groan, telling 'it was too soon.' The decision of a reboot was based on strictly commercial considerations. 

                    The last Spider-Man movie was a weak chapter, which seems to have run out of ideas. Then, Star Tobey Maguire was getting a bit older and more expensive. The director Sam Raimi was also not interested in a sequel. So, they have decided to go back to their primary target audiences, young children and adolescents. Sony promised that there will be some untold story, a different side of the Peter Parker story, but really, there is not that much new in the origin story.

                    In the earlier part of the century, Spider-Man's adventures had a sense of awe, which was now dwarfed by Batman, and his fellow super-heroes Avengers. It's impossible to avoid these comparisons. "Amazing Spider-Man" is not hardly awful but doesn't come close to living up to that title either. Sometimes dull and mostly uninspired, but it's not a pointless rehash in the mode of "Superman Returns."

        It's the same basic story. A high school kid gets bitten by a scientifically modified spider, discovers he has new-found super powers, decides to use them as a vigilante crime fighter and takes to the streets of New York in an tight red-and-blue suit. Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) crushes on classmate Gwen Stacy (Stone) and investigates the disappearance of his parents. This last impulse leads him to his father’s co-worker, scientist Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans). 

             As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors’ alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter has to make some life-altering choices, of when and how to use his powers, choices which will shape his destiny as a hero for his times.

                Even though the basic story looks similar, the visual effects of "Amazing Spider-Man" feels like a separate entity. The destruction, Curt Connors causes in his altered state, and Spider-Man's attempts to stop him from causing even more, provide the basis for the film's showdowns. Which brings us to the use of 3-D:  The requisite shots of Spider-Man swinging through the skyscrapers of midtown Manhattan alone justify the existence of 3-D. Despite the experiences of deja-vu, and a bloated running time, the 3-D was tolerable and never-intrusive .

               Andrew Garfield, best known for the part of Mark Zuckerberg's friend in "The Social Network," proves to be a adequate choice. He gets strong, quiet scenes with Sally Field’s Aunt May and Martin Sheen, as Uncle Ben. Garfield looks younger than his age–he will be 29, next month and thus over a decade older than his character is meant to be.  Emma Stone commands as Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker’s first love, and first real connection to the world around him. Rhys Ifans is mostly a villain, who provides occasional obstacles for our hero and not much more. A giant lizard just don’t make a terribly interesting villain.

             Marc Webb is a very different sort of director. He may not have sounded like the most obvious choice for a hugely anticipated blockbuster based on his only previous feature, the romantic comedy charmer "(500) Days of Summer." There's also less action than normal for a comic book flick. Though the action-heavy second half is well executed, with long-held shots and clear editing, it's clear that Webb is more interested in the story's human dimensions. A spectacular sequence involving Spider-Man's rescue of a small boy in a burning car, hanging off the Bridge, has much greater resonance than any confrontation with Connors' generally destruction-oriented Lizard.

            Even though it doesn't set any benchmarks like the latest 'Avengers' assemble, it still delivers a different enough origin story. The Amazing Spider-Man isn't the outstanding curtain-raiser they needed to justify a reboot such a short time later, but it earns its keep, and hope that there will be a great sequel.


 The Amazing Spider-Man - IMDb             


Haricharan Pudipeddi said...

Honestly bro, I was so disappointed. Had huge expectation and everything was crumbled in to small pieces :(

Arun Kumar said...

I was also disappointed, but i didn't had huge expectations, sort of expected this. No waiting for 'Dark Knight Rises.'

Harshit said...

Nice review man..I also felt the story/plot was a bit weak..although the choice of actors was spot on.Read my review on
PS You have a really nice blog.