The Amazing Spider-Man (dir. Marc Webb, 2012) – Peter Parker seeks Dr. Curt Connors for answers behind his parents’ disappearance, but his father’s former partner has some secrets to hide.
Sticking closely to the original comics, Marc Webb’s new Spider-Man is now stronger, faster, but could have been better without its apparent holdback.
By now, we have all realised that film studios are bent on remaking everything. Spider-man would of course eventually receive its makeover. Even if none of us expected to see one so soon, third wasn’t exactly a charm for Sam Raimi. So we cannot say that we are in the least surprised.
Following the tradition of casting ridiculously young-looking actors, Andrew Garfield succeeds the fantastic Tobey Maguire in the role of the web-slinging hero. The Boy A and The Social Network actor has unquestionable calibre. But his boyish good looks cast much doubt on whether he could pull off the role of a high school misfit. Apprehension meets its end when the less comical tone presents a new Peter Parker with reality-entrenched social awkwardness, and it works.
In 500 Days of Summer, director Marc Webb shows his firm handle on heartfelt familial and romantic relationships. With ease, he crafts equally sincere and indelible scenes between Peter Parker and his beloved Aunt May. Quirky dynamics in romance is no strange subject either, while it certainly helps that Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy and Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker share that wonderful chemistry.
Spider-Man’s antagonistic enemy swings by in the form of Rhys Ifans’ Dr. Curt Connors, whose disability urges him on a quest to seek a world without weakness. While previously seen in the Raimi films, the character has never had an on-screen transformation, which bestows the rare chance of a blank slate. But when he turns into The Lizard, his villainous traits fall into mere pastiche.
It lacks ambition, as do the action sequences that miss a certain zest. The entertaining blockbuster falls short of being epic, or amazing as its title boasts. This becomes more evident in the finale, perhaps due to the lack of real danger at any point. Given the original trilogy’s large-scale destruction, they do seem relatively unimpressive and almost miniscule.
More disappointment follows for fans who have seen the trailer, as some scenes appear to be completely cut. The truth that Curt Connors holds about Parker’s parents is left as a sequel bait rather than used as the primary plot, which could have been interesting to watch unfold.
But it is only the beginning of an sure-to-be-extensive franchise, and its post-credit scene promises a potentially more intriguing Part II. Meanwhile, The Amazing Spider-Man I will thoroughly entertain with its terrific cast interactions, great jokes and honest telling, even though it may not be as amazing (sorry) as we would wish it to be.