The Amazing Spider-Man is a mediocre reboot of the Spider-Man franchise, although after Spider-Man 3, arguably one of the worst superhero movies of all time, it turns out to be an OK film on the grand scale of Stan Lee cinematic adaptations.
The main problem with the reboot is that it even exists in the first place. Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films were released only a few years ago, so to dial back the clock and begin the entire myth again feels too much like a retread too soon. The story doesn’t pick up where the last ones left off; instead, the audience is transported back to the origins of how Peter Parker turns into Spider-Man. It’s an interesting story, but audiences have seen the tale told one too many times.
The new element is Rhys Ifans as The Lizard, but his villainous turn isn’t worth the development of the movie. Denis Leary’s Capt. Stacy is also unable to seal the deal.
The best part of the movie is Andrew Garfield, of The Social Network fame, who plays Spidey. He strikes the right balance between youthful angst and tortured superhero. He can play the smooth, cool scenes where he’s positively bubbly over his new Spidey senses, and he’s also believable as the young man struggling with a burgeoning relationship with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) and the plight of his uncle (Martin Sheen) and aunt (Sally Field).
Beyond Garfield, the supporting cast is able to bring some life to the somewhat lifeless script. Stone is always a fun actor to watch on screen; her acting talents are obvious, and she brings a great deal of enthusiasm and depth to her many characters on the screen. The Gwen role fits the same model of many other superhero films, but Stone is able to elevate the character to a more enjoyable and serious height.
Sheen and Field, veterans of Hollywood, are fine in their roles, although Uncle Ben and Aunt May have become more archetypes than actual characters anymore.
Director Marc Webb, the man behind 500 Days of Summer, has a clever way of presenting the story with a good deal of special effects that enhance the story. Again, the problem is with that tried-and-tired story. Webb’s is a losing battle.
Did the world need another Spider-Man movie so soon after the original trilogy?
By John Soltes / Publisher / John@HollywoodSoapbox.com
- The Amazing Spider-Man
- Directed by Marc Webb
- Written by James Vanderbilt, Alvin Sargent and Steve Kloves; based on the comic by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
- Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Rhys Ifans, Irrfan Khan and Campbell Scott
- Running time: 135 minutes
- Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence