This new reboot of Spider-Man comes just 5 years after the hugely successful series starring Tobey Maguire as our friendly neighbourhood super hero, hence the spotlight has been shining heavily leading up to its release and the expectations are no doubt enormous! Marc Webb has to deal with the tricky task of creating a fresh new take on Spider-Man that can hold its own and be differentiated from the old movies, while keeping the important key aspects and values (which defines the core of Spider-Man) in the story untouched; that to me sure isn’t easy and requires some delicate but firm touches. In addition, this film is preceded by a slew of awesome superhero films – read Iron Man and The Avengers – with the latter achieving impeccable praise worldwide and setting unbelievable standards to beat; thus it sure as hell is gonna be tough satisfying everyone’s expectations. Taking all that in, I can say that I am happy with the way things turned out in Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man:)
The Story: Peter Parker is a high school student who like most teenagers, is trying to find himself. Along the way, Peter finds a mysterious briefcase belonging to his father. This starts him on a quest to find out about his parent’s disappearance, which ultimately leads him to Oscorp and a Dr Curt Connors, an ex-colleague of his father. Amidst all this, Peter encounters a life changing spider bite and has to deal with issues that includes his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy, and facing a giant lizard! And through it all, Peter will learn the meaning of what it means to have great power, and the responsibility that comes with it.
My Rant: I think I’m speaking the truth when I say that this film will definitely appeal to the Spidey comic fans. Marc Webb did a really good job in trying to make the film stay as true to the comic story as possible. By injecting little elements like having Parker create his own web shooters and showing more of his geeky science genius side of him, Webb gave fans a Peter Parker/Spider-Man that they are oh so familiar and connected with. Throw in Peter’s original first love – Gwen Stacy – and Webb’s practically got the die-hard fans wrapped around his little finger, as in a comic fan’s eyes what they see are the story panels on the pages of the comics burst into real life.
I felt that Andrew Garfield did really well in creating a Spider-Man persona that is unique to him; he brought a cocky, confident and playful side to Spider-Man that was very natural and believable. As for the part of Peter Parker, Garfield portrayed a geeky and awkward character quite nicely at the beginning of the film. However, I felt that as the movie progressed, he became too overly smug and confident as Peter in a couple of scenes that it felt a bit hard to believe and relate to the character.
It seemed somewhat like Garfield got lost in distinguishing between his shy, nerdy Parker self and the playful confident Spider-Man side of the character and ended up being engulfed by his Spidey side more. But despite that, I still fell in love with Garfield as Spider-Man because overall in the film, at least for me, he did become the Spidey that I know and love!
Looking at the differing aspects of this film comparing it to the original, what I really really love is the take on Spidey’s relationship this time round. The relationship and chemistry between Peter and Gwen was more real and sweet in my view. Being a first love, the shyness and attraction between them was really charming and endearing. Just like what Emma Stone said she loved about the relationship of her character and Spidey in a magazine interview, I too love the fact that Gwen was in love with Peter first, the real person instead of the fancy alter-ego, which was what Mary Jane fell for first in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. With Gwen knowing Peter’s secret, she was able to share in his burden of being “alone” as Spider-Man and thus Peter had someone he could go to anytime. And that for me made the relationship so much more stronger and lovely.
Also, this version went more in depth into exploring the origins of Peter’s parents and that was a nice factor. I believe that this mysterious aspect of the film could be the basis of the storyline for the sequel as not all was revealed about them by the time the film ended. I also preferred the Ben Parker and Aunt May in this film. The direction taken in the relationship between Peter and his aunt was fragile and deeper for me, it really showed Peter struggling with finding himself and dealing with the circumstances of his life in this teenage period. Really loved it though it felt a little heart wrenching due to the distance between them.
Alas, being a huge fan I had to watch this in 3D and it was a blast! The 3D effects for the web slinging portions of the film was really very enjoyable and a visual wonderland, you actually felt like you were swinging together with Spidey and part of the adventure itself! But honestly speaking, the 3D effects were only great during the web-slinging portions and the huge action scenes towards the end of the movie. So if you are not that die-hard a fan, watching it the normal way is good enough.
Overall, The Amazing Spider-Man carries its own unique elements and I believe it shines through. Thus I trust that it won’t be enveloped in the shadows of its predecessor although the comparisons will always keep rolling in.
1) The Lizard played by Rhys Ifans actually played a rather amusing character, Spike, in one of my favourite British Films – Notting Hill. I can’t believe that the clean shaven and respectable Dr Curt Connors is actually the same skinny, lazy roommate Spike in Notting Hill!
2) Emma Stone is actually terrified of Spiders. Watch Ellen scare her in the video below (starts at 0:51 mark), as well as check out her dance moves in Ellen’s dance dare(2nd video)!
All Spider-Man pictures (except spidey n gwen poster) from The Amazing Spider-Man Official Site.