THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN Review: Spidey Is Back In This Successful Reboot
The Marc Webb-directed film The Amazing Spider-Man has finally arrived, introducing us to the new Peter Parker/Spider-Man with Andrew Garfield in the lead role. Hit the jump to check out my review...
Before I start, this review contains minor spoilers, so if you haven't seen the film and don't want to know anything about it, stop reading this right now.
When it was announced that Sony will reboot the Spider-Man franchise with new director and cast, some people liked the idea, most people didn't because they thought it was too soon. Reboots are sort of a new thing in Hollywood, and usually it's Batman Begins and Casino Royale that are first associated with that concept, when it comes to successful reboots. So, they don't have to always be bad films. Marc Webb, who previously directed a rather great film called (500) Days of Summer, was chosen to helm The Amazing Spider-Man, a new big screen adaptation about one of the most popular comic book characters ever. The thing that Webb brings to this film is a character-driven story, with a lot of emotion. That's something you don't get to see a lot in films these days, especially in a big-budget film like this. The way he direct simple conversation scenes between actors is just brilliant, and that's the heart of The Amazing Spider-Man... characters. That's not to say everything else is mediocre. Action scenes are great, with carefully planned choreography and every single scene pretty much worked. There are a couple of shaky cam moments, but that would be just a minor complaint from me. There are some brilliant battle sequences in the film. Spidey going against the Lizard in high school has to be one of the best fighting scenes in a comic book movie. And there are a lot more scenes like that, and each one is really cool. I was a little bit worried if Webb would pull off big scale action, but after this, I can safely say that he knocked it out of the park.
Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man is a perfect casting. I couldn't be more happier with his performance, which is so unique, funny, awkward and brilliant at the same time. His Peter is someone audience can relate to, and that's why it works on so many levels. Emma Stone was great as Gwen Stacy, and the chemistry between her and Peter in the film was really good, maybe a little bit rushed though. Next to Garfield, Rhys Ifans is another example of a spot-on casting for this film. Ifans' portrayal of Dr. Curt Connors is something that gives the film emotional depth, as well as a much needed question: what does it mean to be a hero? While I did like how they handled Connors and of course, the Lizard, his motives and decisions were once again, rushed. The rest of the cast was pretty much great. I really liked Denis Leary as a sarcastic Captain George Stacy, while Martin Sheen and Sally Field were exactly what I expected, two good performances as Ben and May Parker.
Sony Pictures Imageworks, who worked on the visual effects, did a rather amazing job. With so many VFX shots, maybe two or three had that unfinished look. The scenes with Spider-Man in his full costume (which looked spectacular on the big screen) were stunning. The details, background effects, all great. Which brings me to the Lizard and motion capture. The close-ups of the character were really good, and the design is something many didn't like based on trailers. I loved it. Clearly they went with Ditko's version of the face, so the character could show some emotions in the film, and it worked. All in all, visual effects were top-notch, and like I mentioned above, the fight scene in high school (which features the best Stan Lee cameo ever) was created mostly with VFX, and it looked just wonderful. The score by James Horner was definitely much better I thought it would be. It fits the film perfectly, especially towards the end, where we get to hear some really powerful stuff.
With a character-driven story that introduces us to Spider-Man once again, but this time a little bit differently, and great performances across the board, The Amazing Spider-Man is an impressive reboot of the franchise, and here is hoping the sequel will be even better.
Starring Andrew Garfield, Rhys Ifans, Emma Stone, Denis Leary, Sally Field and Martin Sheen, The Amazing Spider-Man is now in theatres.
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