Josh Wilding Reviews: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 3D
The Amazing Spider-Man is released on July 3rd, but does the highly anticipated reboot from director Marc Webb successfully relaunch the franchise or simply fall flat? More importantly, does it deliver the faithful take on the iconic character fans have waited so long to see? Find out here!
It's been a decade since Spider-Man first swung his way onto the big screen, so is it too soon for another origin story? Perhaps, but Marc Webb delivers a fresh spin on a familiar tale, with only a few déjà vu moments. Comparisons between The Amazing Spider-Man and Sam Raimi’s trilogy are of course inevitable, but it quickly becomes apparent that this is an altogether different take on the character. Here we have a Peter Parker who is haunted by the loss of his parents, and it is this which sets him on a collision course with Doctor Curt Connors (and eventually the Lizard). The main problem with the reboot is that there are just a few too many unanswered questions left over by the time the credits roll. Some of these make sense, but others will more than likely just leave you feeling frustrated. Regardless, we spend a lot of time with Peter Parker before he suits up as Spider-Man and get to know the character extremely well. His relationship with Uncle Ben is nicely developed, although the same can’t quite be said for Aunt May. Does she know he’s Spider-Man? If not, she must be incredibly naïve because Peter makes very little effort in hiding it from her. For everything the film does right, the screenplay can’t help but trip itself up with the odd minor few niggles such as these.
Andrew Garfield embodies Peter Parker and Spider-Man perfectly. The British actor comes close to doing for this character what Heath Ledger did for The Joker, and he brings a level of likeability to the character, delivering a wide range of emotions. Rhys Ifans is equally as impressive as Curt Connors and has no issues with portraying both the man of science and a genuinely scary and psychotic villain. It turns out that there is a lot more to him than what was shown in the trailers and TV spots, and the Lizard is a very fitting choice of villain who, like the Hulk, benefits from being a motion capture creation. Emma Stone is good as Gwen Stacy and like Ifans, she shares a great deal of chemistry with Garfield. Martin Sheen (Uncle Ben), Sally Field (Aunt May) and Denis Leary (Captain Stacy) all deliver solid performances, although Irfan Khan’s occasionally hard to understand Doctor Ratha is entirely forgettable and not quite effective enough as an antagonist, possibly because he vanishes halfway through the movie. Chris Zylka also surprises as Flash Thompson, with a couple of key scenes adding a lot of depth to a character who was previously portrayed so entirely unconvincingly.
Where The Amazing Spider-Man never falters is with the visuals. This is a stunning film in every respect and Marc Webb has truly brought these characters to life in the best possible way. Spider-Man looks as if he was torn straight out of the pages of the comics, and the suit is photographed beautifully by the director. The mixture of practical and special effects web-swinging is superb and blends together far more naturally than in the previous films. While The Lizard’s appearance has been a little controversial topic with some fans, he ends up looking absolutely fantastic, and the decision to use Ifans’ voice and likeness really pays off. However, it is the action sequences which are truly breathtaking, exciting and downright awe-inspiring. The battles between Spider-Man and the Lizard are like nothing we’ve ever seen in a comic book movie before, and are choreographed so perfectly and brutally, you will undoubtedly be on the edge of your seat throughout. Filmed with the RED EPIC cameras, the 3D is as impressive as you would expect, with plenty of objects coming out of the screen and a proper level of depth throughout. It adds a lot to the overall experience and it would be a foolish decision to see it in 2D. It’s just a shame that the much talked about point of view sequences end up being few and far between. While it's good that they never make the mistake of going over the top with them, anyone hoping for more than seconds of seeing through the eyes of Spider-Man might find themselves disappointed.
The Amazing Spider-Man may not be perfect, but that shouldn’t put you off from seeing what is a solid and enjoyable fourth outing on the big screen for arguably the world’s greatest superhero. It’s a solid entry into the comic book movie genre, as well as a fresh and exciting new take on the character which will leave you eagerly anticipating the sequel (let is not forget that it also happens to include THE best Stan Lee cameo of all-time). James Horner's score is extremely effective, while Marc Webb brings with him a sampling of great tunes (as he did with the brilliant (500) Days of Summer). The film features realistic dialogue and some wonderful humour. It's frustrating then that despite all of this, Peter’s powers never seem to be that well explored. Despite a few sound effects, it’s never actually made abundantly clear whether or not he even has spider-sense. Regardless, it would be a great shame for Marc Webb to be blamed for shortcomings such as these, as he is the one who saves the film when it so occasionally stumbles. The visuals he brings to the screen are truly iconic (whether it’s Spider-Man’s many poses or an actual recreation of the image on the first teaser poster) and Webb not returning to helm the sequel would be a real shame.
A flawed but still fantastic Spider-Man movie which very nearly delivers the faithful portrayal of the character fans have waited so long to see. Incredible acting, action and special effects make this a must-see!
Don't forget to click HERE for your chance to win a limited edition Amazing Spider-Man poster signed by Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Marc Webb and Matt Tolmach.
The Amazing Spider-Man is the story of Peter Parker (Garfield), an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Sheen) and Aunt May (Field). Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Stone), and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents' disappearance - leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr Curt Connors (Ifans), his father's former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors' alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.
Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man
Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy
Rhys Ifans as Curt Connors/The Lizard
Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben
Sally Fields as Aunt May
Denis Leary as George Stacy
RELEASE DATE: July 3rd, 2012.
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