the amazing spiderman

I don’t really want to get into the whole “re-boot” debate – about whether it is too soon, or if it is any good compared to the first Spiderman.  It does seem a little redundant to me – as the film is already made.  As I have said before, my Family is slightly obsessed with Marvel films.  We have the complete reference material available to the general public (well at least it appears that way) and I have a 12 year old who reads it all like you and I would read a novel.  We know a fair bit about the original Spiderman (in his comic/ graphic book form). And much as we were looking forward to the preview of this film, it must be said, we are pretty hard audience to please.

Initially the choice of British actor Andrew Garfield seemed a strange one, as did the choice of Director, Mark Webb.  With just one film under his belt (all be it a charmer, 500 days of Summer), the connection between that film, and a huge action blockbuster seemed non-existent.  Emma Stone is an actress I have loved since Easy A, and she seemed like a great fit for the smart, no nonsense Gwen Stacy.  Though it is easy to think the Mary Jane Watson from the first movie was Spiderman’s first love, it was in fact Gwen Stacy. She has made sure she is a very hard act to follow.  Andrew Garfield is a bit of a revelation.  He just nails it as the Peter Parker with a dark past.  He is written as a quiet, smart, skateboarding loner. The film kicks off with a great bit of backstory, and we get to see his parents and how he ended up living with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben.  But the film really comes into its own when Spiderman finally takes to the skies.  The combination of the computer animation, live action and 3D is just fantastic.  Spiderman swoops and races across the skyline EXACTLY how you would hope the comic would translate into film.  The pacing is great, the action scenes explosive. Garfield and Stone together give the film heart, as do both Martin Sheen (Uncle Ben) and Sally Field (Aunt May).  Rhys Ifans as Dr Curt Connors (Dr Parker’s old lab partner) is suitably simpering, but is let down by the not so great computer animation when he comes to life as The Lizard, Spidey’s first baddie.  Playing it very straight is Denis Leary as Police Chief Captain Stacy, Gwen’s Dad.  There are a few cheesy moment/bits of dialogue, but overall we can forgive that, as the rest of the film is so great. Watch out for the appearance of Stan Lee (as in all Marvel films), his cameo is short but hilarious. Also remember that Marvel films like to have a bit of an additional filming slipped into the credits.  We were amazed how few people knew this and who stood up as soon as the credits rolled at the preview. It is worth the wait, as it is a bit more to add to the story, and obvious link into the next Amazing Spiderman film.  Bring it on; we can’t wait for the next one.  The film is playing everywhere you can think, (just in time for the holidays) and we give it a solid 4 out of 5.

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