Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen, Denis Leary, Sally Field
Running time: 136 minutes
Extras: Deleted Scenes, Filmmaker Audio Commentary, The Oscorp Archives – Production Art Gallery, Stunt Rehearsals
It hasn’t been long since Tobey Maguire hung up his Spidey-suit after the disastrous SPIDER-MAN 3 and while this might be a reboot too soon, they’ve actually given us an impressive re-launch starring Andrew Garfield, Rhys Ifans and Emma Stone plus Marc Webb of (500) DAYS OF SUMMER fame on directorial duties. In the ‘Untold Story’, we watch as a very young Peter Parker (played by Max Charles) is abandoned by his parents and left with his Uncle Ben (the excellent Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Fields). We then flash forward to his teenage reflection, hanging out at High School and generally being a geek with a camera and although Parker is a bit of an outcast, he does seem to have a quick mind.
Upon discovering his father’s briefcase in the basement, Parker finds a mysterious document and wants to find out the story behind why his parents disappeared so swiftly. This eventually leads him to Doctor Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), in the labs of ominous Oscorp and consequentially…the adventure begins!
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN might not blow you away, especially after those other two major blockbusters in 2012, it succeeds with Marc Webb on board as they develop a close-knit story and the unexpected emotional impact of the narrative. The action is also incredible with slick, fast, mixed-martial arts in the numerous Spidey-fighting-off-the-baddies and it’s all pulled off perfectly by Garfield’s Peter Parker.
They’ve found his geekiness, and not over-done it, to the point where you can see why Parker is equally angry and trying to find the right person inside. There’s also a lot of slapstick style humour as he begins to work out what he can do with his powers. Rhys Ifan’s The Lizard isn’t perfect, that’s definite to say and is a little bit of a JURASSIC PARK extra but as Dr Curt Connors, he gives a decent performance as an effective antagonist to kick the new franchise off and really test Spidey for the first time.
Although THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is far from amazing, they definitely stamp their own mark with a damned impressive visual that prospers further because of the ensemble cast. It’s a solid group of new talent with old heads that really embeds that emotive impact that Raimi’s Spidey didn’t always have, and whether that comes down to Garfield being a better actor than Maguire, that’s one to argue for the purists. But for me, I’m very eager to see where they go next.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is out on November 26th and can be pre-ordered here.