THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider -Man
Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy
Rhys Ifans as Dr Curt Connors / The Lizard
Martin Sheen as Ben Parker (or Uncle Ben as we popularly know him)
Sally Field as May Parker (or Aunt May as we popularly know her)
Denis Leary as Capt. George Stacy
Irrfan Khan as Dr Rajat Ratha
In today’s era, “adults” are also big kids who see Spider-Man movies, and The Amazing Spider-Man faces the challenge of making both the old and new generations satisfied with a revised version of an iconic superhero. A decade has passed since Toby Mcguire stepped into the shoes of Spider-Man and five years after Spider-Man III, the reboot button was pressed and, indeed, the world was ready for it.
Now here’s the gist of the movie. When Peter is still very young, the Parkers go to Uncle Ben and Aunt May after their house had been invaded, after dad Parker engineered a brilliant breakthrough in interspecies genetic mutation. On that very night Peter’s parents leaves, leaving him with uncle and aunt. Years later he finds about (the benevolent-scientist-turned-homicidal-monster) Dr Kurt Connors, one of his father’s colleague. He sort of smuggles himself into the Oscorp where Dr Connors is employed and where he’s bitten by the mutant spider. And. Bam! He’s The Amazing Spider-Man. He lets Gwen Stacy into his little secret and she falls in love with him MORE. The faintly sinister Dr. Connors’ experiment goes horribly wrong transforming him into the Lizard with the intention of turning the whole population of Manhattan into the likes of himself. But there enters our friendly neighborhood superhero who saves the city.
That said, now let’s talk about what’s new in The Amazing Spider-Man than the previous trio of movies. First of all, the story which starts with a prologue of how Peter came to be with Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Without altering the basic outline, this version of Spider-Man is a different story than the one told in Sam Raimi’s trilogy, with greater emphasis on human relations than on special effects. Parker’s love interest is Gwen Stacy, the sexy science geek and an intern at Oscorp. Mary Jane has been erased. Emma Stone has certain cuteness about her making the character of Gwen Stacy strong and indomitable and deliciously desirable high school girlfriend a bug-bitten-love-smitten young man could hope to woo. Personally, I feel Stone to be a much better heroine than Kirsten Dunst, smart and feisty rather than hapless and dramatic. Their witty dialogue and bantering romance brings pleasure to the film. Their relationship is an exercise in clever nonverbal gestures. Take the school scene for example, where he asks her out without, actually asking.
While throughout the three movies McGuire had the deadpan expression stuck on his face as if contemplating making the right choice taking up the role of the iconic superhero, Garfield on the contrary seems at ease with the new version of Peter Parker, becoming slightly cooler with a skateboard, contact lenses and punk tee-shirts. And the fact which does not go unnoticed is that he stands up to his high school nemesis, Flash Thompson, even without the arachnid powers. Another such fact is the fact that Peter in the movie uses fabricated web, as does the original Stan Lee’s Spidey, instead of organic webs as was in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man.
The Spider-Man action in the film is better than before, thanks to some improved conceptualization, a whole lot of superior technology combined with veterans like cinematographer John Schwartzman. The cinematography is gorgeous and there are well-staged practical stunts. Spider-Man actually do move and fight like a crawling and creeping Spidey, like in the sewer scene and the fight scene at school. The Lizard has been well depicted with all its scale-ness and gigantic glory. The 3D effects are phenomenal whenever Spider-Man suits up to do some web-slinging between the skyscrapers of Manhattan, but are almost non-existent in the domestic scenes. Beyond a few brief flourishes, the 3D hardly feels necessary, serving no other purpose than to sling a few additional bucks into Spidey’s web of worldwide ticket sales. And despite all the actions and the chemistry shown neatly, pacing and editing are the two biggest issues in the film – and this is very apparent in some of the rushed scenes. For example: a sewer battle seeks to build tension, only to come to an abrupt end – followed by a speedy and awkward transition into a high school battle sequence. The fact is that The Amazing Spider-Man is somewhat at odds with itself. And while that might be a fitting metaphor for the character himself, Amazing Spider-Man ends up being a solid relaunch, rather than a “good” or “amazing” one. The potential is there for a much bigger and better Spider-Man movie to come, even if this one doesn’t fully realize that potential.
My rating to the movie is 7.7/10.
And if you’re a Spidey fan like me, then you sure won’t miss it!
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