In a double feat of perfect casting, The Amazing Spider-Man is sure to make anyone leaving the cinema be in love with Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, or heck, both of them. There’s no arguing that this is a film that the world wasn’t asking for, with Spidey appearing only five years since he was last on screen without being a direct sequel, but at least the film has actually managed to find areas of improvement over the previous tries.
The plot is remarkably the same, except for a sassy new back story that involves Peter Parkers parents. Geeky Peter Parker is bullied at school and secretly pines after the hot girl in the class until he visits his father’s old colleague, Dr Connor’s work (a one armed Rhys Ifans). Peter gets bitten by a genetically modified spider when he snoops somewhere he shouldn’t and suffice to say, Spider-Man is born and wastes no time in righting some wrongs. Meanwhile Dr Connor experiments on himself in an attempt to regrow his lost arm, only to become more lizard like than he bargained for.
It’s very familiar territory, but there is a much stronger emphasis on character here and it pays off. Director Mark Webb has even brought over some of the elements that worked in 500 Days Of Summer, bringing a wonderful humour and playfulness to the action. Stone and Garfield have excellent chemistry, with bucket loads of charm that spill all over the film. Unlike Tobey Maguire’s Spider-man, he’s not awkward and angsty, just a far simpler, and more effective shown as an outcast trying to find his place. Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Parker’s Uncle and Aunt are also a great asset, being super adorable and brimming with warmth.
For those wanting to see the 3D version will not be disappointed. That extra dimension has rarely been used to effectively as watching Spider-man swing through the streets of New York. In particular the uses of POV shots are thrilling and sparsely used, leaving audiences wanting more. It plays well to anyone’s childhood fantasy to be the man in the suit himself. There is also a great deal of creativity used within the action sequences using the webs as slings, grappling hooks, nets, trip wires etc etc.
The film doesn’t manage to answer the question of why the film was ever even made, but perhaps that will be answered by the likely big box office the film will pull once good word of mouth spreads. And for anyone who wasn’t yet convinced of Andrew Garfield and Emma Stones movie star status certainly will be. In what is a crowded, yet quality year for superhero films, The Amazing Spider-Man earns its right to the inevitable sequel.
The Amazing Spider-Man is released in Australian cinemas on July 4th
Director: Marc Webb
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Sally Fields and Martin Sheen