Saturday, 7 July 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man Review

Directed by Marc Webb and starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans The Amazing Spider Man follows the story of Peter Parker, as his search for the truth about his parents, leads him to Dr. Connors (Ifans) and a date with a radioactive spider. 

Just five years after the disastrous 'Spider-man 3', fans have been treated with the perhaps unnecessary reboot of the popular franchise. Although this reboot may be telling pretty much the same story, that is where the similarities end, as this film is mostly quite different from it's previous 'series'. There has been a change in director, with Webb taking over from Raimi, hoping to transform the tone of the film from tame to dark, to the criticism of many. However most prominently there has been a change in the lead role, the cheesy and uncomfortable presence of Tobey Maguire will not be returning, instead Andrew Garfield is hoping to insert a dose of gritty realism into the franchise. 

However despite these major changes, The Amazing Spider Man is a lot like it's predecessors being cheesy, predictable and totally incoherent. To my surprise it was actually the build-up, which went so wrong for the 2002 version, that completely 'stole the show'. Every character was depicted perfectly, in an initial story that was relatively fresh, showing sides to the well-known plot that has never been seen before on screen. Oddly enough it was when Parker's powers materialized that I really started to dislike the film. There's one specific moment in the film when the overall tone is just flipped on it's head, almost as if Raimi has taken the reigns from Webb! Plot points became predictable, half-hearted CGI became prominent and the screenplay became all too familiar. 

Due to Spider Man 3's lack of any source of threat or intimidation from the two villains. You would expect The Amazing spider Man to learn from it's mistakes and produce a threatening, malicious creature with powerful motives for wanting to kill the protagonist. Instead what was produced was more of the same absurdity, a giant, un-intimidating, CGI blob, who had weak motives for his destructive actions. Setting off as a genuinely good person Rhys Ifans' character 'Dr Connors' unrealistically transforms his personality, to the point where he now wants to savagely destroy everything in sight. The change simply did not make any sense and there was near to no explanation for the lizards actions, with the slight exception of a pathetic information video in Dr Connors' lab. Furthermore the Lizard looked quite poor, obviously I wasn't expecting totally realistic features, after all he is a 7ft talking reptile, but they could've at least made an effort. I found that this film wanted to stick religiously to the comics, by creating this huge fantasy beast when actually more of an impact could've been given by simply reducing his size and by giving him relate-able features with far less CGI. Take Christopher Nolans 'Dark Knight Rises' for example, in the batman comics, Bane is a humongous beast, however in the film he's simply represented as a man with similar intimidating features. 

Prominent in nearly all superhero film's is the use of a cheesy and unrealistic screenplay, and The Amazing Spider Man doesn't buck the trend. The film is full of some poor moments of dialogue and many totally unrealistic scenes of stupidity. My favorite piece of terrible dialogue within the film being 'Put the mask on, it will make you strong'. The Lizard is responsible for many scenes of idiocy towards the end of the film, one scene in-particular stands out as the worst, so without spoiling anything all I'll say is the crane scene is a lazy piece of film making! 

Although there are many problems with this film, I do believe that it does have some positive points. For the film's first 45 minutes I was engulfed and totally engaged. The scenes at home with the family were the best scenes of all portraying a realistic family, and a young boy who is still adapting to life without his parents. Andrew Garfield is excellent as Peter Parker, depicting what Spider-Man truly is at the heart, a shy geek, who finds confidence within his new power. Emma Stone is also equally as brilliant producing a very realistic, natural performance. In fact the acting across the whole cast was above average, even Rhys Ifans puts up a strong performance as the terrible villain, Lizard. 

Overall, The Amazing Spider-Man  was an enjoyable enough watch, for the first 45 minutes, until Peter Parker became spider-man! From here the story slowly started to fall apart , the screenplay became absurd, the Lizard started to talk, and poor action scenes were displayed in the most ridiculous locations. However it is considerably better than the 2002 original! 

60%- A lenient score on what was a disappointing film, what could have been fresh and original became predictable and corny. 

Calum Russell

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