The Amazing Spider-Man

Thought I may as well get this blog going with a film I saw on Friday, The Amazing Spider-Man. This had been on my radar for quite a while due to having several Marvel manic friends. To give a bit of background, the film starts the whole Spider-Man thing over, with Peter Parker (this time played by Andrew Garfield) starting off once again as a normal, if not slightly geeky and shy teenager. We are taken through a similar sequence of events as the previous generation of films, with the spider bite, and his uncles death, but this time with a new villain and storyline.

Onto the review itself, I thought the casting was very well done, Andrew Garfield plays Peter Parker with just the right amount of uncertainty of character you would think Peter would have. His physical appearance is slightly ‘cooler’ than that of Maguire’s Peter, with the hairstyle, general clothing, and especially the skateboard. I personally don’t think it was a bad choice, made him look like more of a normal clever kid who’s into maths and science, rather than the generic ‘Hollywood’ nerd. Rhys Ifans plays the slightly mysterious Dr. Curt Connors, a scientist who works with Peter’s father and has continued his work, who’s dream is to use Lizard DNA to be able to regrow his arm. He does an excellent job of portraying a man who is torn apart when he finds out his research is no longer being funded, and his desire to overcome his disability may just be that, a desire. Martin Sheen and Sally Field play Peter’s uncle and aunt respectively. Emma Stone plays the lovely Gwen Stacy, the daughter of Captain Stacy, a man who publicly puts out an arrest warrant for Spider-Man.

The film differs from the others in that it puts more time and effort into Peter’s history, giving you an insight as to how his father died, and possibly why. It’s his discovery of some of his father’s work which leads him to Dr. Connors, and after a pretty iffy scene involving a name tag and some security, he gets the chance to meet the man and does his best to impress. While there he manages to sneak off into a super secret lab full of spiders, one of which of course bites him. This scene showcases some of emotional side to the film, with the obvious connection between Gwen, who is Dr. Connors’s head intern and Peter. The relationship between the two of them is wonderfully done on the whole I feel, with a very awkward scene in which Peter attempts to ask Gwen out, and I thought it was a lovely scene, showing both actors playing the nervous and unsure characters they were at the time. Peter’s nerves are once again shown later on when he tells Gwen his identity, that he is Spider-Man, and apart from one line which I feel goes against the rest of the conversation slightly, it’s a very well done scene.

One of the highlights for me was the entire transformation series of scenes, showing him discovering and trying to get used to his various powers granted to him from his spider bite earlier that day. It starts with an amusing scuffle on a train with a bunch of slightly dodgy looking characters while he constantly repeats ” I’m sorry I’m sorry ” , followed by the destruction of various items such as alarm clocks and door handles in his room at home. It’s a good upbeat comedic section before some of the darker tones set in, such as his unhappiness and frustration at home, as he struggles to manage his new powers, till finally the death of his uncle.

The action in the film is well done, clearly showing Lizard having the advantage when it comes to power, and all Spider-Man can do is try to avoid his swinging limbs while trying to immobilise him with his web, which made for some great quick fluid fight scenes.

Sadly the film isn’t flawless, the music was a big let down for me, with a couple of scenes in particular causing me to really question some of the decisions made by James Horner in his score. These included a very disappointing main theme during what was purely meant to be an uplifting, near inspirational scene of Spider-Man swinging through the streets, and again with an odd use of the music to punctuate events on screen, but done incredibly poorly, one doesn’t expect a sudden  chord from the strings when something sudden happens on screen, tis a little obvious.

The Good:

  • The casting
  • Some very well done scenes
  • A more powerful emotional side to it than the previous trilogy

The Bad:

  • The music
  • Some really odd dialogue choices

Should you watch it?

I would recommend this to my friends, it has a half decent storyline, some great characters, and in the end, delivers an action film which is worth seeing. I wouldn’t compare it to the previous trilogy while watching, it’s perfectly good in its own right, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they will do with the sequel.


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