Saturday, July 07, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Teaser Poster
Source: Wikipedia
Spider-Man faces off against The Lizard.

Following the disappearance of his parents, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is brought up by his Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen).

He craves information on his parents whereabouts, and when he finds a bag linking them to Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) he tracks the scientist down to Oscorp where he is working on attempting to prolong the life of his boss.

Tragedy strikes soon after for Parker and he finds himself transformed into Spider-Man, seeking revenge and justice.

Despite not having quite as much appeal to me as the upcoming Batman sequel, the Spider-Man reboot was always on my radar. Other people obviously had the same thought and Spidey broke first day records. I'm not surprised; I booked tickets over 3 weeks ago and found that the cinema was already half full. Crazy.

My hype was further intensified by the blog Film Sketchr. This blog details background work on films, and Mark Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man has been a big focus this week (also, Mark Webb in charge of Spider-Man? Genius.).

On that subject, the artwork and scenery in The Amazing Spider-Man is, well, amazing. It is helped no end by clever wide angles of the New York landscape and some impressive first-person action shots. The film takes on a distinctly darker atmosphere since the days of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, and the skyline compliments this change in tone.

Of course, the darker side of life was already explored in Spider-Man 3, but rather than feeling like the film is flogging a dead horse franchise, The Amazing Spider-Man tones down the cheese to deliver a much more personable superhero. From the start Peter Parker is the man behind Spider-Man and the film follows him, rather than his lycra ("lycra, always lyrca") wearing alias. I didn't really have anything against Tobey Maguire, but Andrew Garfield's interpretation of our webbed friend is far more amiable.

The casting of Sally Field as Aunt May also shows that a change in actors can be a good thing. Arguably her most famous roles are the mother from Mrs. Doubtfire and the mother from Forrest Gump, so for her to play the aunt-acting-as-a-mother in The Amazing Spider-Man, she isn't too far out of place. Throw in Rhys Ifans as the creepy Connors/Lizard and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy (Parker's original comic book crush) and you got yourself a half-decent cast.

There is one moment of glitch in the special effects - one scene sees Spidey clambering around on a building and his foot slips as though he's not on a wall, but on a floor with a sideways camera (which can't be true, can it?) - and this generally means there are probably more, but overall they hold up very well, and the 3rd dimension is a welcome addition to Webb's newly created land.

Had this reboot of Spider-Man not been released between the monsters of The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, then I'm sure it would have been far more publicised. As it is, its relatively under the radar, but happily it's still doing its bit for the comic book adaptations - it deserves to do well.

1 comment:

  1. I am one of the countless skeptics who feel that a spider-man reboot barely 10 years after the last franchise was launched is a little too soon. But all the reviews I have seen have been (mostly) positive. So I guess I'll give this one a chance.

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