The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Spider-Man Came Too Soon
Raised by his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field), Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) has always wondered what happened to his parents following their disappearance when he was 4 years old. It is why when he discovers his dad's research work in a hidden briefcase he finds it leads him to Oscorp where not only does his high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) work part time but also Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) who was his father's research partner. When a bite from a spider leads to Peter gaining some spidey powers it leads to a series of events which not only turns him in to a vigilante but also puts him on a collision course with both Gwen's father, Captain Stacy (Denis Leary), and also Curt whose determination to regrow a lost arm leads to a dangerous mutation when he experiments on himself.
First things first, I was one of those who questioned why they needed to reboot the Spider-Man franchise as it was only in 2002 when Tobey Maguire took on the role of the web slinger. Secondly, after I watch a movie I ask myself did I enjoy it enough not only to want to watch it again but would I buy if I saw it on the self of a shop. Now I enjoyed "The Amazing Spider-Man" a lot more than I expected having been a fan of the previous movies and certainly would watch again if I saw it appear on the TV schedule but I am not sure whether I would hand over money to own a copy and I reckon it would have to be in the bargain bucket for me to own it.
So why is that? Well firstly "The Amazing Spider-Man" did not need to be 136 minutes long and draws out the build up to the point that I wouldn't be surprised if almost the first 90 minutes is set up. That means we go through Peter becoming Spider-Man, the bite which gives him his abilities, the amusement when he discovers he can do weird stuff and of course the anger he feels when things turn bad for his Uncle Ben, as he is filled with anger and feelings of guilt. It's because this reboot came too soon that this set up whilst throwing in some differences still feels too familiar. It also feels drawn out as we get one special effect driven scene after another as Spidey swings between buildings which probably is great for those who struggle to focus on anything which isn't flashy but seemed overkill for me.
Now of course whilst all the set up is going on including the romance with Gwen Stacy we also get the lead up to the movies bad guy because of course we need a bad guy. But I find it all too familiar and too obvious as Dr. Curt Connors wants to regrow his lost arm and of course things don't go well. Maybe for fans of the Marvel comics will enjoy this but as a movie fan with just a general interest in super hero it all seems too typical and I hate to sound like a broken record but too soon after the previous movies to stand out.
Having said that I have to say that Andrew Garfield is good as Peter/ Spider-Man and has more of an edge about him than Tobey Maguire had. But that edge which is there during the first half of the movie seems to turn more to comedy especially in the scenes of Peter and Gwen together. On the subject of Gwen well again Emma Stone gives her an edge but again it seems to disappear later on in the movie when things turn more to action and we have comedy appearing. In fairness the whole cast works especially Martin Sheen who makes a good Uncle Ben.
What this all boils down to is that as I said I enjoyed "The Amazing Spider-Man" and would watch it again but for me this Spider-Man came too soon after the last series of movies and so almost comes across as an excuse to toss a whole host of new special effects in to an already familiar storyline.
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