Film: The Amazing Spiderman

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Reboots always get a lot of flack. After being let down so many times before fans of the original comics have the right to be skeptical. With fan hate at an all time high, Sony returns to the pitch with a new Spiderman film, question is, is it a home run or another bunt?

With a comic book film it’s important to keep the internal fanboy in check. When a series like Spiderman is rebooted, it’s easy to get caught up in the fan hype prepared to damn a film for the changes it makes well before release. Avoiding a film based on changes is like saying you won’t see Christopher Nolan’s Batman films because Tim Burton has already done them. Change is important. Relevance and connection can only work if the audience can relate to a film and Sony relaunches the series again for the current teen generation. After Sam Rami’s Spiderman 3 I am completely ready to see this character move in any other direction.

Web in your face!

The Amazing Spiderman is not as much of a departure from the original story as some people expect. The defining moments we all know Peter Parker for are all still there, the writers have just added more depth to his character. Peter’s mother and father have now become a much more powerful pain in his life. This is not the cheery “take it on the chin” Spiderman we are used to. Andrew Garfield has brought a more realistic teen feel to his version of Spiderman. He is confused and angry, trying to find himself, traits still very central to Spiderman theme. His story still involves his aunt and uncle, still has a mutated spider in it and he still wears the costume. That means all that is left is to discuss the origin story itself.

This time the focus is on Gwen Stacey and Dr Connors. Gwen (Emma Stone) is a good fit for the film. Her relationship  with Parker works for the most part, with a few scenes dragging on for too long, but generally the chemistry sells. Most of the time her character is strong headed and capable, throwing away the traditional damsel in distress elements and modernizing the film. Dr Connors / The Lizard (Rhys Ifans) has always excelled when playing the villain and the CG work is excellent for his transformation. Rhys delivers a decent performance and his Jekyll and Hyde routine is truly creepy at times.

Spiderman himself has had a bit of an overhaul. The city scaling sequences are breathtaking, going with an alternate mythos, Peter does not shoot webs himself (as seen in Rami’s films) but instead uses machines on his wrists to get around. This leaves his motion more about momentum than swinging bringing a more death defying aspect than previously seen before, heightened even more so by the use of first person camera angles (a visual treat in 3D).

Amazing visuals

The film slips a bit in the last act with some of the heartwarming moments coming off more campy. These also occurred in the previous films, but this time it borders on ridiculous. Also, the gear change of the final confrontation is a little jarring. With so much time spent developing its characters, the end comes way too quickly and tries to wrap things up in a very short amount of time and only comes across as rushed.

Overall the film works. Sam Rami’s first attempt still sits above this in quality but overall The Amazing Spiderman does a great job of reinventing the comic book legend. This is not merely a slapped together project Sony have tossed out to keep the rights. This film has heart, direction and a whole lot of work put into it an is a great addition to the comic book franchise.

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Joshua Philpott

Tech MacGyver
Games writer, podcaster and tech wizard. Obsessed with obscure horror films, crazy gadgets and caffeine. Passionate, argumentative and open minded. Freelance writer and co-founder rawDLC.

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  • Bagmup

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  • DeadMeat44

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