The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) Directed by Marc Webb. With Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Infans and Denis Leary.
Ten years is a long time out of anyone’s life. Sadly, it’s not long enough to warrant a reboot of Sam Raimi’s hugely successful Spider-Man film series. Behind the camera this time is the appropriately named, Marc Webb, a director whose C.V doesn’t exactly scream ‘qualified’ to steer the Spidey-verse in a bold, fresh direction…and well, he doesn’t.
Aside from recasting all the main roles and moving M.J aside for Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) to step in as the romantic interest, all the film does is retread the same heavily tracked ground; the awkward teenager, the radioactive spider, Uncle Ben’s murder, the discovery of the powers, the sewing of the suit – it’s all just too familiar and not inventive enough to make you feel like you haven’t seen it all before. There are, however, some fine moments of humour and Andrew Garfield acquits himself well in the title role – a more natural fit than his predecessor, Tobey Maguire. All round, it’s a sexier, more mainstream tone than the Raimi version, but its real failings come by way of its unwillingness to stamp its own individuality and a crippling inability to shake-off the 2002 version.
It would be unfair to say that The Amazing Spider-Man is a bad film. It has some pleasingly energetic set-pieces and the visual effects are better than they were ten-years ago, but, it doesn’t leave you hungry for more and often drags its heels when redressing key scenes from the Raimi version. I wasn’t bored, but I wasn’t thrilled either and for a Spider-Man film that calls itself ‘amazing’, that’s simply not good enough. 3/5