Mooted as a “reboot”, Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man essentially retreads ground covered by Sam Raimi in his recent Spider-Man trilogy with mixed results. Ryan Pollard investigates.
Has the reboot worked? Well it is neither perfect, nor is it terrible. Whatever innovations it brings, it is surprising just how much it does feel like retread territory, and certainly there is nothing in it that is spectacularly new. There are some things in it that makes the film worth the effort. The real fireworks come from the cast, and Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are the coup-de-grace that sets this film apart from Raimi’s films. Garfield provides an altogether more sympathetic loner than Tobey Maguire, Stone providing a quick-witted foil as Gwen, and both actors portray the young web-crossed lovers as a genuine believable couple who are turned on and fuelled by adolescent angst, turmoil and lust, with just the right amount of intrigue and internal emotion. Meanwhile Martin Sheen is the dictionary definition of “avuncular”, lending gravitas to the influential shadow he casts over young Peter, and Rhys Ifans keeping the scenery-chewing just this side of camp as the slimy and increasingly scaly Dr. Curt Connors.