(First published 2nd August 2012)
I went to see The Amazing Spider-man along with my sister, who had already seen it in French but was eager to enjoy a slightly more comprehensible version. I had not been rushing to my local cinema to see it, but often the films that command few of your expectations and less of your box office attention are sometimes the little nuggets that you end up quite enjoying.
Firstly, let me cut slightly to the chase and state that the film itself was good. Well done, Webb, a solid three stars to you. However, it is always difficult to commend a remake, reboot or adaptation too instantaneously, for there are various complications. Needless to say, one cannot watch The Amazing Spider-man without comparing it to its previous Raimi-directed counterparts, which I will probably always prefer if only for nostalgia. However, when talks of Spider-man 4 surfaced, I felt things were getting a bit ridiculous, and when talks of starting anew with the franchise taking a completely new direction and team, things were therefore looking up. When I initially heard the news, I felt the decision for the franchise to continue at all was perhaps at this time unnecessary, but with hindsight, the reboot was probably the lesser of two evils. After all, sequels (to generalise immensely) are the stuff of Satan.
Unfortunately, I am not one of those film geeks whose passion runs alongside an in-depth knowledge of comic book fiction, however much I respect such people. Instead, my opinions of such crossovers are pretty simplistic. What I do know is that Gwen Stacy, played by the wonderful Emma Stone, is, in fact, Spider-man’s original love interest and by all means one thousand times less annoying than Dunst’s Mary Jane Watson.
The Amazing Spider-man will never extract any superlatives from within my vocabulary; it lies at neither end of the spectrum to warrant such extremities. Instead, what we have is an all-round enjoyable film, neither shockingly good nor shockingly bad. It suffers from a couple of flaws but not enough for me to slate it with too much gusto. For instance, I did passionately hate some of the CGI – specifically that of the lizardy Curt Connors, whose mouth never quite managed to move effectively in synch with his speech. I also wasn’t a fan of the silly crane scene (you’ll know the one), which was both unnecessary and a bit ridiculous. Furthermore, I saw the film in 3D, which was slightly disappointing – but that’s a rant for another day.
In summary, The Amazing Spider-man is definitely worth a watch, although maybe wait until it’s £3 in Fopp before committing it to your DVD collection.
P.S. It may be important to add as an afterthought/disclaimer that the third star may have latched itself onto my overall opinion thanks to my stonking huge crush on Garfield.