The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

The Amazing Spider-Man
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Action violence

Director: Marc Webb
Actors: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Irrfan Khan, Campbell Scott, Embeth Davidtz

The Amazing Spider-Man is the story of Peter Parker (Garfield), an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Sheen) and Aunt May (Field). Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Stone), and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents’ disappearance – leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors (Ifans), his father’s former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors’ alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.

DVD
Status: QuickPick
Run time: 131mins
Origin: UNITED STATES
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Audio Formats: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
Twice bitten
by Simon Miraudo,

Comic book characters get rebooted all the time, and that's perfectly fine. Different writers and illustrators are entrusted with reimagining new beginnings, or adding twists to the basic template set eons earlier. Individual authors have their own distinct flavour, and no-one expects them to stick to the canon. For instance, Batman once went on the hunt for Jack the Ripper in 19th century Gotham; Mark Millar wondered what would have happened if Superman was born in the Soviet Union; and in 2011, Peter Parker was killed off, and a black teen by the name of Miles Morales donned the Spider-Man suit. Eventually things return to normal, or, even better, are spun off into even wilder scenarios. This is the wonderful ebb and flow of the comic book world. So, why then does everyone get annoyed w...

Comic book characters get rebooted all the time, and that's perfectly fine. Different writers and illustrators are entrusted with reimagining new beginnings, or adding twists to the basic template set eons earlier. Individual authors have their own distinct flavour, and no-one expects them to stick to the canon. For instance, Batman once went on the hunt for Jack the Ripper in 19th century Gotham; Mark Millar wondered what would have happened if Superman was born in the Soviet Union; and in 2011, Peter Parker was killed off, and a black teen by the name of Miles Morales donned the Spider-Man suit. Eventually things return to normal, or, even better, are spun off into even wilder scenarios. This is the wonderful ebb and flow of the comic book world.

So, why then does everyone get annoyed whenever a reboot is announced by the Hollywood studios? Gents like The Incredible Hulk and Superman are ageless, and born for reinvention. Look at Christopher Nolan's Batman movies; they worked out all right! Therefore, I can think of no reason to be angry at the existence of Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man, even if it does come a mere ten years after Sam Raimi's original. There is cause, however, to be mildly disappointed. Whereas Raimi's pictures carried his personality and had a singular tone, Webb's version feels particularly bland. And that is the real crime of this reboot: if we're going to do this once a decade, why not try something fresh?

Peter Parker is played by Andrew Garfield, he of The Social Network and being 28 but looking 16 fame. Parker's parents disappeared one evening under mysterious circumstances, and he was left in the capable hands of his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field). As a teenager, he's gawky and out of touch; this is exemplified by the fact he still shoots photos with a non-digital camera, rides a skateboard, and uses Bing as his primary search engine. He skulks around high school and lusts - sweetly, of course - over blondie Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), though he's mostly concerned with finding out what happened to his ma and pa. After doing a little digging - with the aid of Bing! - he discovers a connection between his father and Dr. Curt Connors (the always reliable Rhys Ifans), a one-armed geneticist obsessed with limb regeneration.

While scoping out Connors' lab at Oscorp Towers, Peter is accidentally bitten by a genetically-modified spider, gifting him with all powers traditionally afforded an arachnid. When tragedy strikes, Peter is driven to devote his life to battling the ills of New York City, and becomes a masked vigilante. Armed with Spidey sense, super speed, and incredible gripping ability, he cleans up the streets, much to the chagrin of Gwen's dad, police captain George Stacy (Denis Leary). But the cops are soon relying on Spider-Man's help when Connors trials a serum on himself, and mutates into The Lizard.

Webb's directorial debut, 500 Days of Summer, was a delight, yet there's no evidence of the filmmaker who made that here. Gone is Webb's flair; in its place is the generic, "gritty" look of all the superhero flicks that have followed in Batman Begins' wake. Garfield and Stone have a nice rapport, and a more sexual one than Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst ever had as Peter and Mary Jane; however, little of that credit can go to screenwriters James Vanderbilt, Alvin Sargent, and Steve Kloves. Raimi's first Spider-Man was far from perfect, but it at least delivered some iconic scenes, such as the upside down kiss and Uncle Ben's 'Great Power' speech. I struggle to think of anything in this edition that will live on past the closing credits. Certainly not James Horner's score, which is distracting, forgettable, and derivative (a triple threat!).

That being said, The Amazing Spider-Man is not without some wonderful, web-slinging moments. The action - if sparse - is mostly well executed, and death is a persistent threat that takes a real toll on our hero. Though Garfield doesn't get to crack wise as much as Maguire before him, he's given much to chew on when it comes to the guilt that bubbles under Parker's surface.

Raimi's Spider-Man 2 was, at the time (and maybe still), the best superhero feature ever made. Without the burden of the origin story, he could deliver a thrilling and very affecting instalment in the ongoing saga. The Amazing Spider-Man is no better or worse than the first film; or maybe it's just better in different ways and worse in other ones. I hold out hope that the inevitable sequel will similarly be an improvement too, because this cast is too good to waste.

3/5

Check out Simon's other reviews here.

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Member Reviews (42)

Lissa
says
Good watchable entertainment.
Posted Saturday, 16 August 2014 See my other reviews
Very enjoyable - this Peter Parker was waaaay more watchable than the annoyingly wimpy Toby Maguire.
Posted Tuesday, 20 May 2014 See my other reviews
Jojo
says
We enjoyed this one a bit more than the ones starring Toby Maguire - it was a bit more 'slick' and much more Hollywood. Will come down to personal preference I think (which one you will enjoy better) this one had some good stunts and was almost comical in parts (example: him going 'woo hoo' as he swings through the city on his 'webs'). Liked it.
Posted Monday, 12 May 2014 See my other reviews
Jacq
says
Guy reminded me too much or Norman Bates from Psycho. Couldn't relate to him being Peter Parker.
Posted Friday, 17 January 2014 See my other reviews
A better milk down of the early ones. It was ok but, I sort of diapointed I added to my que to be honest
Posted Thursday, 9 January 2014 See my other reviews
David Williams
says
Was better than I expected.
Posted Friday, 6 September 2013 See my other reviews
Stuart
says
This was really bad. SO SLOW to begin with and just a lack luster story. Andrew Garfield was good as the quite nerdy Peter Parker but the voice over when he was in the suit was just stupid. just don't bother.
Posted Monday, 8 July 2013 See my other reviews
Lea
says
Found it funny at times but no where near as good as spider man the original.
Posted Friday, 3 May 2013 See my other reviews
The first spiderman was better. The acting in this movie was poor & it felt like a waste of time.
Posted Monday, 29 April 2013 See my other reviews
Not as amazing as Rami's three previous. I also like Tobi better as Spiderman/Parker. Too many "really?" moments in this one - bad guy leaves his plans on display (even if tucked into his hideout) - and tell me all that water isn't affecting the technology? Pete decides to wander into a cage full of spiders (as anyone would, wouldn't they?) Cranes just all happen to be in the exact right spot for a quick dash across NY. The action does look better than the other efforts - real stunts just look better than CGI.
Posted Tuesday, 16 April 2013 See my other reviews
Mike
says
Enjoyed
Posted Monday, 8 April 2013 See my other reviews
why go back and just rehash it? The 2002 original so much better.
Posted Thursday, 4 April 2013 See my other reviews
Had immense potential; good cast and special effects. But the storey was dull, weak and predictable.So much so that it was a major disappointment and not worth watching. Will not bother if they attempt a second film.
Posted Saturday, 30 March 2013 See my other reviews
jc
says
Enjoyed by many people
Posted Monday, 11 March 2013 See my other reviews
why redo the same thing only 10 yrs later. Besides a few variations its just the same version again. Could of watched the first toby mcguire one and got more satisfaction
Posted Sunday, 10 March 2013 See my other reviews
Disappointing, boring, repetitive. Nothing new to see here. Would recommend Spiderman with Tobey MaGuire which was much more enjoyable.
Posted Friday, 8 March 2013 See my other reviews
ok
Posted Saturday, 23 February 2013 See my other reviews
Nick
says
Whilst this is all very well made, cast and acted you cant help but feel its totally unneccessary to tell the origin story again, why not just recast the younger spiderman etc and keep going with the story after the (underrated) spidey 3? My family rewatcyed and enjoyed the orginal trilogy last year and its just too soon, how long till they do this to Batman?
Posted Sunday, 3 February 2013 See my other reviews
Ian
says
I didn't expect much from this... I rate this higher than Tobey Maguire's efforts, and I loved the first trilogy. I was one of those people saying "why are we already getting another spiderman movie?" I thoroughly enjoyed this. Brilliant chemistry from the cast and the effects are amazing.
Posted Friday, 1 February 2013 See my other reviews
JeffK
says
‘The Amazing Spider-man’ is Ok for a movie centred on the comics. Its plot is mundane and so predictable that it defies reason that anyone actually sat down and wrote it. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde it isn’t but that doesn’t stop its storyline from being based on the Robert Louis Stevenson classic. Men transforming into ‘beasties’, both good and evil, with a mad scientist causing havoc, a beautiful heroine in danger, etc. That said, the performers manage to inject life into their characters and actually save the day – as far as the movies is concerned.
Posted Thursday, 31 January 2013 See my other reviews
uncster
says
Great movie. Heaps of action and a pretty cool (pun intended) villian.
Posted Wednesday, 30 January 2013 See my other reviews
the Thubtens
says
boooooooorrrrrrrring. The first hour was bearable mostly because of Martin Sheen and interesting take on the Spiderman cannon. But the second half with the fighting and the kissing and the fighting and the NO PLOT just made me sleepy. The original movies are far better and Toby McGuire is way hotter.
Posted Monday, 21 January 2013 See my other reviews
Jess
says
Isnt as good as the originals, but casted well and ending left for a possible follow up. Easy viewing
Posted Monday, 14 January 2013 See my other reviews
Otto
says
When they decide to remake a movie only a few years after it is first released, it needs to be really good. Unfortunately, this no better than the first version. Disappointing.
Posted Monday, 7 January 2013 See my other reviews
Noel
says
It is interesting to read the other reviews, If they were bored with all the previous versions of Spiderman.. why hire this one? I personally have liked all the previous interpretations of the story, and yes, they all have a similar plot but are presented slightly differently. This one is my favourite one so far, possibly because as time goes on the quality of the CGI has improved. If you like the Spiderman concept, you will like this one.
Posted Sunday, 6 January 2013 See my other reviews
sal
says
Great movie.
Posted Wednesday, 2 January 2013 See my other reviews
Margit
says
at movie dont miss it.
Posted Friday, 28 December 2012 See my other reviews
Shane
says
Same old same old. Not bad but not great.
Posted Saturday, 22 December 2012 See my other reviews
Moi
says
And the whole world was saved by two clueless teenage interns...
Posted Wednesday, 19 December 2012 See my other reviews
Louise
says
got this one for the kids. its similar to the others but was enjoyable. worth a watch.
Posted Tuesday, 18 December 2012 See my other reviews
Romi
says
One for the Marvel fans.
Posted Thursday, 13 December 2012 See my other reviews
ok
Posted Wednesday, 5 December 2012 See my other reviews
jtbug
says
You may think a reboot of the franchise was unnecessary. You were wrong. While the tone is similar to the originals this is another enjoyable Spidey romp you will dig if you love the character. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are great to watch. I still prefer the original but this is a nice addition.
Posted Wednesday, 5 December 2012 See my other reviews
Kazza
says
OK admitedly, just threw it on my list to see what the fuss was about....well...umm...gave it 3 as the effects were better than the original....but otherwise....preferred the original....basically all the same otherwise
Posted Wednesday, 28 November 2012 See my other reviews
Not that great. Preferred the original spiderman story
Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 See my other reviews
darthdorian
says
a problem with the first superhero movie of a franchise is the first half hour/hour is spent on character development/ how the superhero got their powers. each director/writer wants to put their own slant on a classis tale. here they do it well. it's not till the diner with the staceys that peter relises he's been helping no one but himself. a great movie, looking forward to the next one.
Posted Monday, 19 November 2012 See my other reviews
GaryH is right and I agree with everything he said. WHY? Raimi's version was related to the original comic. This version isn't bad but has no purpose. The lizard looks way too much like CGI, The crane scene was ridiculous. Spiderman meets Bob the builder like. The States lack of inspiration and now remake movies made not even 10 years ago!
Posted Saturday, 17 November 2012 See my other reviews
GaryH.
says
.....and so, back to the beginning we go. Why? I have no idea. So, what's different? Well, the villain for a start, although I would have prefered he looked more like the comic portrayal, and Parker hasn't got a job, so we get the college bully angle and a different authority figure to hate on Spide-Man in a very unconvincing Denis Leary. That crane scene is one of the single most ridiculous things I have seen on a screen.
Posted Friday, 16 November 2012 See my other reviews
BH
says
modern love stories do not interest me at all...this one started more logically than the other ones, but it didn't have the character and it was mostly boring. not bad, but not that good either.
Posted Friday, 9 November 2012 See my other reviews
Lauren & Ryan
says
Similar to the other Spider-Man movie starring Tobey Maguire. We both agreed it was nothing special.
Posted Thursday, 8 November 2012 See my other reviews
Johnson
says
Hmmm... it's an entirely capable film, but there's just something about Andrew Garfield that feels a little inconsistent (it's hard to tell if he's a good actor, or just emotional). It's also nice to see Spidey up against an enemy who's vastly more powerful... although he doesn't seem to be very clever about how he fights (why keep hitting him if it does nothing?). An enjoyable movie, if a bit pointless... and as Joffa says (below): haven't we seen it all before?
Posted Sunday, 4 November 2012 See my other reviews
joffa
says
how many versions of this title have we been subjected to??? lost count now, but i spose as cgi methodology improves so does end result so for cgi 4 star watch, for content 1 star, now boring seen story too many times before
Posted Saturday, 3 November 2012 See my other reviews
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