It’s the season of Super-heroes and now is the turn of Spider-man to amaze us in this Mark Webb directed ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ but this re-spin is more humane than super-amazing.
Its only ten years back when Sam Raimi’s Super-Man with Tobey Maguire in the lead caught us in the web of Spider-Man’s origins. Have we forgotten it yet? After Spiderman 3 (released in 2007), all the spidey fans expected the fourth instalment of the series but Sony and Raimi parted ways and Sony announced the reboot of the Spiderman. And re-boots are essentially revisiting the past but the problem is the past is still mint fresh for most hardcore comic and spidey fans and in ‘Amazing Spiderman’ though Mark Webb tries his best to bring in a freshness to the origins with more stress on the humane side of the super-hero divulging more into his character, past, romance etc. First half of the movie re-spins what we all know the origin of spider-man and how a spider bite turns the teen college kid into a self-doubting super-man and then proceeds to his encounter with the Lizard man.
For any actor who has to don the spandex red and blue masked suit and cast the web it’s going to be a tough act since like it or not the comparison with Tobey Maguire is inevitable. Tobey’s Spiderman looked nerdy, boyish, innocent, introvert, goofy at times and felt awkward and unease to woo girls and as Spiderman in 3 instalments, his spider-effect is quiet strong to erase and replace.
In Mark Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield dons the spider suit and gets a different character treatment. He skateboards, wears a contact lens, defends others and gets beaten even before he gets his super powers, he is playful and though still bit awkward not entirely shy of wooing his crush. Prod me deeper, I would declare my Spider-man votes to Tobey between the two.
Mark Webb delves more into the past of Park Peter. He is plagued, unsettled by the memories of the past and the unknown reasons that compelled them to leave him as kid with Uncle Ben and Aunt May. His trails leads to Dr. Cutts Conors who was his father’s co-scientist and friend both of whom together researched upon cross-species genetics. After making us wait for a long time almost into the second half of the movie Dr.Cutts transforms into Lizard man. For those who have not seen Raimi’s Spider-Man, you will be thoroughly entertained and fascinated by Andrew Garfield’s transformation into Spider-Man and for the rest of us, it is a bit of a yawn inducing wait, though to Mark and Andrew’s credit, there are moments that comes as a fresh deviations. Especially this Amazing Spider-man is not shy of being a playful bully when tackling criminals and unlike the earlier Spider-Man who had his organic web shooting up from his wrist, Mark Webb’s Peter Parker invents a device that is armed in his wrist and shoots the web. Hmmm… more realistic eh?!
Super-heroes needs super-villains to match with. Rhys Ifans performs as Dr. Cutts Conors and is very convincing and impressive as the scientist. Though it might seem like an eternal wait for him to transform into Lizard man and when he does I felt the Lizard man a mix of Lizard-lla, those dinosaurs from Jurassic park and Hulk! Ha! A villain character similar to Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2 is badly missed.
The biggest meh moment of the movie? When the spider-man is wounded and he has to cross many blocks to reach the villain while the city is being evacuated, the city crane operators move the cranes to provide a bridge for Spider-Man to web and swing his way to the villain.
As for the 3D effects, it is restricted more to the few sky rise jumps and swings and Mark seems to be bit disinterested on its usage elsewhere.
What works for the movie is the casting especially the supporting characters and though my leanings are for Tobey as Spider-man, Andrew has put his best spandex to live as Spider-man.
My final word, If you have seen Sam Raimi’s Spiderman, Amazing Spider-man might not amaze you, though it is a decent effort to re-boot the spiderman franchisee but for those who had missed out the previous installment, you might get amazed erm … I repeat you MIGHT!