Ten years ago Spider-Man hit theatres with a bang. It broke records, and showed the world that everyone’s favourite wallcrawler could compete on the big screen without being cheesy. The second sequel came out five years ago, and it was obvious at that point that the phenomenon had run its course. Director Sam Raimi backed out of the series at that time, as did stars Kirsten Dunst and Tobey Maguire. It was decided then that Spider-Man would be rebooted, even though the series was still fresh in everyone’s mind. The latest incarnation hits theatres tomorrow, and it poised to be one of the summer’s big blockbusters.
Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) was a young child when his parents mysteriously died in a plane crash. Ever since that tragic day he’s lived with his Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen). He does well in school and takes pictures as a hobby, and he sticks up for those picked on by bullies, even though he usually ends up taking the brunt of the punishment. When his home is flooded he finds an old briefcase that used to belong to his father, and inside he finds a secret formula that leads him to Dr. Curt Conners (Rhys Ifans), a genetic scientist that is trying to mix the DNA of humans with that of lizards so he can re-grow missing limbs. While investigating Conners’ laboratory Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider that gives him superpowers. These powers lead him on a collision course with the Lizard, the creature Conners becomes after subjecting himself to trials of his new formula. If Spider-Man doesn’t stop him in time all of New York will become Lizard-like creatures, thanks to a chemical bomb the mad scientist has created.
The Amazing Spider-Man is a fun action movie that keeps you entertained throughout. Andrew Garfield looks the part of both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. He’s thin and wiry the way the hero is supposed to be, and there are many times you wonder if he’s going to win his battles. Emma Stone plays his love interest Gwen Stacey, and she is what you would expect. She’s basically the same character in every movie she’s in. Rhys Ifans plays a great tragic villain along the line of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and it’s the duality of his character that really makes you feel for him. The movie really doesn’t need to be seen in 3D as it adds nothing to it, and if there is one thing missing it is Spider-Man’s credo. Everyone knows that Peter’s Uncle Ben told him that “with great power comes great responsibility”, and it was those words that transformed him from an arrogant punk who was a bit of a jerk into the hero he became, but in this movie those words are never spoken. Sure there is a semblance of it, but it really needed to be that exact phrase. The makers of this movie also seem to try a little too hard to give Spider-Man a darker edge. His hunt for his uncle’s killer turns the character into a batman like vigilante that doesn’t suit him at all. The movie does have its comedic moments as well, and one of the best is Stan Lee’s cameo appearance as a librarian near the end of the flick.
The Amazing Spider-Man is sure to be one of the summer’s biggest hits, and it really does deserve to be seen on the big screen. If you want to avoid the crowds wait a couple of weeks until The Dark Knight Rises comes out, but don’t wait until it hits BluRay or you will miss something great.