‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ is… amazing

The rerelease of “The Amazing Spider-Man” just five years after the original series concluded left many film buffs scratching their heads and the words ‘too soon’ uttered en masse.

But if one thing seemed certain, everyone’s friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man is back… or is he?

Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone play the love interest in this Spider-Man reboot. Photo: Sony Pictures

“The Amazing Spider-Man” casts “The Social Network” star, Andrew Garfield as our reluctant hero, Peter Parker. But surprisingly, he isn’t the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man many fans will remember. He’s an altogether cockier and more reserved hero – and you won’t hear him uttering that famous line.

The antagonist is none other than Dr. Curt Connors or ‘The Lizard’ (Rhys Ifans). A character the audience are almost made to empathise with through his early relationship with Parker in the film.

Viewers familiar with the Raimi trilogy will note the absence of a red-haired love interest, one Mary-Jane Watson. She is replaced by Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone), who comic book fans will know as Peter Parker’s actual first love.

Film-makers, Marvel and Columbia Pictures needed a Spidey who didn’t seem like Tobey Maguire mark two and, in Garfield, they definitely got that one right. A slight arrogance combined with an inherent awkwardness creates a new Peter Parker – different to the whooping web-slinging character previously portrayed by Maguire.

However, “The Amazing Spider-Man” takes a while to warm up. Throughout the first 20-25 minutes, nothing of any significance really happens. We are invited to look into Parker’s past and his relationship with his father, but that is really as far as it goes. Seemingly that story is one for the sequel, scheduled for mid-2014.

The appetite for a sequel is whet with a post credits scene showing an incarcerated Dr. Connors, which surely will explore more into Peter’s long-lost father.

What really swings in the film’s favour are its action set pieces. While Raimi’s first effort with Spider-Man was criticised for its fight scenes, the use of slow motion in battles with ‘The Lizard’ in “The Amazing Spider-Man” shows a complete difference in fighting styles – which must be commended.

As far as film reboots go, this is a favourable one. Perhaps it’s missing the inherent vulnerability of Maguire, but it works well and sets the scene for a good trilogy of films. Let’s just hope that director, Marc Webb realises that ‘with great power, comes great responsibility.’

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