The Amazing Spider-Man
I wouldn’t have believed it.
I have a confession to make. I don’t like origin stories for super-hero movies. They tend to be rather predictable trudges through material that most people know. When I heard The Amazing Spider-Man was going to be another origin story, I thought, “What’s the point? We had a Spider-Man origin story - and a good one - this decade. Just recast the parts and move on. Don’t make us go over that old ground again.”
Then I saw the costume. I didn’t like it. It tries too hard to be different from the previous trilogy and strays too far from the classic costume.
But I’ll be darned if this origin story isn’t worth watching again.
Yes, we have to sit through Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) living in a blue collar home with his (doomed) Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field), waiting for Peter to be bitten by the radioactive spider. But this A-list cast keeps it honest and down-to-earth, just hitting the right notes. I encourage you to watch an interview with Garfield; You simply cannot tell that he is not American in this role. It is bizarre to hear him talking in his normal English accent now.
Once Peter is bitten, we don’t have to wait long for the fun to begin. The first manifestations of Peter’s spider powers are hysterically funny. The film deftly alternates between the emotional stuff and humour afterwards.
Rhys Ifans feels slightly miscast as Dr. Curt Connor, but I can’t fault the choice of The Lizard as villain. The fight scenes between Spidey and the Lizard are edge-of-your-seat thrilling.
The use of 3-D is patchy. Some of the scenes with webbing look excellent, with lines stretching forward and out into the distance. Many other scenes might as well be flat; ther’s no depth at all.
In a summer that opened with The Avengers, I didn’t think I would get another superhero film that would match it. And The Amazing Spider-Man is very close to that. And there’s still one more to go…
This movie is better than I dared hope.
Don’t leave when the credits start to roll!