So here’s the deal. I’ve already seen the Maguire Spidey movies. And obviously I’ve already seen the Holland Spidey movies. There was just something about these Garfield ones that I Did. Not. Care. About. So I guess it was about time to give him a fair chance, right? This nationwide lockdown is still going on, so why not fill in some major blips in my Marvel repertoire?
The Amazing Spider-Man is exactly what you think it is: another Spider-Man movie. This one actually differs to the original Sam Raimi trilogy with Tobey Maguire as the titular hero in many ways. Most notably, there’s absolutely zero Mary Jane in this re-hash, and instead it follows the original The Amazing Spider-Man comics and stars Gwen Stacy (played here by Emma Stone) as the romantic interest. The film is based on the original origin story of how Spider-Man came to be, but again, The Amazing Spider-Man differs from the Raimi movies in plot. For instance, this one has nutty professor turned villain Lizard (Rhys Ifans) as its main antagonist. However, similarities come by way of Spider-Man being forced to grow up pretty quickly and defeat his foe as usual.
And that… is basically the entire plot. You’ll know exactly what’s going to happen if you’ve seen any other Spider-Man film, but that doesn’t mean it’s not entertaining.
First off, I’d watch an entire movie about Aunt May and Uncle Ben if they were played by Sally Field and Martin Sheen respectively. Why did that never happen? 😤 (Side note: casting President Josiah Bartlett as Uncle Ben punched me right in the gut and I hate whoever did that to me.)
In terms of other casting decisions, I’m generally not a fan of Emma Stone, but her Gwen Stacy is infinitely more interesting than Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane. (Of course, Zendaya tops them all, but that goes without saying.) As for Andrew Garfield, he does his level best despite the script not being quite as zingy or interesting as other Spider-Man movies. There are moments in which Peter Park in his spandex suit is at his best, shooting out comedic, sassy quips just as quickly as he shoots those pesky webs from his wrists. However, Garfield doesn’t quite get his fair share of one-liners in the end, so it all feels a little less traditional Spidey than usual. Historically though, it seems that the right person has always been cast in the lead role and this time is no different, which is nice.
No, it’s not my favourite re-iteration of the Spider-Man story and it does feel a little rushed at times, but it’s still oodles of fun. The action sequences are exciting in 2012 terms, and a clear step up from the original Maguire trilogy in terms of CGI and effects. What I really loved was that some of the rooftop scenes took me back to when I was glued to the Spider-Man PS4 game. Definitely gonna have to play that again after this.
As already discussed, the plot to this one is pretty haphazard and Lizard isn’t the most exciting villain to ever grace a Marvel movie, but I don’t really understand why it’s so poorly rated. Maybe I’m missing something because I’ve never read the comics, but I still had a pretty good time with it.
On the whole, it’s certainly not the best Spider-Man movie. I won’t pretend that it is. But did it put me off watching the second instalment? No way, Spi-day. (Sorry.)
The Amazing Spider-Man is available to stream on Sky Cinema and Now TV in the UK.
TQR Category Ratings:
Costume & Set Design:
Overall Rating: ½