The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
When Sony Pictures decided to reboot the Spider-Man franchise, I wondered if there really was a need for it considering that not much time had passed since Spider-Man 3 came along & overall, this franchise didn’t fare as worse as others to justify a reboot. Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 was disappointing no doubt, but then his Spider-Man & Spider-Man 2 are the movies which played a key role in laying down the foundation for all the superhero films that followed. Anyway, expectations somehow started building up as the new cast & trailers seemed pretty promising & even the director’s previous film, (500) Days of Summer, gave the impression that he can bring a little difference to this genre. If only I knew then that all the excitement was simply gonna go down the drain.
The 4th picture to portray Spider-Man in films & a reboot of the film trilogy that preceded it, The Amazing Spider-Man tries to bring on screen the story of our friendly neighbourhood from its origins. Everyone must already be aware of the premise but in case you’re not, it tells the story of Peter Parker; a teenager from New York City who grew up living with his Uncle Ben & Aunt May after being abandoned by his parents for undisclosed reasons. Feeling like an outsider all his life, things begin to change for him after he is bitten by a genetically altered spider & ends up developing spider-like abilities. But soon he learns that he’s not the only one as a crazy scientist turns himself into a violent hybrid of lizard & man after an experiment gone wrong and is now hell-bent on turning all humans into lizard-like ugly creatures like himself.
Director Marc Webb tries very hard to take his movie further away from Sam Raimi’s version while approaching it from a different angle but it eventually ends up with too many similarities in events, much less charm or excitement & succeeds as a dumbed down version of the original Spider-Man movie in a new package. The screenplay follows a pretty conventional path plus the romantic arc present in this story is eye-rollingly cheesy & absurd. Cinematography is more oriented to point-of-view photography because of which it’s a fairly nice experience in 3D while editing is just horrible. Visual effects feel incomplete & less convincing but the preference for stunts over CGI is a welcome change. And the music by James Horner kind of impresses with its new tracks yet isn’t brilliant enough to erase Danny Elfman’s still magnificent score from our minds which actually feels like belonging to Spider-Man.
Coming to the acting department, The Amazing Spider-Man boasts an impressive cast on paper but it’s disheartening to find that their characters aren’t as richly developed as required & obviously that’s because of its faulty script. Andrew Garfield is very much believable in the costume of Spider-Man & does a brilliant job in portraying the recklessness of a teenager in possession of newly discovered superpowers. Emma Stone is a darling as Gwen Stacy but she isn’t given much to play with yet manages to tag along with a fine performance. Rhys Ifans disappoints as Dr. Connors & his Lizard character seriously failed to work. Denis Leary is alright as Capt. Stacy & the rest of the supporting performances including Martin Sheen & Sally Field as Uncle Ben & Aunt May, respectively, do their part justice to some extent. And Irrfan Khan was casted in a “pivotal role” which was; to be used as the poster boy for the film’s marketing in India, which actually paid off as this movie had a record-breaking opening here.
Now those who are still reading this review & are unfortunately fans of this film, few of them might argue that I should not compare this film with the original Spider-Man but if that’s the case, then what exactly was the motive behind making this film if it never was going to be better than its decade old version anyway? On an overall scale, if I have to summarise my review in one sentence, then The Amazing Spider-Man is just no match to Sam Raimi’s versions in almost any filmmaking department. It’s nothing new but the same old stuff, repainted & presented in a new package, except that the old stuff in its old package still works much better than this one. If you want me to say that it’s good, then yes.. it is as good as Spider-Man 3 (wait, Spider-Man 3 was…). Adding nothing but only a new dimension (3D), which had its little moments, The Amazing Spider-Man fails to deliver & isn’t amazing at all. A needless reboot. And its needless sequel is coming in a month as well. Good luck, Sony Pictures.