November 4, 2012

Filthy Review - 'The Amazing Spider-Man'

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Review by Jude Felton

When I first heard that the powers that be were going to reboot the Spider-Man franchise my first thought was one of surprise. I mean, Sam Raimi’s films aren’t exactly old are they? But then, upon a little more refection, I thought the same when Christopher Nolan rebooted the Batman franchise, and they turned out okay, didn’t they? I think when it comes to superhero movies there is always room for a new vision; it’s been done with The Incredible Hulk and Superman, both to varying degrees of success, and I am sure it will continue to happen in the future.

In The Amazing Spider-Man we join Peter Parker when he is just a wee boy. His parents mysteriously disappear and he in turn goes to live with his Aunt and Uncle. As he grows up the absence of his parents plays constantly on his mind, and a discovery leads him to meet Dr. Curt Connors, who works at Oscorp. Connors is working on a genetics program that will hopefully allow him to replace lost limbs; he himself having only one arm. He is also Peter’s father’s former partner, so you just know that something is going to go down.

Whilst wandering around Oscorp’s facilities Peter gets bitten by a spider, and the rest is history you might say. However, as with many superhero movies, when one ‘hero’ is created a ‘villain’ soon follows. So, as Peter learns to adapt to the powers he obtained through the spider bite, a villain, in The Lizard, is soon in the making.

The Amazing Spider-Man was a terrifically entertaining movie. It did move along a little slowly in places, but a good cast and some sweet action set-pieces made it a worthy movie. I did question the plausibility of casting Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, as Peter Parker and his potential love interest Gwen Stacy, with both playing teenagers even though they are both in their twenties, with Garfield pushing thirty. However, they both pulled it off well, with Garfield’s boyish charms shining through.

Garfield and Stone were more than ably supported by the likes of Rhys Ifans, as Dr. Connors, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen and Sally Field, and the eagle-eyed out there will no doubt spot the obligatory cameo from Stan Lee, as well as a suspiciously small role for C. Thomas Howell.

The meat and potatoes of everything Spider-Man though is the action; the fights, the chases and set-pieces, and I will say that director Mark Webb has definitely come up with the goods here. The emphasis seemed to be on Spider-Man’s agility and some of the closely shot fight scenes were quite spectacular. Then when the action is taken to the streets it is taken to another level, with some lush looking photography and seamless special effects. Webb hasn’t attempted to copy Raimi, as that would have been pointless if you ask me, instead he has made a film that is at the same time familiar yet also fresh.


I did think that the movie went on a tad too long, with the last 10 minutes or so of a 2 hour plus movie seemingly a little bit too much, but I am definitely going to be in line for the next movie in the series. I am not a huge superhero movie fan, in the sense I don’t go gaga over them and cry foul-play if the original story isn’t adhered to like gospel, but I do enjoy a rip-roaring good yarn, and this film delivered for me. I read the comics as a boy, and I enjoyed the TV movies as well as Raimi’s films, and The Amazing Spider-Man is a worthy new addition to the ever-evolving franchise.

The Blu-ray/DVD combo release I watched was packed with extras, and came on three discs. Two discs were for the Blu-ray and DVD versions of the film, and the third disc being set aside for the extras, of which there are plenty I might add. One inclusion that was new to me was the Second Screen App, which allows you to sync the movie from your iPad or Tablet whilst watching it on your television. What ever will they come up with next? This is definitely a release where you get your money’s worth.

The Amazing Spider-Man is released on November 9th on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD from Sony Home Entertainment.

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