Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans
Director: Marc Webb
Running Time: 136 mins
The Amazing Spider-Man is an American film about high school Peter Parker, who, after being bitten by a radioactive spider, develops super powers that transform him into the web-slinging crimefighter known as Spider-Man.
This is a long, long way from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. While The Amazing Spider-Man tries to both reboot the franchise while doing something a little different, this is a painfully dull superhero movie, with almost none of the charm or depth of Raimi’s films, and a rather tedious, generic origin story that drags on for well over two hours.
As much as I wanted to love this iteration of Spider-Man, I really struggled. Andrew Garfield is really good in the main role, and he has a charm and assurance that makes him a different Peter Parker from Tobey Maguire’s often enjoyably innocent and pure portrayal of the character.
Meanwhile, as his new love interest Gwen Stacy, Emma Stone is as likable as ever, but like Garfield’s Parker, her character struggles to blossom due to a very one-dimensional screenplay that’s a massive step backwards in comparison to the Sam Raimi movies.
The fact of the matter is that The Amazing Spider-Man is a really boring movie. Apart from the main flashpoints of the Spider-Man origin story, which you probably know already, there’s very little that makes this a memorable movie. Peter Parker’s rise to becoming the web-slinging hero is rather simple and without too much conflict, and he doesn’t have all that much to do in this film other than defeat a boring CGI monster.
And with a budget of well over $200m, you’d think that the visual effects in The Amazing Spider-Man would be fantastic. But the reality of it is that they’re not only worse than Spider-Man 3, but also Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man.
Apart from a really stylish new spidey suit, all of the money here seems to have been put towards animating a big, slimy green lizard monster played by Rhys Ifans. And that’s about it. He’s a scientist who turns into a villain for really boring and predictable reasons, and there’s very little conflict or drama to be found when Spider-Man is thrust into action to defeat him.
Meanwhile, Peter Parker’s romance with Gwen Stacy is bewilderingly simple compared with the three film-long heartache Tobey Maguire’s Peter had with Kirsten Dunst’s Mary-Jane, taking away yet another thread of intrigue from what is at the core a brilliant superhero origin story.
In general, The Amazing Spider-Man is a painfully boring watch that squanders two likable leads with a predictable, generic screenplay, ridiculous use of CGI, a tedious villain and a total lack of the emotional depth and varied character drama that made Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films so enthralling. So, that’s why I’m giving The Amazing Spider-Man a 6.4 overall.