The Amazing Spider-Man
Marc Webb breathes new life into this Marvel comic favourite
Originally envisaged as the fourth film in the Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire franchise, The Amazing Spider-Man became a re-boot once those two names departed. Rather than a weak imitation however, incoming director Marc Webb succeeds in breathing new life into this Marvel favourite.
While a lot of the film trades on the familiar, in terms of how shy teenager Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) becomes web-slinging hero Spider-Man, there are also some fun variations. The love interest switches from girl-next-door Mary Jane to the less damsel-in-distress-like Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) and there's a new villain in Dr Curt Connors' giant lizard (Rhys Ifans). In Andrew Garfield, the franchise also boasts a less nerdy, more surly and yet effortlessly charismatic Peter Parker, while Emma Stone brings both charm and sass to Stacy. Their relationship is nicely developed, too, benefiting from the same deft touch that Webb brought to his breakthrough movie (500) Days of Summer.
The film occasionally feels shackled by the constraints of the genre as well as the over-familiarity of the character and one or two plot points either feel rushed or forgotten (the latter possibly with an eye on future instalments). But Webb compensates by maintaining a brisk pace, dropping in some suitably spectacular set pieces and making the most of the film's biggest asset, Garfield himself, who justifies the faith placed in him by immediately making the character his own.
General release from Tue 3 Jul.