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The Amazing Spider-Man (4 stars)

Marc Webb breathes new life into this Marvel comic favourite

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The Amazing Spider-Man

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.

THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN - Official Trailer #3 (2012) [HD]

The Amazing Spider-Man

  • 4 stars
  • 2012
  • US
  • 136 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Marc Webb
  • Written by: Alvin Sargent, Steve Kloves
  • Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans
  • UK release: 3 July 2012

This spin-off from the Spider-Man franchise explores the story of young Peter Parker as he struggles to come to terms with being abandoned by his parents and his early confrontations with Dr Curt Connors' giant lizard. Director Webb and star Garfield breathe new life into this Marvel favourite.

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