Monday, November 12, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man begins with Peter Parker in high school. Though an amateur photographer, Peter's main interest is science - and he bluffs his way into an audience with his deceased father's ex-partner Dr Curt Connors. After impressing Connors with his knowledge of cross- species genetics, Peter enters a classified area and is bitten by a mutated spider. As his powers and secret identity develop, so too does his relationship with Connors protégé, and Parker's classmate, Gwen Stacey. But when the desperate Connors attempts to fight his personal weaknesses using the same untested method, he undergoes a more disastrous transformation into "The Lizard", a creature with a twisted view of how best to 'cure' humanity.

The Amazing Spider-Man's origin story is undoubtedly an improvement on Raimi's Spider-Man, a decade prior. The characterisation is a lot more realistic, which makes it easier for the audience to feel Parker's teenage pain, awkwardness and ultimate escapism when he dons the guise of Spider-Man. Emma Stone's Gwen Stacey is also a welcome replacement for Mary-Jane, who's sole purpose in Raimi's films was either to moan or scream. Stacey by contrast, is an intelligent character in her own right, who doesn't shy away from getting her hands dirty when Spider- Man's in trouble. Rhys Ifans portrayal of Curt Connors has the same Jekyllian vulnerability seen in Mark Ruffallo's Bruce Banner earlier this year, although his motives are distorted somewhat as the film progresses.

However, such interesting character development unfortunately does not hold together perfectly with the action. Of course, Spider-Man is foremost a movie that has to entertain; yet the cocky web-slinging CGI hero seems too unlike Garfield's brooding Peter Parker. The quality of the special effects is largely inconsistent, with POV scenes of Spider- Man diving around the city impressing greatly, whilst his actual battles with The Lizard are considerably less ambitious. The weighty retelling of Parker's familiar back-story also means that during the dénouement several large plot points, which could have expanded the action, are left undeveloped – and so the ending is a little too simple and unsatisfactory.


Post a Comment