Film Review: The Amazing Spider-man (12a) by Gavin Miller
Okay I admit it, about an hour-and-a-half in I was saying to myself ‘the chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone is great – but hasn’t this been done already?’ But those feelings of déjà vu evaporated in the final 30 or so minutes as Garfield’s new take on the character shook off my cobwebs and pulled me into an exhilarating finale that completely won me over.
With similar plot devices – Uncle Ben and Aunt May, Peter getting bullied, turning vigilante etc – it initially seems overly-familiar. But fortunately with acclaimed director Marc Webb, decent scripting the right side of cheesy, a slightly darker edge and the impressive on-screen interaction of Garfield and Stone it is still engaging far before it explodes into life at the end.
When Peter winds Gwen in for a romantic clinch that makes Maguire and Dunst’s upside-down-kiss from the first Spider-Man look like a rubbish snog behind the bike sheds, it literally propels the film to the next level.
The villain of the piece, Rhys Ifans’ Dr Curt Conners/The Lizard sadly does play second fiddle as this undoubtedly sets up for a sequel, building on the main plot of Peter trying to learn about the mysterious disappearance of his parents.
Some may argue it probably doesn’t better the start of the last Tobey Maguire/Sam Raimi trilogy – I was actually more a fan of Spider-Man 2 – and they may be right, but there’s a bit more heart in the movie that makes it more endearing.
I just can’t wait to see more from Garfield and my new screen crush Stone, and I’m pleased that rumours of Spidey for the Twilight generation has proved unfounded – it’s has much more bite than that.