Was the reboot really needed? That kind of question is worthless now. Does the reboot ‘marvel’ (yes, pun intended!) over the 2002 version? In some departments, yes. In some, not really. It has been just one decade since Raimi’s Spider-Man came out and the memory of cherishing that movie as a kid is still effectively imprinted.
First of all, Andrew Garfield, the man of the hour, is brilliant as Peter Parker/Spider-Man! He is effortlessly charming and you don’t miss Maguire even for a second. I am not much familiar with Spider-Man’s comic book world but from whatever I’ve read, Garfield nails that. Garfield’s Peter Parker is proud of being a nerd. Yes, he gets bullied by a douche named ‘Flash’ again. Yes, he is finding difficulties in connecting with any person, even his uncle and aunt. But he is a rebel in nature. He is extremely smart and modest in equal measure. He’s just Peter Parker.
First half is very much a reminder of the story we’ve been told before, we’ve all seen before. Some things improved, some things are just bland. Like, becoming Spider-Man for instance! Marc Webb seems to be in a big hurry and insecure to let audience spend more time with Peter before he becomes a masked hero. It just feels rushed. What’s improved is the humor factor. Webb knows how to spin the mood ‘webs’ (pun intended!) in a scene. As soon as the atmosphere gets a little too serious, he throws a humor web out of nowhere. Bam! Makes it feel refreshing! And yes, of course there are pop-cultural references like Hitchcock or Godzilla. Yes, it has a very good soundtrack. We know how brilliant Marc’s taste in music is, thanks to (500) Days of Summer. Speaking of which, I think Marc takes his best tools for creating a heartwarming romance from his debut film and sharpens the edge between Gwen and Peter in The Amazing Spider-Man. Emma Stone is just charming (has she ever not been?). Garfield and Stone share an electrifying chemistry. Much improved over Raimi’s Spidey Romance.
There isn’t much to talk about other characters. They are just fine in what they are doing–filling the gap in between. What the movie lacks is a convincing villain. A scientist turned a giant green reptile, which is supposed to come up as ‘a terrifying and yet humanly creature inside’ doesn’t succeed in being either of those two. This is a villain which we have seen over and over again. A rejected scientist goes rogue to make his ‘dream project’ a success Bam!- next thing he knows next morning– he is a freaking lizard! And he just wonders around the city with no motivated actions. Even the birth of this villain is strikingly similar to Green Goblin from Spider-Man(2002), which is disappointing because after so many recalls to old Spidey, we want something fresh, not just in treatment of scenes but as a whole plot structure. That, isn’t what you get. Even the action sequences–trying to save a falling car from a bridge with kid(s) inside, for instance; feels much familiar. I know this is Marc Webb’s version, and that is exactly why I would expect it to be something far better and refreshing. How exactly is this “an untold story” as the movie’s marketing has reminded us it being of, again and again? The most interesting and refreshing thing about Peter’s childhood that is in the movie, sadly gets sidetracked and never comes back to us again, more on that part later.
James Horner’s orchestra is decent as a standalone piece of music but in the movie, it doesn’t scream SPIDER-MAN! That was also one of the factors which made even the most exciting moments a bit dull. Danny Elfman, you’re being missed!
Much of the final movie has deleted some scenes that we remember from the promos. A key voice over(which seems to play a major part in revealing the mystery) we hear from Irfan Khan in trailers is just not here. Actually, Irfan Khan’s character which comes up as an important part to Richard Parker’s mysterious past, just disappears after first half! And also another such abandonment of an important character near the ending of the movie. Were the screenwriters in too much hurry to get our boy in swinging spidey scene that they forgot other key characters in the story? One can’t help but wonder. The film starts creating its base on a mystery and then refuses to give a definitive resolving moment for it.
God bless Webb for featuring web-shooters in the movie, though! Now our boy looks much cooler, much badass. There are some cool moments that you would keep in your brain pocket, safe and locked, to bring a smile on your face on a rainy day. A splendidly hilarious Stan Lee cameo, New York city crane drivers helping a stumbling Spidey to make a short cut to save his love of life, and the city, of course! A kid wears the mask Spidey just gave him to be brave enough to get out of the burning car. But the thing is, such moments are not in abundance. The epilogue is just plain lazy. It’s like hitting a break on a Mustang running in top speed.
If you are still interested to catch it on big screen, which by all means, you should do because it’s a good movie (just not good enough to be in your memory for long time), you’d ask if you should sport them 3D glasses or go for good ol’ 2D. Well, the movie is spectacular in 3D, ONLY when our spidey boy shouts out in all his web glory spinning around New York buildings. So 3D is good but not must.
I think the movie will be more refreshing and more enjoyable to those who are unfamiliar with this superhero’s history in movies. This is a good movie but not THE AMAZING!