ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Movie review: The Amazing Spider-Man

Updated on June 19, 2012

There was a time you could tell it was getting close to summer due to the change in the weather; but thanks to climate change, that method is no longer as reliable as it once was.

Thank the heavens then for superheroes, who in recent years, have become the cinematic barometer marking the arrival of the summer blockbuster season.

With the Avengers assembling in an orderly fashion last month, and the dark knight waiting eagerly in the wings, there's just time for our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man to make an appearance with a remarkably familiar tale.

High School student Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) appears to have the not so amazing power of invisibility at school, as no-one seems to notice him. He doesn't mind though, as he can go about his business taking pictures, without being bothered much.

Peter is raised by his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and aunt May (Sally Field), after his parents abandoned him in the middle of the night when he was young.

After an accident in their basement, peter discovers some documents belonging to his father, connecting him with scientist Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), who it turns out, was a friend and colleague of Peter's father. He passes on this information to Connors, which includes an odd looking formula. It turns out that it's the key to unlock the doc's research into cross species genetics.

While snooping around his lab, Peter ends up in an area he really shouldn't be in, and subsequently gets bitten by a spider. Not long after, Peter soon notices a change in himself; he's somehow physically stronger than he used to be and more agile.

He's not the only one to notice either, as his fellow students, most notably Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), soon see a difference in him too.

Peter doesn't have much time to enjoy his new-found abilities though as he soon finds himself having to cope with not only a family tragedy, but also a rampant lizard-like creature on the loose in NYC. And so a new superhero is born.

Despite being marketed as a 'reboot' (which let's face it, is just a new, made-up media buzz word for 'remake' anyway) of Sam Raimi's 2002 film, you should have no doubt that this is nothing more than a re-telling of Spidey's origin story. There maybe a few new tweaks here and there – a new actor in the lead role, a different love interest and villain – but essentially exactly the same film. Again.

That's not to say that, appropriately named director, Marc Webb, doesn't do a good job; the script is engaging, with far more laughs than previous versions, with a great soundtrack composed by James Horner.

Where he hits a home run however is with the casting of Garfield. This young British actor delivers an exceptional performance, giving his character real emotional depth – possibly far greater than the character actually needs or deserves. Denis Leary also manages to shine with the small amount of screen time he has, playing Gwen's father Captain Stacy.

There are also a number of great supporting parts, particularly those given by Sheen and Field, which help lift the story and relationship parts of the film to the kind of height that isn't often reached by other superhero flicks.

But the real problem is still that we've seen it all before. If they had taken a darker route, as is the case with Christopher Nolan's re-imagining of the Batman character, a re-telling of Spider-Man's origin story might have been that bit more bearable. But this is nothing more than a pimped up version of the original.

It would have been a braver move to pick up on, say, the Venom character that first appeared in the Spider-Man comic series in the eighties. Yes it's a little darker and edgier in tone, but considering the success and appetite for Nolan's Batman, it wouldn't have been a complete gamble.

There's also a scene towards the end of the film, where construction workers come to the aid of our web-slinging hero, that just feels awkward and a little too much like a Hands across America initiative.

To add insult to injury, the 3D version fails to make an impact, which is a shame considering that swinging around New York City's skyline had the opportunity to really pop visually. It didn't.

Garfield is definitely a welcome shot in the arm for the series, but it's still disappointing to see that they decided to re-spin Spidey's origin story that has been spun one too many times already.

3 booms


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)