The Amazing Spider-Man
First of all I'll say the fact that Spider-Man's origin story didn't need to be remade. I've seen some of the very decent to mediocre attempts before but what makes this a poor attempt was that it was a remake that backtracked on all that was good before it. There was nothing new here. In previous remakes there were soul, heart, good soundtracks, excellent scores, decent acting, chemistry between characters, heroism, humour and quotable dialogue. This film for the most part lacked these core values. This version even deleted one of the main characters, the often hilarious: J. Johan Jameson who was a huge part of the comics, animations and even the main films.
As I watched the film, I tried my best to over look the obvious first hour or so that inevitably retold the same old story of Peter Parker, the love interest, the bullies, the Aunt & Uncle, the spider bite, the transformation and the discovery of his new powers. I can't even say there are spoilers in this review, as we all knew that was coming. This is not to say there were no additions to this new film but there were none that are worth mentioning, it feels like this film took away the fundamentals that over the years we have come to know in anything to do with Spider-man while not replacing these gaps with anything. "The Untold Story" this is one of the main advertising points used for this film, however I do very much disagree. The most famous quote in Spider-man was not even present in this film “With great power, comes great responsibility”
Most of the action scenes take place at night and are visually uninteresting as the CGI and night sky don't mix well with the little lighting that was present. There is one action scene at day in which you can actually clearly see what is happening and its in a high school that appears to be no where near where the film is supposed to be set in New York, unlike its predecessors who show schools within where Spider Man is set.
What the film is trying to tell us is that Spider-Man is a self scarifying hero (or as much as a teenager could be), that he loves Gwen Stacy and that he also has his own interests and reasons for what he does. However, the one interest that he made an income from, that makes Peter Parker who he is to the audience, isn't even present except for one scene in a sewer and a few hanging pictures. So many story lines began and either faded or we're given half the explanation, nothing was taken all the way through, it felt as if the directors were trying to save money.
Don't get me wrong about this film; I didn't completely dislike The Amazing Spider-Man. Of the approximately 20 minutes (of 136 minutes) of screen time Spidey was on the screen, his costume was good although the explanation on how his idea for his costume came to be was lacking, unlike the previous series of films which dedicate a whole 20-30 minutes to it. Although Tobey Maguire spun confusing misleading webs around Andrew Garfield's Parker he still did a good job. I will even say that Spider-Man's signature sarcasm was funnier this time around and this film did seem to be more “Up to date” except this time around instead of a green bad guy from Oscorp being human, this one had a green bad guy from Oscorp being a CGI Godzilla offspring. Although Emma Stone portrayed her character Gwen Stacy well, the character was lifeless compared to Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane. Aunt May is written so poorly, that she has nothing to do in this film, she sits at home and watches TV and screams at Peter when she sees him. When you compare this to previous films the family element is missing and it feels like they are trying to make Andrew Garfield into the next Edward Cullen. There seems to be no conflict between Peter and his girlfriend at the end of the story, which one would logically want to assume that she holds out some contempt for spider-man as Harry did in the original spider-man after Spidey played a hand in his father's death. Spider-man did play a hand in the Captain's death, yet the daughter doesn't seem to mind that Peter was there when he was murdered. There isn't even a small hint of suspicion, it seems to be irrelevant that it could have been his fault and they don't even talk about what happened either due to a promise which is made, and broken. You have to question the emotions in this film, there are none present, no empathy can be felt for any of them.
Overall this film does not have you believe in the setting or characters at all. I simply cannot recommend this film. Again, of the 136 minutes around 40 minutes were good, but that did not outweigh the bad lighting, effects or the other 96 slow-paced, unoriginal minutes of the film.
Overall I rate this film 3/5
Review by Liam Taylor