Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Amazing Spider-Man (5 Stars)

I watched this film last year in the cinema and reviewed it here. I now have the film on DVD and watched it yesterday afternoon. I was very hesitant to give it a five star rating. I felt tempted to deduct at least a quarter star. In itself this is an excellent film and worthy of five stars. The problem is that however good it is, it isn't up to the quality of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man film, which was perfect in every way. It was a lot closer to the comic book canon, especially where the origin was concerned.

To be honest, I don't understand the need to reboot the Spider-Man franchise so soon after the last three films were made. After all, "Spider-Man 3" was released in 2007, only five years before "The Amazing Spider-Man". I understand that Tobey Maguire didn't want to play the role any more, but it should still have been possible to continue with another actor. The reboot seems superfluous. Except for maybe the need to show Gwen Stacy's death, which will almost certainly happen at the end of "The Amazing Spider-Man 3".

Anyone who is unaquainted with Spider-Man in the comics will doubtlessly enjoy the new film. As a standalone piece of work it's remarkable. As a Spider-Man fan of many years my problems are with the departure from canon. Peter Parker's father was never an issue in the comics, so all the back story about him being a geneticist at Oscorp is unnecessary. Evidently the secrets of Peter's father's death will play a big role in the sequels, based on the after-credits scene.

However, my main problem is the choice of actor to play Spider-Man. Andrew Garfield is such an abysmal choice that it's embarrassing. He looks nothing like Peter Parker in the comics. A much better choice would have been Kodi Smit-McPhee. But it's too late to change things now, we have to put up with him for the next two films. The usual mistake is made that Spider-Man takes off his mask too often. It would have been unthinkable in the comics that Spider-Man would take off his mask while walking around school, just assuming that all his classmates have run away and won't see him.

But let's look at "The Amazing Spider-Man" in a vacuum and give it five stars. Watch it and enjoy it. It's exciting from start to finish. And Rhys Ifans is perfect as the Lizard. He's Mr. Cool in person. I'm looking forward to the next two films in the trilogy. And please please please, keep the mask on.

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