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Film review: THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN, from Built For Speed

The Amazing Spiderman is a reboot of the web-slinger franchise rather than a fourth Toby Maguire / Kirsten Dunst film and while it delves a little further into Peter Parker’s back story there’s not a lot distinguishing this from the earlier films.

Andrew Garfield stars as Spidey/ Peter Parker a kid genius who lusts after classmate Gwen (Not Mary Jane) Emma Stone.  When he turns up at a science research facility where she works, he encounters the old radioactive spider that gives him his powers and his soon to be nemesis Dr Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans).

Directed by (believe it or not) Marc Webb, the film succeeds as an action spectacle with even more emphasis than the other Spidey films on acrobatic, CGI-drenched fight scenes.  These scenes are exciting despite the fact that Spidey battles a slightly silly reptile man whose movements are a bit Jar Jar-esque.

Unfortunately, Garfield isn’t a particularly engaging hero.  He lacks Toby McGuire’s goof ball charm but doesn’t replace it with any great depth or complexity; he’s just a sullen and at times irritatingly arrogant teen.  Emma Stone, though, is a fine actress and a good choice as a superhero’s feisty girlfriend.   As the villain, Ifans is a bit of a hackneyed mad scientist and his confrontations with Spidey are a little too similar to those between Robert Downey Jr and baldy Jeff Bridges in Iron Man. In a surprise bit of casting, Parker’s aunt and uncle aren’t just played by low profile character actors but by legends Sally Field and Martin Sheen.

This is a fine superhero action flick but in the wake of the other three spidey movies it’s a little too familiar and it will inevitably be swamped by the Dark Knight behemoth.

 

Nick’s rating: Three stars.

Classification: M

Director(s): Marc Webb

Release date: 4th July 2012

Running time: 136 mins.

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