Director Marc Webb delivers a stout rendition of what is already considered a successful Marvel adaptation with less blockbuster ambitions and mightier character development. Banking hard on its cast to project a fluid story of Spider-Man's inception, the cast ensemble fares well. Despite opting for drama over action that may see some of the audience's attention straying, this reboot is a worthy production to take in this summer.
The Amazing Spider-Man is the story of Peter Parker (Garfield), an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Sheen) and Aunt May (Field). Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Stone), and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents’ disappearance – leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors (Ifans), his father’s former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors’ alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.
Marc Webb first debut with his first feature 500 Days of Summer, which has garnered a fair amount of accolade, and has since been recognised as one of the promising filmmakers. Thus, it is probably no surprise that Webb envisions his take of the Marvel webslinger to be somewhat more about who he was before his newly found vigilante identity and how that has transformed him as a person - Peter Parker.
It's so much about Parker over Spidey.
For this to take off with the studios as one of the major summer blockbuster releases, it is commendable and rewarding. Especially for those who are looking to benefit beyond sensory production values. Webb takes his time to structure and develop Peter Parker in front of his audience, a smart teenage boy who has somewhat a baggage with the taking off of his parents one fine night accordingly to his memory. Accounted abruptly into the care of his Uncle Ben and Aunt May, Parker grows up well into a mannered promising young man.
Until his inevitable struggle with his past that interacts with his present.
With so much to take on, Andrew Garfield manages all the requirements well (at least in my opinion, not sure what Webb thinks of his performance) to exude the personality qualities that tinker between vulnerability and moral obligatory uncertainty.
Yes, we do get to see a more human Spider-Man.
These adds up for a more plausible tale of the rise of Spider-Man, which is much detailed as in contrast to Sam Raimi's version. Meant to be seen differently, with respect to the good original by Raimi, it is subjective for any audience to decide which is better. Give ten Directors the Spider-Man project and we will end up with ten distinct films despite having the same story at the core.
Speaking of which, the main story follows similar to Raimi's original (sans Mary Jane for Gwen Stacy, played by the talented Emma Stone, as the hero's female interest). So it's same same, but different. Despite the positive feedback thus far, the drama focus seems to span out over a lengthy period of running time. There are moments where it seems to deserve a little more to sooth out the sequential pace of the film. For instance, the bantering between good and bad is too frequent for Parker in my opinion (not able to share specific details in aim of not providing spoilers).
Technical qualities are soaring high in terms of visual effects and sound design. This opinion is also based upon a 3D viewing and it doesn't feature much of the "right at your face" gimmicks, which is good sign in a trend that hopefully gains some traction where films experiment with depth.
So if you've yet to see this, what's stopping you from greeting the revitalised Marvel superhero on the big screen?