- Once “The Amazing Spider-Man”
shakes off a minor identity crisis, it asserts itself as a sparkling, agile and
exhilarating addition to the superhero franchise. In the process, it also
delivers perhaps the most impressive and unforgettable 3-D sequence filmed to
positioned as a reimagining of the previous “Spider-Man” trilogy, which just
ended five years ago, the beginning of this “Spider-Man” feels awfully
familiar, as nerdy youngster Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) falls head over
heels for Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), even as he falls into despair over the death
of his uncle (Martin Sheen).
determined than ever to locate his long lost parents and to rid the world of the
evil that took his uncle, Parker starts pursuing a fringe bit of research that
consumed his scientist father. An amateur investigation leads him straight to
Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), his father’s former business partner.
is obsessed with genetic mutations and manipulation. Missing one arm, he has
committed his life to fusing human DNA with reptile DNA. Many lizards have the
ability to regenerate limbs that have been severed, and that’s what Connors is
after in his crazy laboratory of mutated creatures.
a mutated spider that bites Parker during a visit to the lab, leaving him with
sticky fingers and supersensitive reflexes that he struggles to control. He
outfits himself in a new spandex suit, and some high-tech spooled spider webbing
that he affixes to his wrists. When Dr. Connors goes crazy, mutating himself
into a monster and thrashing about town, Spider-Man takes flight to stop him.
the setup sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Just 10 years ago, Tobey
Maguire was settling into the role. And as “The Amazing Spider-Man”
meticulously hits many of the same plot points again, the production becomes a
after the table has finally been set that director Marc Webb brings a
distinctive flair to this superhero feast. Garfield taps a little more directly
into Parker’s emotional turbulence, giving us a decidedly flawed hero still
grappling with issues of ego and guilt. Webb envisions this New York as a
darker, slightly more cynical place, where Spider-Man is initially sneered at by
the city’s top cops. The villain - a giant lizard creature - is less
cartoonish than menacing.
off the new tone is Webb’s production finesse. Rich with colors and shadows,
this “Spider-Man” also sports some mind-bending 3-D, as audiences are put
inside the Spidey suit, swinging from skyscraper to skyscraper from our hero’s
point of view. It’s a virtuoso sequence that rivals anything we saw in
“Avatar” - an eye-popping edge that makes this superhero thriller one of the