The Amazing Spider-Man
When a new actor slips on the Spandex for a superhero franchise reboot, we should, you know, notice. And we do with
Garfield served as the skeptical conscience of "The Social Network" as
And he's very good. The nerve-racking duality of his character's situation -- abruptly and mysteriously disappearing parents; a serious mid-film loss of a loved one; warring responsibilities as both ordinary citizen and extraordinary crime-fighter -- is all there in Garfield's face and body language, the behind-the-beat reactions when he's with the girl he loves (
So here we go again. Director Webb, whose previous film was "(500) Days of Summer," has a clean-lined script credited to
This is not a film of stunning set pieces, which isn't to say Webb hasn't delivered a good "Spider-Man." He has. For better or worse (at the box office, that is) it's actually interested in character and, to some degree, to the degree the Marvel franchise machinery will allow, things like pacing and rhythm (though it feels a bit long). I'm not sure about the way the Lizard is handled here as a terrifying digital mini-zilla who periodically turns "The Amazing Spider-Man" into a full-on horror movie. But when he gets the chance, Ifans, a fine and subtle actor, works in the same confidential and privately suffering key as does Garfield.
Is the interest in a new "Spider-Man" sky-high? I'm speaking only for myself now: Not really. It has been only five years since Maguire gave up the modified wrestler's mask. (How Peter Parker gets the notion for his Spidey persona, specifically the headgear, becomes a clever addition to the new film.) Five years isn't long enough to miss a crime-fighter. Similarly, it seems as if "Superman Returns" (2006, of middling interest) just came and went, and next year brings the arrival of the reboot "Man of Steel."
That's a lot of superheroic air traffic. Director Webb and Garfield can't do anything about that. All they can do is attempt to pull off the illusion that this is the first time we've seen this story. And, more or less, they have.
MPAA rating: PG-13 (for sequences of action and violence).
Running time: 2:18.
Credits: Directed by
"The Amazing Spider-Man" Movie Trailer
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