Culture Street

By Rebecca McRitchie

Was there a need for a Spider-Man reboot? Considering the last Spider-Man movie was released only five years ago, probably not.  Nevertheless, if you can overcome the thought that everything seems very familiar, then you will enjoy The Amazing Spider-Man.

Directed by Marc Webb, the movie boasts a fresh and adept cast with Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, Rhys Ifans as Dr Connors/The Lizard and Martin Sheen and Sally Field as  Uncle Ben and Aunt May.

The reboot has a lot of things going for it that are vast improvements of the first Spider-Man movies (which, if you can’t recall back to the very long time ago of 2007) featured Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. First of these is Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield. Not only do both provide an authenticity to their roles, as each look as though they could still be in high school, but the chemistry between the two is authentic. The casting is spot on and both are a joy to watch. The love story differs, and in my opinion improves, as the new love interest, Gwen Stacy, falls in love with Peter Parker and not Spider-Man, whereas in the 2002 Spider-Man, Mary Jane falls in love with Spider-Man first. The reboot is truer to the comic book as Garfield’s Peter Parker is equipped with great one-liners and technical web shooters attached to his wrists, rather than a web sourced straight from his veins and a comedy-free dialogue. The reboot also grasps showing the ‘cooler’ side of being a teenage superhero in a very modern and realistic way, as opposed to the so-earnest-it-hurts portrayal of Spider-Man by Maguire.

The familial tension within the reboot was handled very well, with Sally Field and Martin Sheen playing the realistically worried, rather than peacefully ignorant, Aunt May and Uncle Ben. Rhys Ifans also held his own as the sympathetically villainous Dr Connors.

Unfortunately, the screenplay still had practically the same plot points as the 2002 Spider-Man, making it quite predictable. Needless to say, the effects were great. But what was pleasing to see, was that Marc Webb, who has only one movie under his belt (the fantastic indie hit 500 Days of Summer), was given the chance to helm a big Hollywood blockbuster film. And did a great job.

Overall, I give this movie 4 out of 5. The familial tension, the new modern vibe and Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were the highlights of the film. However, the plot could have done with more originality in order to truly break free from the past Spider-Man films. I look forward to seeing the future reboot sequel/s as they, hopefully, will be more original in plot and less familiar to audiences.


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