Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Amazing Spider Man

Movie Name: The Amazing Spider Man
Year of Release: 2012
Director: Marc Webb
Stars: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Irrfan Khan,  Campbell Scott, Embeth Davidtz, Chris Zylka, Max Charles, C. Thomas Howell, Kari Coleman
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Adventure
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

Marc Webb's second feature after his great debut, "500 Days of Summer", is a retelling of the story of the iconic Spider Man. The film follows the story of young Peter Parker, whose parents leave unexpectedly one evening, leaving him with his uncle and aunt, who become surrogate parents after his own die in a car accident. Peter grows up to be a highly intelligent, but timid adolescent, who stands up for what he believes, sometimes at a risk of being bullied. After visiting the lab and a scientist colleague of his late father, Peter is accidentally bitten by a radioactive spider, which gives him some extraordinary powers. Peter also discovers some research his late father was developing, which he successfully adds information to, enabling his father's former colleague to develop a serum. This serum ends up turning him into a monster, something Spider Man has to battle to save his closest loved ones.
Marc Webb's take on the classic Marvel Comics character, tries to balance three interesting components in the story of Spider Man: the awkward teenage years, the first love of two adolescents and the big action picture with a lot of special effects. The mix of these components is the main problem with the film - the director aims to create more than standard flat characters, something he and his great actors successfully achieve, but the problem of the film is the mix of this component with the more spectacle side of a comic book or adventure film for that matter. The fantastic special effects aren't enough to hide the fact that ultimately, the villain in this story presents no real menace and the action set pieces feel inserted into a story that was told very differently (the tone is more akin to a romantic film). This is a different Spider Man (even the origin story is told somewhat differently), but one that still needs to find a better balance between character development and action/special effects extravaganza.