Movie Review – Weaving an amazing web

2012-07-13 13:07

The new Spider-Man movie has all the hallmarks of a box-office blockbuster, writes Khotso Sello.
Film: The Amazing Spider-Man

Director: Marc Webb

Featuring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen and Sally Field

Rating: 7/10

When fans leave the cinema after watching The Amazing Spider-Man, the first thing they are going to say is: “Tobey who?”

Andrew Garfield weaves his magic in a seductive web of strength, agility and vulnerability that blows Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man performance out of the water.

We all know the story: Peter Parker’s a high school science geek bitten by a genetically modified spider who then inherits some of its traits.

Set against the backdrop of New York’s skyscrapers, Peter Parker has to learn how to convert his anger and new-found powers into controlled aggression – and balance the scale of good vs evil.

This he achieves by creating his alter ego, Spider-Man.

The mask helps him mature quite rapidly and allows him to mend emotional wounds and scars by offering his services as an extra arm of the law.

In this film, the iconic comic book character’s story is told in a new way.

For one, Garfield’s Peter is a skater boy.

The actor designed the skateboard himself, and told E! Online: “It was my idea that Peter skateboarded and luckily (director) Marc Webb put it in the movie. It’s got all my (scientific) equations on it. I thought (Peter’s) a science whiz, so why not have him do work on the board and then scratch it out and then paint it over and then scratch it again?’’

The Peter of 2012 also voluntarily trades his contact lenses for his father’s glasses. But best of all, there’s no whiny Mary-Jane.

Instead, he’s got the gutsy, awkwardly adorable Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) as his love interest.

The chemistry between them is absolutely electric, so it’s no wonder they started dating in real life after meeting on set.

As expected, The Amazing Spider-Man tugs on the heart- strings with Peter’s back story.

We find out how he came to be orphaned and living with his aunt and uncle, the death of Uncle Ben, dealing with his guilt, becoming a “wanted” man and having to honour a promise that will break the hearts of those close to him.

Rhys Ifans is a revelation as Dr Curt Connors. Forget his skinny frame in grey underpants in Notting Hill – this is a completely different man.

As the classic Jekyll and Hyde character, he becomes a mad scientist who transforms into a murderous giant lizard.

The fight scenes are a watered-down version of Maguire’s epic ones, but the actors carry them off with such aplomb that the audience gets swept up in the moment.

Through that journey, though, important life lessons are learnt.

Verdict? It’s a feel-good family movie that’s well rounded with elements of comedy, action, drama and romance.

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