Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man: Blu Ray Review

The Amazing Spider-Man: Blu Ray Review

Rating: M
Released by Sony Home Entertainment

Andrew Garfield takes on the iconic role of Peter Parker, in this reboot of the franchise.

Abandoned by his parents when he was a young boy, Peter grows up with his Uncle Ben (the ever brilliant Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field). A typical teenage outsider, this Parker is a skateboarder who defends the picked on at school and gets a beating for his troubles.

But it also gets him the attention of Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone, in yet another excellent turn).

Trying to find out what happened to his parents, Peter's awkward quest leads him to Oscorp and the one armed Dr Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), his father's former partner. Connors' research is into tissue regeneration and when Peter helps with the research, he inadvertently sets in motion a chain of events which will have catastrophic life-changing effects.

The idea of a reboot of the Spider-man series wasn't one which had some fans and movie goers excited. 

Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst had pretty much got it wrapped up with the trilogy of films nearly a decade ago, so there was perhaps some fears as to where a new version of the established story could go.

But clearly, based on this latest, the answer is wherever it wants.

Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are the perfect pair as Spidey and Stacy; they have a sparky, realistic relationship which is grounded, human and benefits from excellent chemistry. There's a playfulness underpinning the usual sadness of this relationship and is a direct result of an early unveiling that Parker is Spider-man. It's a bold creative decision which means this version of Spider-man doesn't wallow or wander into emo territory, preferring to bring a bit of spring into the proceedings. His is also a Peter Parker whose strength is in science, with the web slinging the result of the Spidey intelligence rather than a genetic touch. It's a nice nod to the comics' history and also gives this Spidey a bit more of a vulnerable feel, prone as he is to looking beaten to pieces after the mask's taken off following a fight with Lizard.

If you're being picky about this version of Spider-man, you could argue that the Lizard lets the side down a little in terms of creating a creature that matches some of the other FX work within the film; and his overall plot to take the world isn't anything spectacularly original or cleverly executed. Plus the film's ever so slightly long with some heavy handed cheesy moments towards the end - a scene where workmen line up cranes to help an injured Spidey get to the top of the Oscorp tower is painful in some ways.  However, those are a few minor niggles for a film which delivers good solid action and a strong story which engages the heart as well as the visual senses.

But all in all, The Amazing Spider-man is a stunning take on an established comic book favourite - and manages to put the prior versions in the shade, which is no mean feat.

Extras: Amazing Spider-Man Second Screen App – On disc supporting content, Commentary with Marc Webb, Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach


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