It has been approximately 10 years since the release of the first Spider-Man in the trilogy and has since then been a successful blockbuster franchise. That is up until Spider-Man 3 came along, which had disappointed the majority of fans and critics. Afterwards, a fourth instalment was originally planned but when the decision was announced that the entire series was going to be rebooted with a whole new cast and crew – only a few years after Spider-Man 3, it became an outrage. Yet, there could be something new put to the table. Nevertheless, this transformation was finally released and although it did have it’s one or two flaws, it really became something new that has re-opened another new franchise and served its loyalty rather well to the original source of comic books.
Following his previous experiences with horrors, Sam Raimi gave us another side to him as he went on to direct the Spider-Man trilogy. The same could be said for Marc Webb who was making only his second feature to date after critically-acclaimed 2008 comedy (500) Days Of Summer. Although Webb perhaps hadn’t made as much of a vital impact as Raimi (in the first two films at least), he exposed a brand new side to the whole franchise with The Amazing Spider-Man. First of all, the entire atmosphere was much darker and had roughly the similar concepts to what were in the original source. Even the title of the film - The Amazing Spider-Man is the name of a series of comic books and there was, therefore, some originality added to it. Also, it included a number of humorous one-liners, which is where The Amazing Spider-Man had far surpassed the previous trilogy. Webb simply revolutionized the entire series for another generation.
For any actor to live up to or even surpass Tobey Maguire’s performance as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Sam Raimi’s trilogy is very difficult to achieve. He was perhaps the greatest choice at the time to portray the character and unfortunately, he could not continue with it. In the reboot, Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) became the next actor in the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Garfield looked much younger and more charming Peter than Maguire, but the latter had a much geekier approach. Furthermore, Peter’s original background story regarding childhood and his parents had not been acknowledged in the previous films and was bought to life on the big screen. It is safe to say that Andrew Garfield does not necessarily replace Tobey Maguire, but he expressed Peter Parker in a rather different way. Therefore, the former still provided a surprisingly impressive performance that will relieve the fans and critics.
Emma Stone covers the role of not only Gwen Stacy, who was portrayed by Bryce Dallas Howard in Spider-Man 3, but also Peter Parker’s previous love interest Mary Jane Watson, performed by Kirsten Dunst. Stone who had already risen to fame before The Amazing Spider-Man stars in what could possibly be her biggest blockbuster to date. Like Dallas Howard, Stone provided the essence of blonde beauty but as opposed to the former, Stone added the creative and bright intelligence that was in the comics. Furthermore, Rhys Ifans portrayed Dr. Curt Connors in a role that was a minor disappointment. His background story was moving and it was splendid seeing the Lizard in action, but regarding how the audience felt about said character, he did not seem as entirely threatening or dangerous as anticipated. Denis Leary performed as Gwen’s father, Captain George Stacy, and was a lot more involved than James Cromwell’s role in Spider-Man 3. And last but not least, Martin Sheen and Sally Field take the roles of Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Unfortunately, neither were as emotionally or realistically convincing as May and Ben’s previous performers - Cliff Robertson and Rosemary Harris.
Overall, The Amazing Spider-Man is perhaps a film that did not have to be made at all seeing as the series didn’t necessarily need a complete rebooting and did suffer from weaknesses, but it the most original to the comic books out of all four theatrical features thus far. Was it too soon to reboot the series? Yes, definitely! Is it worth seeing at the cinema? Yes, especially if you are a fan of the comics. An open minded viewer is required for The Amazing Spider-Man due to its many differences with previous works. All in all, it is still an acceptable, enjoyable and surprisingly funny piece of entertainment that left a solid cliffhanger ending in the post-credits regarding the upcoming sequel.