The Amazing Spider-Man Review – Was this reboot really necessary? Maybe.

Genre: ,
Age Restriction:
Running Time: 136 min
Running Time:

Verdict: 3 / 5

Spider-Man is one of the most beloved heroes ever. From all the way back in the 60s to modern times, his popularity has never truly ceased and with the recent release of a new film, the interest has been rekindled. But just how “amazing” is this film? We review The Amazing Spider-Man.


Being a reboot, comparisons to the past titles are unavoidable. But truthfully, there were never really any good Spider-Man live-action films and although there were attempts starting from the 70s, it was legendary horror director Sam Raimi’s 2002 Spider-Man that brought the web-slinger to the public eye the right way. The film was highly praised and, although there were some annoyances, it was generally one of the better superhero films created. It was followed and surpassed by Spider-Man 2 in 2004 and Spider-Man fans were given a burning hope, believing that it couldn’t get any better… and ironically, it didn’t. When Spider-Man 3 came along in 2007, many fans rather chose to forget it (even to this day) and outright deny its existence like a father on an episode of Jerry Springer. Scrapping plans for a 4th installment, SONY rather opted out of another Raimi project and so The Amazing Spider-Man film was born.

amazing_spider_man_movie review

The film’s plot revolves around Peter Parker and his journey to becoming Spider-Man once again. This time he is being forced to use his new-found abilities to battle the sinister Lizard, who plans on mutating the rest of the human race into mutant lizard creatures like him.

Initially, fans were promised a more mature narrative and a darker story, but as you can see from the above, the film has a cookie-cutter comic book plot. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In the end, we get an entertaining package, but unfortunately one that’s severely lacking.

Starting off well, we get to know the main characters and slowly start to build a connection with them, but as soon as Peter gets his powers, things escalate a bit too quickly and that connection is lost… much like Dr. Connors’ arm.  There was also the promise of an “untold” story which involved Peter’s parents. However, his parents are only seen once. And although Peter’s father’s research plays a major part in the film, the untold story remains untold.


Another issue is that the motivation that drives Peter to use his abilities is forgotten halfway through the film. There is no real closure and this attributes to just another gaping plothole. This, of course, isn’t the only thing which is forgotten. Dr. Rajit Ratha, a big part of the story is also left out of most of the plot. There is confirmation that the film was heavily edited and a pivotal scene cut out, but there was absolutely no closure in the final cut. Most audiences probably won’t notice it, but the film raises a few unanswered questions.

Something else that bugged me is that Spider-Man is a masked vigilante, yet we see him without a mask in most of the scenes where he is in costume. This is quite ironic seeing as Peter points out the irony of asking a masked person who they are early in the film.

The-Amazing-Spiderman Emma-Stone-Andrew-Garfield

If there is one thing which really damages the film it’s the poor score. The music isn’t amongst the worse you’ll hear, but it’s completely unfitting of the film and as it drags on, it becomes a major annoyance. Every superhero film has a certain tone and a recognizable theme that suits the hero, but this isn’t the case here. There score does nothing to fit the mood of the scenes and it doesn’t add anything to them at all. It doesn’t seem that there was too much effort put into this area and that’s just sad.

The biggest fault (other than the musical score) is that Spider-Man isn’t really doing Spider-Man things. Although he fights some petty crimes in the start, it is because of his own motifs and not out of a sense of justice. Unlike the 2002 version, Spider-Man goes from beating (not even fighting) some random criminals to fighting the Lizard. There are very few heroic acts and this really takes from the film.

The-Amazing-Spiderman-2012 lizard

On a more positive note, the film at least looks good. The 3D isn’t special and adds nothing to the experience, but the more gritty visual style is welcomed. The CGI is very well done and while The Lizard’s design might not be the most impressive thing you’ll see, he looks good and the rest of the CGI scenes deliver a solid punch. The mechanical web-shooters are also a nice addition.

Putting Peter back in a high school setting and the use of younger actors also gains some favour because it rings true to the original Stan Lee character. Although Tobey McGuire brought a goofy likeable portrayal, Andrew Garfield is a more sombre and believable Spidey. In fact, most of the cast give a pretty solid performance (Martin Sheen being the show stealer).

The best parts of the film are the fight scenes. They aren’t anything spectacular, but Spider-Man fights like he would in the comics using his webs and wall-crawling abilities properly and again, nothing special, but different. He doesn’t make much use of his spider-sense though, but still manages to pull off a showing.


Overall, The Amazing Spider-Man isn’t quite as amazing as it claims. I can respect what Marc Webb was going for and what he gave us in the end, but he over-looked some key elements that would have made this a truly great film. Like Sam Raimi’s efforts before, hopefully the sequel will be exceptional. But for now, you should at least support your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man and give the film a watch on the big screen.

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Comments 5

  1. So I just watched this – going in with very very low expectations – and I must admit – I loved it! This is the Spider-man I’ve always wanted Tobey McGuire to be. Andrew Garfield acts circles around Tobey here. He is the cocky, smart, and brave Spidey we’ve always hoped for. And the chemistry between Andrew and Emma Stone is absolutely amazing.

    Even though we’ve seen this story before (not too long ago actually) the actors bring new life to the characters. When uncle Ben dies (which he does in all versions of the comic book) there is true emotion – so much so that my eyes actually welled up a bit. If you love Spider-man as much as I do then you are going to love this. It’s filled with action, romance and humour.

    Strangely, it’s the romance part of the story that really gets me. Gwen Stacy is a much better love interest for Parker than Mary Jane is in the previous movies. She is smart and brave – just like Peter.

    There have been a lot of mixed reviews regarding the new movie – but in all honestly I found it quite amazing! This is a four star movie in my opinion. And even though there are plotholes here and there, as Lyle explains above, it in no ways hampers the story. There is a sense of deja vu during certain scenes in the movie – but don’t be fooled – this is, in my opinion anyways, on par with Spiderman 2, which happens to be the best from Raimi.

    P.S. Don’t watch it in 3D – for some reason the 3D elements only kick in the finale.

  2. A-G says:

    As requested, I have now read your review, Lyle. First off, I quite like your style and actually agree with a lot of what you said. We may differ on our opinions of the first two Sam Raimi films but I agree that the mvoie could’ve been a lot more than it was. That said, part of this film’s problem is that they greenlit a sequel before the movie was even shown to anyone. With a sequel in mind, they appear to have held a lot of things back for that and probably more stuff yet for the threequel. That’s why this so-called untold story is barely present because that appears to be more of a tagline for the series than the movie itself.

    The cast is an excellent ensamble and they all acted out their characters pretty well. You can only be so dark when it comes to a Spidey story though and while they did a farely textbook plot, it was certainly more mature and had more depth than the Sam Raimi films.

    I really think they nailed the tone of the Ultimate comics upon which the movie is largely based and despite some plotholes and a godawful score, it was a good movie. I enjoyed it and it was certainly soemthing to behold in 3D. The relationships that are explored in this movie are part of what makes it rise up and the fact that he spends a good amount of time with his mask is no surprise given that it happens more often than you’d think in the comics.

    • Totally agree. I really enjoyed it – despite all the plot holes. But I thought the 3D was pretty average and the score was awful. Other than that I’ll be seeing it again soon and looking forward to owning it on Blu Ray.

      • Paul Schwartz says:

        I also watched this recently and it was the first movie in ages where I noticed the music (in a bad way). During some scenes, the music was HORRIBLY out of place.

        However, I really liked the cast and I had a great time watching the movie. Andrew Garfield > Toby McGuire, Emma Stone > Kirsten Dunst and their on-screen chemistry is a huge improvement!

        • Their chemistry is probably the highlight of the movie – that scene where Parker asks Stacey out was awesome. Hope they don’t introduce a Mary Jane

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