The following quick review of The Amazing Spider-Man was written in August 2016.
Five years after the release of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, Sony restarted their Spider-Man–film franchise instead of making the fourth Raimi film. This new reboot had to reintroduce his origin, and the writers had chosen to make the Lizard the villain. For a while, it looked like it was going to be the exact Spider-Man story I had always wanted.
In The Amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker (played by Andrew Garfield) – a high-school student bitten by a radioactive spider – is just becoming Spider-Man. Meanwhile, Dr. Curt Connors (played by Rhys Ifans) – a one-armed scientist who used to work with Parker’s father – is slowly turning into a lizard after testing out a serum that he had worked on. Later, Parker must fight the lizard that the Parker family helped ‘create.’
I wasn’t happy with the idea that the Raimi-era of Spider-Man films was over, and I hated the idea that we were going to restart the franchise from scratch. But there was one thing that got me really excited for the film. I really enjoy the episodes of Spider-Man: The Animated Series that focus on Dr. Curt Connors. Those are always the ones I look back on with a smile on my face. Needless to say, I was super excited for a film about Connors’s relationship with Peter and his own transformation. But this isn’t really what I wanted.
While I love Andrew Garfield, his Peter Parker didn’t always work for me here. It wasn’t the Peter Parker that I liked. But I do understand that some people prefer this version. That said, while I wasn’t a fan of Garfield’s Parker, per se, I really enjoyed Marc Webb and Andrew Garfield’s version of ‘Spider-Man.’
I really enjoyed the Stacys in the film. It’s always nice to see Denis Leary in a major film, and Emma Stone has great chemistry with Garfield. Rhys Ifans, who plays Dr. Connors, wasn’t given much to work with. They botched the Connors character, and his evil master plan doesn’t make a lot of sense. His appearance as the Lizard doesn’t look very well. Also, I really wish they would have focused on Dr. Connors and his family, like I believe some of the episodes of the animated series did.
There are some things I did enjoy, but I can’t help but feel like this movie does nothing better than any of the Spider-Man films that came before it. His origin is handled better in Spider-Man, and the Lizard is a really poor villain in this movie. This film was unable to improve on identical scenes from past films, and almost everything ‘new’ they presented wasn’t handled well either.
5.5 out of 10
– Jeffrey Rex