The reset button has been pressed after the SpiderMan 3....after all, Tobey Maguire was beginning to look increasingly jaded and malign looking. And yet, many people will find that the restart of the Spiderman might not actually be necessary. The plot seems familiar...the storyline looks pretty much the same and it has a feeling of familiarity for those who have watched the earlier Spiderman movies...it felt like dejavu all over again.
However, the casting was damn right...Andrew Garfield as the Spider Man just makes the new geek a different name. Instead of the emphasis on secret identities, the focus of the movie was on his emotional side. and Garfield portrayed it amazingly well with a good charisma with his lover in the movie as well, Gwen Stacy. (Emma Stone). One will also notice that there is no longer the emphasis on Peter Parker selling photos to gain extra pocket money. Well, it probably make sense given that the new era might mean the unnecessary need for Peter to do so.
Peter Parker's arachnid destiny is made manifest from the start of the movie, and for me the narrative has more power. Instead of the arbitrary happenstance of getting bitten by a radioactive or genetically modified spider, Parker is the orphan of troubled scientist Richard Parker (Campbell Scott) who was working on inter-species DNA splicing, before being killed with Peter's mother in a mysterious car wreck. His work is now being carried on by the faintly sinister Dr Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), a man with just one arm, who longs for a lizard's ability to regrow limbs. Poor Peter is now hopelessly in love with classmate Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) and is being looked after by his tolerant Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field). He blags his way into Dr Connors's lab and sneaks into a top-secret room where spiders are being experimented upon. The rest is superhero history.
And honestly, all of these actors have done an amazing job in their role. Emma Stone was so good in her role that you just can't help but to love it when the two love birds are together (remember....this was never a love story and yet the part of them being in love is just so right.) One must have remember the disastrous lead actress in the previous Spidey movies...
Then Uncle Ben...he played it like you are really seeing Uncle Ben coming into live...besides the fact that the famous quote on the "with great power comes great responsibility", everything about Uncle Ben in the movie was just right.
The transformation scenes are tremendous. Having been bitten, Garfield's Parker goes into a delirious, feverish state, pop-eyed with anxiety and over-excitement as his body assumes new strength and the ability to hang upside down. The humour along with the curiosity to discover new power really helps to drag the audience into the movie.
Without knowing what he is doing, Parker semi-accidentally beats up around half a dozen menacing guys in a subway carriage while stammering and apologizing like a New York Hugh Grant.
At home, he virtually destroys his bathroom before learning his own strength.
The only thing that is disappointing is that if you have watched SpiderMan before, you will somehow find it to be the same thing being played on a different environment with different people. (familiarity makes the movie a disappointment)
The terrible fate of Uncle Ben was being played nicely and a big thumbs up to Garfield on his act here as well as when Peter trying to confront his own guilt.
Rhys Ifans is a terrific Spidey villain, the best since Alfred Molina's operatically mad Doctor Octopus: he is a researcher who once had a lot of good in him. Connors started out with a genuine need to cure human frailty and his genetic research involves computer-modelling, incidentally, not live animal experimentation.
But his terrible flaw is that stump where his arm was: it isn't long before Dr Connors's work on lizards gets dodgy, and his face turns into a handbag.
The transformation unlocks a certain drama-queen quality and during one confrontation with Spider-Man he quotes Michelangelo's sonnet The Silkworm: he dreams "That, changing like the snake, I might be free/ To cast off flesh wherein I dwell confined!" What an effort by the director to bring fresh reality into the movie and yet I couldn't help but to feel it's the same old Spidey...
And so we are back in the swing, although as ever, there is the vexed question of what exactly is horizontally overhead that Spidey is swinging from.
A jutting flagpole perhaps? Because using webs attached to the corners or sides of buildings can surely result only in hitting the ground or the wall before the downswing is complete. I couldn't help but to laugh at the thought of it. Then, there were the webs that he purchased....wouldn't the police notice of all those webs and tracked down to Peter Parker (Garfield)??
Well, never mind. The sheer exhilarating spectacle of Spider-Man launched again through the city, utterly free, is still great....the only down side is the familiarity of the movie...perhaps there was never the need to press the reset button for our action hero here...
Nevertheless, the movie has been an entertaining one...if you are a Spidey fans, you will watch it and feel disappointed because of the familiarity of the movie...if this is the first time you are watching a Spiderman movie, this will be a good memory.