I consider The Amazing Spider-Man to be one of the year’s bigger disappointments—not only because we got this instead of a fourth film directed by Sam Raimi (he quit when the producers tried to force a villain for the pic on him, as they did with Venom in Spider-Man 3), but also because I dislike the goofiness director Marc Webb brought to the universe.
He apparently thinks everything needs to be explained. He must show us Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) making mechanical web devices to show how smart Peter is, for example. Well, I don’t need all of the physics of Spider-Man explained. And I certainly don’t need another Spidey origin story so soon after Raimi’s version. It’s also a little weird to watch a man in his late 20s playing a high school student. What is this, Grease?
The villain this time out, the Lizard, played by Rhys Ifans, is a bust. I’ve never been a big fan of Ifans, and I would’ve liked to have seen a multitude of different actors play the baddie. However, the film does receive high marks for casting the likes of Martin Sheen, Sally Field and Denis Leary.
I understood that Raimi’s reign was going to end someday, but a fourth try (and a shot at redemption after Spider-Man 3) would’ve offered a better finish. His Spidey films, even the overstuffed third movie, were better than this one.
SPECIAL FEATURES: A commentary from Webb and crew is OK, but you’ll struggle to take in the whole thing. There are lots of behind-the-scenes featurettes, and you can download an app for your iPad and have the “Second Screen Experience”: Your tablet synchs with the movie and offers myriad interviews and behind-the-scenes extras while you watch.