A huge asset here is gifted lead actor Andrew Garfield, who takes on the role of Peter Parker with real passion. Peter is a 17-year-old science nerd in high school who has real depth due to his personal history. Growing up in New York with his aunt and uncle (Field and Sheen) after his parents disappeared, he's more than a little unsettled when the object of his secret crush, sexy-brainy Gwen (Stone), notices him. Meanwhile, he's bitten by a mutant spider and develops some strange powers, which he exercises by chasing down bad guys all over the city.
Their tentative relationship has a couple of key obstacles: Gwen's dad (Leary) is the cop who's trying to capture this vigilante spider-man, while Gwen's boss (Ifans) is a former colleague of Peter's father who is obsessed with using lizard DNA to regrow his missing arm. And it's this lizard subplot that doesn't really fit in here. As Ifans transforms into a digitally animated monster who terrorises the city with his nefarious apocalyptic plan, he never feels like more than a distraction to the movie's real story about a boy trying to get the girl of his dreams while working out who he is.
Maybe one day we'll get a superhero movie that doesn't require a massively overwrought climactic battle, but not quite yet. Still, Webb deploys the same visual inventiveness that be brought to (500) Days of Summer in sharply engaging scenes of the spandex-clad Peter swinging through streets to catch criminals. There's an underlying wit that helps make up for the fact that the story is far too familiar to ever be truly suspenseful. And when Garfield and Stone have the screen to themselves, their chemistry helps the film find its real tone.
Run time: 136 mins
In Theaters: Tuesday 3rd July 2012
Box Office USA: $262.0M
Box Office Worldwide: $752.2M
Distributed by: Sony Pictures
Production compaines: Columbia Pictures, Marvel Entertainment, Laura Ziskin Productions
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Fresh: 206 Rotten: 78
IMDB: 7.1 / 10
Director: Marc Webb
Starring: Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man / Peter Parker, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, Rhys Ifans as The Lizard / Dr. Curt Connors, Denis Leary as Captain Stacy, Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben, Sally Field as Aunt May, Irrfan Khan as Rajit Ratha, Campbell Scott as Richard Parker, Embeth Davidtz as Mary Parker, Chris Zylka as Flash Thompson, Max Charles as Peter Parker (Age 4), C. Thomas Howell as Jack's Father, Jake Keiffer as Jack, Kari Coleman as Helen Stacy, Stan Lee as School Librarian, Hannah Marks as Missy Kallenback, Kelsey Chow as Hot Girl, Kevin McCorkle as Mr. Cramer, Barbara Eve Harris as Miss Ritter, Danielle Burgio as Nicky's Girlfriend, Michael Barra as Store Clerk, Leif Gantvoort as Cash Register Thief, Andy Pessoa as Gordon, Andy Gladbach as Physics Nerd, Ring Hendricks-Tellefsen as Physics Nerd, Tom Waite as Nicky, Keith Campbell as Car Thief, Steve DeCastro as Car Thief Cop, James Chen as olice Officer
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