The reviews are trickling in! With a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes as of 11:40 PM, June 21st, Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man may surpass the naysayers and doubters. Could the film be the X-men: First Class of Summer 2012!? At this rate, it could go either way. It’s too early to estimate exactly where the film will land on the tomato meter, but with 11 reviews in and only one being rotten, I’d bet that the film lands in the 80% range.
Veteran commercial director Marc Webb knew there was a lot riding on this film; after all he was only rebooting one of the most successful superhero franchises. Spider-Man 1 & 2 brought the superhero genre to an entirely new level, while Spider-Man 3… well let’s try to forget about that one, shall we? From the very start, people had their doubts: Why did Sony go with a director whose only current film to date is (500) Days of Summer? Why reboot the franchise so soon?! The Lizard’s the worst Spidey villian, why not go with Venom or Rhino. ’The Avengers’ & ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ will own this film! The complaints went on and on. It looks like come July 3rd several people could be eating their own words.
Emma Stone + Andrew Garfield = Webb’s Secret Weapon
Leading up to the big release date Sony Entertainment pumped up their promotion, speaking only with the TV spots, trailers and featurrettes. And over time many started coming around to the idea of the reboot. Their biggest weapon? Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. From just the trailers alone one can tell that the chemistry between the two may just be the strongest we’ve experienced between two characters in a superhero film. Most of the time, character relationships aren’t well developed (e.g., Jean and Cyclops, Bruce and Rachel — replacing Katie Holmes with Maggie Gyllenhaal screwed this up for me — etc.)
The critics praise the film on its fresh take, the strong connection between Stone and Garfield, the CGI and going above and beyond what was expected. Would you expect any less?! I had my doubts as well, but Sony knew they couldn’t screw up this film. Unfortunately, several of the critics weren’t too pleased with with James Horner’s score and some of the negative reviews bash the film’s slow start, but with a running time of 136 minutes and the retelling of Peter Parker’s story… what more do you want? Of course the beginning’s going to be a little slow. Check out the reviews below.
“Webb and Garfield, in a commanding performance that combines boyish charm and manly backbone, establish early on that Peter’s growing pains and search for an identity are common to any teenager, yet also inextricably linked to his lack of a father. Every issue may seem like a matter of life and death for an adolescent, but Garfield makes Peter an interesting hero precisely because his struggles involve real people — and real lives.”
“It came as somewhat of a surprise when commercials veteran Webb, with only one indie feature under his belt, was chosen to take the reins of the billion-dollar commodity, but it’s clear in the film’s first half what the maker of (500) Days of Summer is bringing to the table here. Not unlike the forlorn greeting card writer of that catchy rom-com, Peter is depicted as a smart but downtrodden outsider who truly comes to life when he’s alongside his object of desire, and the scenes between Garfield and Stone have a witty and realistic edge to them that’s rare for a comic book romance.”
“Andrew Garfield is brilliant. Whether his slightly less nerdy, but slightly more nervy Peter Parker is better than Tobey Maguire’s is debatable, but his Spider-Man is magnificent. He quips away like he does in the comics, and even from behind the mask he makes the humour work. His body language is spot-on too – this is a gangly, gawky Spider-Man, who somehow still looks formidable even in the red-and-blue unitard, who can convey a slight change in emotion with the merest of shrugs.”
“Director Marc Webb aims for a new realism, stripping away the brio of Sam Raimi’s 2002 version with Tobey Maguire.”
“He also dispenses with much of the character and sass that always made this character fun. It’s not Garfield’s fault: he is a convincingly troubled, inarticulate Peter Parker, a springily athletic Spider-Man, and has awesome hair. His greatest enemy is the script. That, and the rather wearisome 3D.”