Tuesday, 3 July 2012



The Admirable Peter Parker.

136 Minutes. Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Campbell Scott, Irrfan Khan, Martin Sheen & Sally Field. Director: Marc Webb. Screenplay: James Vanderbilt, Alvin Sargent, Steve Kloves

Andrew Garfield recently stated in an interview that he thinks his role as Peter Parker will be "the closest" thing he'll ever get to living his dream of being Spider-Man. Well...yeah...of course, unless he actually gets bitten by a radioactive spider while taking a picture of a hot-girl he could only previously dream of being with, then this is the closest. Still Garfield and comic-book fans can rest assured. This Spider's in safe, sticky hands.

After Sony cancelled the fourth installment of the Sam Raimi/Toby Maguire 'Spiderman' trilogy director Marc Webb goes back to the story-drawing boards of this Marvel hero and goes by the comic-book for 'The Amazing Spider-Man' only four years after the last film. A strange move especially since Marvel's 'Avengers' (which Spider-Man (rights pending) should be a part of) are dominating everything comic-book and superhero this year...that is until 'The Dark Knight' truly 'Rises'. You would think a hero and a film like this would be dismissed as filler. That is until you witness the unforgettable role reversal done by this superhero's star. With an equally amazing performance from your friendly, neighbourhood lead it's safe to say Andrew Garfield has woken up his dream. He IS Spider-Man.

And a great web-slinger and Peter Parker he makes too. Going back to the more comic aspects of this character creation, Garfield brings equal measures of a shy-reclusive Peter Parker developing and a cool and cocky Spider-Man alter-ego. At one point while spinning the webbed tricks of his trade he boasts "it's so easy" with a cocksure swagger which shows he' not only wears the suit...but he owns it too. These Parker/Spider parallels result in the perfect performance and from skateboarding to basketball the Spider slick senses even bring the best and the boast out of Parker.

Still there's more deeper elements to deal with and from those he saves to those he can't Garfield brings the 'Never Let Me Go' acting, grasping hold of his indie beginnings in a big, mainstream motion picture. Two years shy of his 30Th birthday Garfield plays a kid a few more years shy of drinking-age and leaving the teenage days behind him. Still with an ownness and an ownership Garfield makes this role his and one he won't be ready to part with soon. The kid has made it.

Going back to the 'begins' like Batman did years ago and Superman will do in some 365 days director Marc spins a new web of intrigue into Peter Parker's back-story. We may have seen it all somewhat too early before and even get frustrated that our 'other' boy-wonder is making the same mistakes again (remember this is no sequel), but Spider-Man's start has been done better. Once our outcast opens-up and gets out of the blocks however this film races into action and adventure. With that classic old Stan Lee cameo. Some real heart and soul, to go with some sensational fight scenes that swing back and forth and some first-person, vertigo-inducing Tarzan trails through the city of New York (which is JUST iconic Spider-Man) that do IMAX and 3D proud, it's hard not to be caught in the web of this new feature presentation.

Although Garfield draws us in, the other cast keep us wrapped up too. From Emma Stone playing Gwen Stacy's, heart-filled love intrigue (the chemistry between Stone and Garfield has even translated off set) to the viral-buzzing, villainous Rhys Ifans. It's hard to believe he was once Hugh Grant's lazy, smoking roommate who told him he was a "daft P****" in 'Notting Hill'. It's even crazier to see him play the Hulk like, lab-coat ripping lizard but with a slick and equally slimy performance yet another Brit (like Garfield) has made it in America.

This film would be nothing without some parental control and from Sally Field's mothering aunt to Dennis Leary's police protective parent of Gwen (you think you've got it bad, not only is he a disapproving Dad, he's a cop too) there are standout performance throughout. Still it's the polished performance of Martin Sheen as our hero's Uncle and true hero that almost steals the show. Moving and magnificent this casting is almost as genius as Kevin Costner being cast as Superman's dad. It's all relative.

All in all Garfield shows both great power and great responsibility in tackling the role of Spider-Man, rising in his own way with avengance. Sure 'The Avengers' and 'The Dark Knight' will dominate this years proceedings but there's always room for one more hero. Especially since 'The Avengers' have assembled and Batman has a few more weeks to wait before the rising. This is the perfect precursor. Now it's Garfield's time and we aren't talking about no ginger cat. Spider-Man is back and better than ever, besting the previous trilogy all whilst starting his own one. Now if only we could get all these heroes in one movie. Now that would be something to truly Marvel at. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

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