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The Amazing Spider-Man (2012 film)

The 2012 film directed by Marc Webb Based on the Marvel comics character

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Amazing is Oversell

  • Jul 2, 2012


Written by James Vanderbilt, Alvin Sargent and Steve Kloves

Directed by Marc Webb

Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans and Denis Leary


Spider-Man: Hey! Watch it! I’m swingin’ here! I’m swingin’ here!


My guess is that calling the new Spider-Man reboot, “The Occasionally Amazing but Mostly Just OK and Reasonably Redundant Spider-Man” might not have been a slam dunk, marketing wise,  so I get why they went with the shorter, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN instead. The fact is, this latest film incarnation of everyone’s favorite web slinging superhero exists for one reason and one reason only. If Sony didn’t put out another film before a certain date, they would lose their rights back to Marvel, and one of their most successful film franchises would be finished. So they took a gamble and decided to start from scratch on a series that only finished five years ago, hoping that just enough time had passed for the next generation to claim Spidey as their own. As to whether that gamble pays off financially, which is of course the only way that really counts, that remains unseen. As for its critical success, my opinion is still swinging from side to side.


Under the direction of (500) DAYS OF SUMMER helmer, Marc Webb, who incidentally loses all trace of originality and personal voice as part of this massive machine, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN takes us back to when our lovably geeky hero, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), was still in high school. It isn’t long before he is bit by a radio active spider when he breaks away from the group at a laboratory focused on cross-species genetics. And not long after that, Peter can just tell; something is not right from his spider bite. The problem here is that this whole spider bite bit has already been done, and not so long ago. Sure, everyone is entitled to their own different take on the tale but Webb’s doesn’t feel all that different than Sam Raimi’s 2002 version. You can’t really mess too much with an origin story, unless you want to enrage the fanboys (and girls), but that doesn’t leave today’s viewer, whose memory may not have entirely faded after just ten years, to feel like they’re watching something they haven’t already seen. By the time Parker loses his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) in a senseless mugging, it feels like a plot point we just had to get past rather than the pivotal moment it truly is.


To overcome the more plodding details of the plot, Webb must differentiate his Spider-Man visually and through character. Garfield is a great Peter Parker. In his teenage form, Parker is very shy and befuddled around others. He has a strong moral compass but he hasn’t yet figured his whole self out so his motivations can occasionally be heavily influenced by his ego. And once he’s flying through the air as Spider-Man, Garfield continues to soar in the part. He is a more aggressive, more raw, more fearless Spider-Man than Tobey Maguire ever was. His cunning often caught me off guard and Spidey’s rumbles with The Lizard (Rhys Ifans) are some of the film’s more exhilarating moments. When it comes down to it, if you’re a fan of Spider-Man movies, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN can be an incredible ride. I for one love flying through the air on nothing but a web and a prayer, but when this ride comes to its inevitable end, some may feel like they’ve already been on it before.

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LUNCH rating is out of 10.

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July 05, 2012
I am with you, I like Garfield as Parker, but I really had major issues with this film's screeenplay. This reboot really does feel unnecessary.
More The Amazing Spider-Man (2012 f... reviews
review by . July 04, 2012
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A Somewhat
Sam Raimi’s first Spider-man film was a good launch for Spidey. It had major references to the Ultimate and 616 versions of the character that made it work. Sure, it was a little campy but it was heaven for Spidey comic fans since it captured the essence of its characters from Aunt May to J.Jonah Jameson, Mary Jane and Peter Parker. They weren’t perfect but they were good, fun and entertaining. However, Raimi’s franchise took a major downturn with the release of its abysmal …
review by . November 19, 2012
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When I first knew that this franchise was being rebooted, I asked myself why? Then knowing that The Lizard would be the villian, I thought that this move would be worse than the last mishmash that was Spiderman 3. The why was quickly answered from the first scene. We see a young Peter Parker with his parents, first playing hide and seek with his Dad, then later being brought to live with his Aunt and Uncle when something seems to have gone wrong with his father.    Peter never …
review by . July 08, 2012
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Let me get this out of my system right now:      I don't know why this movie series was rebooted.      I put up with X Men First Class's reboot only because that movie ended up being so good.  This one not so much.      And-WHY was this movie series rebooted?  Did Tobey Maguire just not want to do another one or was Spierman 3 just SO unredeemable that they had to restart?  I'll also say this right now:  …
review by . July 03, 2012
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When the original Spider Man trilogy came out ten years ago in 2002 it paved the way forward for just about every comic book movie.  It was the movie that really popularized the trend of doing so.  This is why for the past ten years no summer has ever lamented a major Super Hero movie.  Because Spider Man came, saw and conquered.  It was a hit with the critics and a hit at the box office (until The Dark Knight it was the king of Super Hero movies in terms of Box Office, a feat …
review by . July 03, 2012
Initially when a franchise reboots a series not five years from its last installment this can often be seen as assigned they've run out of ideas.  It was reported inability to find a suitable script that drove director-producer Sam Raimi and the stars of the Spider-man series away from a possible fourth outing and forced Sony/Columbia start fresh. Selecting upon relatively new Marc Webb who outside of "500 Days of Summer", had worked on music videos and most recently directed …
review by . July 16, 2012
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   Marc Webb's retake on the story of Spider-Man has probably one big flaw in the whole scheme of things. The fact that it got released probably too soon and most definitely at a moment full of so much hype for the other blockbuster contenders. We all remember Sam Raimi's nostalgic trilogy where it all began surprisingly good, followed up by one of the best comic-book movies ever made, and ending up with one of the best comedies ever made purely by mistake. Marc Webb wanted to …
review by . June 28, 2012
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'The Amazing Spider-Man' Is Not That Amazing But It's Really Good - According To One Jew On Film
By Joan Alperin Schwartz      'The Amazing Spider Man, shot in 3D and directed by Mark Webb (500 Days Of Summer) is an edgy, emotional, action pack, at times, boring, movie.  Yes I did use the 'b' word.      In this version, which is definitely in my opinion, an improvement over all the 'Spider Man films that came before, we meet Peter Parker (Max Charles) as a young boy.       His father, (Campbell Scott) …
review by . July 20, 2012
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It's all about relationships
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review by . July 06, 2012
Is it an
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review by . July 04, 2012
It is impossible to not compare The Amazing Spider-Man to Spider-Man which has a 10 year difference in release date.  It is a bit frustrating watching the entire origin story retold when most of America already knows what occurred.  But here we are re hashing an old story.  But to the credit of the movie's stars, director, and creative team they are able to create an interesting and engaging story.  The Amazing Spider-Man is a solid summer blockbuster that has enough …
About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Ranked #24
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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About this movie



Director: Marc Webb
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Release Date: July 3, 2012
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Studio: Columbia Pictures, Marvel Studios
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