The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) (DVD review).

Forget about the trilogy of past years, this new production is very much better and tells the story of Spider-Man, the Marvel Comics hero, in a more comprehensive manner. The old Spider-Man was two-dimensional and frankly boring in parts, but the character played by Andrew Garfield is definitely three-dimensional and more complete. Okay, maybe a little geeky, Peter Parker seems to be a bit of a nerd in the first few minutes of the movie but that’s fine for people like us who may be ne’er-do-well, sorry, nerd-do-well anyway. Let’s face it, what was more tedious and ridiculous than the octopus-like creature Doc Ock, the villain that Spider-Man faced in a nonsensical battle in the second movie? This time we’ve got a genetically produced reptile with more scientific credibility!

Despite the fact that the movie cost a fortune to make, box office returns exceeded three quarters of a billion dollars. This isn’t as much as earlier movies but the DVDs are just out on the market and this is what’s being reviewed here. It comes with UV copy and has extra material which includes a commentary, deleted scenes, stunt rehearsals and lots of artwork. With Christmas coming up, it will probably sell quite well.

The quality is absolutely excellent with no complaints at all. CGI is just getting better and better these days and with plenty of money spent on production, you would expect good results. This is what you get. Fair enough you might say, but if the story isn’t up to scratch, then all the money goes down the drain. The days are long past since flashy effects made up for bad acting and a bad storyline but fortunately ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’s story is good, all two hours plus of it. It’s what you call a reboot. Not satisfied with the original movies, the production team has gone back to basics and produced a far more definitive version.

Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) becomes an orphan when his parents are killed in a plane crash and living with his Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen), he attends a local high school where he develops a romantic attraction to Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) whose father is a police captain. Having discovered that his father worked with an organisation called Oscorp, sneaking into the laboratory, he is bitten by a genetically modified spider. Later, Parker discovers he has super-abilities, making him into Spider-Man.

Oscorp is a rather shady organisation. Chief scientist Curtis Connors (Rhys Ifans) has a missing arm and wants to get it back but he is being pressurised by his boss, Dr Ratha (Ifran Khan), who wants to see immediate results for a new serum that has just been developed. Connors tests it on himself. Sure enough, the arm is restored but later he turns into a lizard. Meanwhile, Parker has assumed a new identity with a mask and outfit, making him into this new super-hero, Spider-Man. The Lizard goes on the rampage and is stopped by Spider-Man.

Scientists are trying to discover ways for humans to re-grow missing limbs at the moment, looking to emulate reptiles who already have this ability. Thus we have the connections to the story. This doesn’t mean to say that humans will change into reptiles but it makes for a good tale. The Spider-Man we have here is, I think, much more like the character from the comics all these years ago when he first he appealed to millions of readers. The technology is updated but there’s still this character who is not really a super-hero and often regarded in some quarters as a villain, he steers a precarious course through society. The endearing connection to ordinary life is Peter Parker’s love for Gwen which keeps him on the good side of normal.

Marc Webb the director will probably be in charge of the sequel which should appear in a couple of years time. No doubt another trilogy will be made and this time it will be better than the last effort. All in all, ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ is a very good movie which translates to DVD with no obvious problems. TVs and speakers have come on leaps and bounds over the last 10 years and the cinematic effect is almost, I say almost, reproducible in the living room. This being the case, in another 10 years will we have any need for the cinema?

A very good movie and one to recommend for the holiday period, it will be purchased for Christmas. That aside, it stands out on its own as a movie that will outlast time, at least for a little while.

Rod MacDonald

November 2012


Footnote: If you want to get the 2 DVD limited Special Edition, then visit the Sainsbury’s supermarket in the UK while stocks last.


(Region 2 DVD: pub: Columbia/Sony Pictures Entertainment B005OIYAZY. 1 DVD 136 minute film with extras. Price: £ 9.99 (UK))

cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Ifran Khan, Martin Sheen and Sally Field

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