The Amazing Spider-man
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Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Irrfan
Director: Marc Webb
Indian Express Ratings:***
The fourth Spiderman is not the fourth instalment in the ongoing saga of the webbed superhero; it is a reboot. Which is to say, it is the same story, done with different actors, and a different director. So the crucial question is : how different it is? And the answer to that one is simple. Not enough.
Calling your film 'The Amazing Spider-man' is like sticking a label on it, which will impel us to examine it for said amazing-ness. So while there's much that's good about the film, which would have to include Andrew Garfield as Spidey, a lot of it is a re- tread which takes its own time about unfolding. At about two hours and some, this film feels like a long ramble down familiar paths.
I think the film will appeal most to fresh viewers who haven't seen the other three. Of which the first was wonderful, the second not so, and the third an improvement on the first. For those of us who've seen the previous movies, it is about ticking off the events that we know will unfold in the next few minutes. Have Spidey's parents gone out of his life in a mysterious fashion? Yes. Have his uncle and aunt taken over his 'parvarish' from then on? Yes. Has he encountered the man who will lead him to what his father was up to? Yes. And oh, has he reached the point where he will take the irrevocable step towards Spideyhood?. Yes, there he is, getting on with it.
Watching this film, with all its rebooted bells and whistles, you wonder why there is so little in it that's new. The familiarity with the story makes things predictable. Even the new Spidey feels like we've seen him before as the webbed wonder : Garfield's Spidey is self-conscious, and gawky, as awkward around his high-school sweetheart ( Stone) as he is with his changing physical self. It goes well with being the guy who gets bullied at high school, but is not such a good fit with the superhero who wants to rid New York of all its bad guys. But Garfield has a natural appeal that overcomes these tics, and his passages with Gwen have charm ( though at this point I have to confess that nothing has come close to that upside down kiss in the first instalment).
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