Don't be put off by my title: there is nothing sinister here chaps!! Indeed, with my general 'bloggings' I shall attempt to delight and astound you out of the mundaneness of a middle class suburban life, into the magical world of the Sophster!! Mystical...

Friday, 13 July 2012

Sophie's Film Choice #3: THE AMAZING SPIDER- MAN

After the last Spider- Man trilogy ended, we didn't think our spidey senses would ever tingle again. Surely enough webs had been slung, walls climbed, and girls awkwardly chatted up to last us a lifetime. It must have seemed the final nail in the coffin when he wasn't even invited to join The Avengers.  
'I think we finally lost him!'
How shocked we were, then, when after 5 years off the radar, our arachnid friend came forth on to our cinema screens, decidedly cooler and better looking than before! (We can only assume Iron Man gave him some pointers). 

Whilst Sam Raimi's trilogy had its exciting, tense and humorous moments (who can forget Toby Maguire's bizarre emo phase?), the whole aesthetic seems a little cumbersome and cheesy when compared with Marc Webb's refreshingly less obvious approach. 

To begin with, casting Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone as the two leads makes the film appeal to both British and American audiences, and gives a sense of youthfulness and credibility. 
'I think my gel is sticking us together. Awk.'
Garfield impresses with his fresh portrayal of Peter Parker; he subtly swaps Maguire's gawky, downright cringeworthy awkwardness with a natural teenage self- consciousness, whilst his reckless and confident attitude allows for his choices to be believable. Whilst maintaining a convincing American accent, his main strength, I think we all agree, is to maintain his voluminous hair whilst rapidly whipping that mask on and off.
Stone complements Garfield's Spider- Man with her characterisation of Gwen Stacey; combining sophistication and naivety, she is an unusually relatable female figure in the Marvel world. And she wears lots of short skirt/ long boot combos so there's something for the LADS.

As for the nemesis, Rhys Ifans gives a sinister and complex performance as Dr. Curt Connors, a character connected to Peter in his involvement in the mystery of his past, as well as undergoing a similar transformation. Except rather than becoming a bit stronger, he becomes more than a bit reptilian. Bad luck!

'I think I took the steroids too far.'
 Marc Webb should be applauded for balancing the larger- than- life aspects of the comic- book genre (a collapsing bridge and a giant talking lizard being necessary elements) with convincing relationships and quirky humour that he has carried forward from his previous films like '(500) Days of Summer'. The story is clearly structured, accessible, and visually appealing, without throwing too much at us at once; one hero and one villain is enough to create empathy in an audience (and a full- on fight in a library is always fun).
'The Amazing Spider- Man is a fast- paced, well crafted and entertaining film; the simplicity of the plot allows for strong characters that we care about, and tense action scenes, which is really what Marvel is all about.  

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