The Amazing Spider-Man
After having finished Spider-Man 3, Sam Raimi was getting ready for a fourth movie. The script was already written en after Goblin, Venom, Sandman and Doc Ock it was finally time to see Spider-Man face one of his oldest foes in history: the Lizard. Dylan Baker had already made some appearances as Dr. Curt Connors (Lizard’s human form) and now we would get to see how we would perform as a full-blown villain…
Not so! Despite the original trilogy making billions of dollars, Sony decided to completely reboot the franchise and start from scratch.
Just like Marvel has done with the Spider-Man comics, the origin story is reworked to be more in line with the current day. This means we get a genetically engineered spider biting Peter rather than a radioactive one, Uncle Ben getting killed by a fleeing thug, but not after a wrestling game but after robbing a night shop, and where the original trilogy focused on the romance between Peter and Mary-Jane Watson the reboot goes back to Peter’s original love interest from the comics: Gwen Stacy, the daughter of police captain Stacy.
The cast also got a complete overhaul. Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) takes over from Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker, we see Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Uncle Ben and Aunt May and Dr. Curt Connors is no longer played by Dylan Baker but rather Rhys Ifans. That’s right, The Lizard is indeed present, just as he was supposed to be in Spider-Man 4.
To be honest: I wasn’t really looking forward to this reboot. Not because I don’t like director Marc Webb, or find that nobody could play Peter Parker better than Tobey Maguire (I actually never found him to be so great in the first place) but rather because I never found The Lizard to be such a great villain. Boy was I wrong! Ifans plays a compelling Connors who we get to see making a similar journey as Parker but with a more tragic twist. He manages to actually make us relate to his character, something we never really had with any of the previous Spider-Man villains.
Adding to the quality of the movie is the fact that Webb decided to keep things down to earth more and making Spider-Man a hero who can actually fail. Parker struggles with his powers, and even the web slinging doesn’t go all too great from the start. This more “human” approach heightens the realism of the entire movie and actually makes it better than anticipated.
The Amazing Spider-Man reboots the franchise completely and didn’t earn as much as the previous trilogy, but it sets things up for an even better trilogy in the long run. Just like Batman Begins left us with mixed feelings after a first viewing, but ended up being the start of the greatest Batman series of films ever, The Amazing Spider-Man has similar potential.
The image quality is stunning. Sony really brought out the big guns to make sure The Amazing Spider-Man on Blu-ray would look stunning and they succeeded. Every detail is visible, compression errors are compltely absent, and everything just looks exactly as you would imagine. Unlike the original trilogy it isn’t about flashy effects but showing what needs to be shown in all its greatness. Superb!
The sound on the other hand is a bit disappointing. Yes, there’s plenty of action going around, but the subwoofer isn’t used to even half of its capacity, and also the rears don’t get enough attention. With an action blockbuster we expect full engagement all the time and that’s missing here. Better luck next time!
Over three hours of extras are present on the blu-ray and this starts with a 101 minute feature that delves into the entire production process including even laughable reasoning on why the franchise was rebooted so early. Then there’s sixteen scenes shown through storyboards, four scenes that show how they were made, stunt rehearsals, deleted scenes and more. Excellent package that will certainly appeal to Spidey-fans!