Watched Jul 05, 2012
Pretty much a missed opportunity to use the origins of Spider-Man and take them to a different place. After Nolan's Batman films, Iron Man and to a lesser extent The Avengers, a game-changer for the superhero genre has arrived and we can only hope that approach is further expanded on. It's not just the familiarity of what happens to Peter Parker initially, but a lengthy exposition in presenting that as well. And even I haven't seen Raimi's Spider-Man in a good four years, but it felt exactly the same. It's also a combination of how recent this reboot is.
Anyway, this isn't a negative review, I only thought it began poorly and found its way somewhere after he's bitten by the spider. A sufficiently key distinction was the shift in tone and Webb's choice of close-ups by creating a sense of claustrophobia. Horner's score is appropriately dark (in perhaps my favourite moment as Spider-Man waits underground for Lizard on a web of string sounds.) That was pretty damn cool. Another scene of satisfying thrills was the bridge sequence. Webb has a smooth handling of the special effects and how to create a tight action sequence. And that gets me to why it's so surprising and baffling that Garfield and Stone didn't have a convincing amount of chemistry. Supposedly they're an off-screen couple, and this is the guy who made (500) Days of Summer. Even with their best efforts at being teenagers, Garfield is really 28 and Stone is 23, and that couldn't suspend my disbelief into finding my way with these characters. It's almost a little sad seeing them act as high school kids and I was yearning for Maguire and Dunst again. Ifans is an actor I have mostly enjoyed and he brings a certain depth to the Connors character (although the villain role is underwritten.) There's little comedic touches as well (fight sequence and Stan Lee with headphones), toying with bad guys, and eggs.
And finally, Garfield is a fantastic Spider-Man with cheeky characteristics, but probably needed a bit more maturing as Peter Parker. There's enough I liked, there's also a number of things I didn't. Martin Sheen is a very good Uncle Ben. I didn't entirely connect on an emotional level with this film, but its bigger scenes were awesome and it got the tone right for the most part.