It's almost time for The Amazing Spider-Man to hit theaters, and the film has a LOT to prove - both as a worthwhile reboot of a franchise that's only a decade old, and as the middle child of the summer 2012 superhero movie trifecta (which includes The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises on either side of Spidey).
First reviews of The Amazing Spider-Man have emerged online, giving the world its first sense of how critics feel about director Marc Webb's contemporary vision of Peter Parker and his alter-ego, the web-slinging Spider-Man. In addition to the reviews, we have some clips, TV Spots and featurettes for the film.
Below you'll find some quotes from some early reviews of Amazing Spider-Man - which are mostly coming by way of UK publications. SPOILER ALERT: overall, the verdict has been solid:
The Guardian UK - In re-engineering Parker into the introspective, uncertain male more typical of his previous film, Webb is aided by a terrific performance from Andrew Garfield, who brings a genial unflappability that allows him to negotiate the often-ludicrous demands of the superhero plotline. At the same time, Webb also shows an unarguable facility for the more traditional action elements of the story, and the 3D certainly helps: he pulls off some properly nauseating shots as Parker dives off skyscrapers, rescues kids from falling, and the like. It's the successul synthesis of the two – action and emotion – that means this Spider-Man is as enjoyable as it is impressive: Webb's control of mood and texture is near faultless as his film switches from teenage sulks to exhilarating airborne pyrotechnics.
Telegraph UK - Amid all of the soul-searching and lip-biting, it suddenly struck me: Webb has created the first superhero movie aimed primarily at women... Raimi’s films were for the teenage boys who used to dress up in Spider-Man pyjamas; Webb’s is for girls whose other halves may soon be dressing up in Spider-Man pyjamas for their benefit... Twilight in spandex? Well, perhaps, although it’s this radically different approach to Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s crimefighter... that makes Sony Pictures' reboot worthwhile. The Avengers fans have enough heroes already. What a thrill to see one fighting for another cause.
Total Film - Swinging from fresh to faithful-to-source, Marc Webb’s reboot is a sparky, well-cast, often punchy Spidey spin... but it’s also Spider-Man Begins Again, struggling in places to assert its own identity... plot and tone aren’t always so sure. “Untold story” claims hinge on Parker’s pursuit of the truth about his dad, but [the film] diverts into turf better covered by Raimi... Maybe Webb should have avoided the origin story and started with Spidey established. But he gets enough right to sign us up for a sequel, not least a thrilling climactic blast-off. The route there? Bit bumpy. Finally, though, Spider-Man re-begins in style.
And, of course, the obligatory bad review:
Standard UK - Webb's film is slow on plot, skimpy on character development. It takes 45 minutes for Peter's Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) to be murdered, an hour till we see the spider suit. Then Peter goes from dorky to cocky without passing charm on the way. Brittle Gwen turns gooey the moment he turns up at school battered from fighting crime. So, chicks dig scars, right... Webb saves up most of the emotional punch for a downbeat, wet-eyed ending in which Garfield and Stone are superb.... The "RealD 3D" is fine for the flying sequences, confusing in the fights, and gives that awful cardboard-cutout look to narrative scenes.
Several members of the Screen Rant crew have already seen Amazing Spider-Man - but we'll be saving our official assessment for the week of release. If you haven't read "why we're excited for Amazing Spider-Man" yet, let me just tell you - our reasons are all valid ones that are reflected in Webb's film.
Jump to the comments to leave your thoughts on these first Amazing Spider-Man reviews - and head to page 2 for some new clips, featurettes and TV spots.