Peter Parker swings back into U.S. theaters on July 3 with “The Amazing Spider-Man,” this time played by British up-and-comer Andrew Garfield — and while Stateside critics have stayed hush-hush on their feelings about the “Amazing” reboot for now, our friends across the pond have been more outspoken with their reactions.
Several U.K. news outlets including The Guardian and Empire have published their reviews of director Marc Webb’s “Spider-Man” reboot, following the film’s London premiere on Monday. The consensus is not unlike Parker’s own superhero career: rocky at points, healthy at times and flat-out “amazing” in other areas.
Keep reading for the good and the bad from the early “Amazing Spider-Man” reviews!
Webb & The Web-Spinner
“Webb successfully treads a fine line between keeping the hardcore superhero-movie fans happy and injecting a dose of meaningful affect. Parker is generally reckoned to be the most ’relatable’ figure in the superhero canon, but the pastel-bright synthetics of the earlier movies did little to dispel the sense that the comic-book world could only construct its characters out of clunking great blocks of melodrama. 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.” — Andrew Pulver, The Guardian
Toning It Down
“The shadow of ’Batman Begins’ looms as ’Amazing’ opens, the gold standard of origin-skewed reboots riskily invoked. Parker as a child plays games at home, stumbles on some destiny-sealing revelations, loses his parents on a stormy night… A dark roots movie steeped in tragedy? Some ’untold story,’ that. Webb finds much surer footing as Parker hits high school, helped by crack casting. More confident than the last, this Parker is slick on a skateboard and not shy about standing up to Flash Thompson. The geek just got chic: who better to play him than the guy with the algorithms and rhythm from ’The Social Network’? A young buck made testy by grief, a rebel without a comb, Garfield nails all bases here, star DNA aglow. Stare-y eyes melting, he’s winningly earnest; lithe of physique, he delivers in the dust-ups; blithely gatecrashing Gwen Stacy’s bedroom, he gives good dreamboat.” — Total Film
Love For The Ladies
“Then there’s his needle-sharp young girlfriend, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), who wants to get under his skin even more than that radioactive arachnid did; find out what it is that makes his Spidey-senses tingle. Amid all of the soul-searching and lip-biting, it suddenly struck me: Webb has created the first superhero movie aimed primarily at women. Ever since ’Twilight’ tipped off Hollywood to the spending power of girls and their mothers, a range of increasingly expensive films aimed at that audience has materialised. Perhaps it was only a matter of time before a superhero suited up with them in mind, although it remains to be seen how die-hard Spider-fans will react to their hero courting a different — some would say rival — demographic.” — Robbie Collin, The Telegraph
The Negative Spin
“Director Marc Webb aims for a new realism, stripping away the brio of Sam Raimi’s 2002 version with Tobey Maguire. He also dispenses with much of the character and sass that always made this character fun. It’s not Garfield’s fault: he is a convincingly troubled, inarticulate Peter Parker, a springily athletic Spider-Man, and has awesome hair. His greatest enemy is the script. That, and the rather wearisome 3D.” — Nick Curtis, The London Evening Standard
The Final Word
“Graced with great performances from Garfield and Stone, ’The Amazing Spider-Man’ is a rare comic-book flick that is better at examining relationships than superheroism. If it doesn’t approach the current benchmark of ’Avengers Assemble,’ it still delivers a different enough, enjoyable origin story to live comfortably alongside the Raimi era.” –Ian Freer, Empire
What do you think of the early “Spider-Man” reviews? Let us know in the comments section below!
Check out everything we’ve got on “The Amazing Spider-Man.”