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First Reviews For 'The Amazing Spider-Man' Spin A (Mostly) Positive Web

by Kevin Jagernauth
June 19, 2012 6:17 PM
  • |
Everybody limbo...
Everybody limbo...

Even though the film doesn't begin hitting theaters internationally until next weekend, U.K. critics have put on their monocles and taken out their quill and dropped the first reviews for Sony's "The Amazing Spider-Man" reboot. And, somewhat surprisingly, it's getting some mostly very, very positive early notices.

Directed by Marc Webb, with Andrew Garfield shooting the webs, Emma Stone catching his eye and Rhys Ifans ready to give him a hard time as The Lizard, so far the film hasn't quite reached the anticipation levels of this year's other comic crop, "The Avengers" or "The Dark Knight Rises." Perhaps it's how soon this reboot is happening, or maybe over-familiarity with the character (particularly as this goes over some of the same origin story beats), but if U.K. critics are to be believed, we've been underestimating the movie.

Calling it "the superhero film for the 'Twilight' generation," The Telegraph gives the film four stars, noting that it very openly courts the female demographic in the way that Sam Raimi's films never did. But the dudes needn't worry about getting their fair share of action as "the film’s second half offers more than enough bungee-swinging through Manhattan’s concrete canyons, immaculately rendered in vertiginous, silky-smooth 3D, to satisfy thrill-seekers of either sex. What’s refreshing is how Webb makes those action sequences count: with a plot that rests almost entirely on the romance between his two leads."

Meanwhile, in another four star review, The Guardian says: "It's the successful 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."

Staying on trend, Total Film also flanks the movie with four stars. "Maybe Webb should have avoided the origin story and started with Spidey established," they say, addressing the most common complaint about the film. "But [Marc Webb] 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 SFX keeps up the four star love affair as well: "It may not have the non-stop action and spectacle of 'Avengers Assemble,' but it does have characters you can fall in love with, and bags of charm. You feel the series is in safe hands with Webb, Garfield and Stone. And in an extra scene in the end credits, it also delivers an enticing cliffhanger that should definitely leave you wanting more…"

The lone dissenting voice (thus far anyway) is the London Evening Standard, who hands the film a paltry two stars, not finding the action or effects as breathtaking as their fellow colleagues. "The 'RealD 3D' is fine for the flying sequences, confusing in the fights, and gives that awful cardboard-cutout look to narrative scenes," they write. "Webb saves up most of the emotional punch for a downbeat, wet-eyed ending in which Garfield and Stone are superb. Then there's a completely nonsensical scene cueing up the inevitable sequel."

Of course, there is going to be plenty more to talk about as the money heads into theaters, so we'll see if the positive word continues or if things begin to level out. "The Amazing Spider-Man" begins rolling out internationally on June 28th and hits U.S. theaters on July 3rd.

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  • Joshua | June 20, 2012 9:32 PMReply

    Garfield is such a great actor. I'm looking forward to seeing what he does with the role. Great chemistry with Emma Stone can't hurt either.

  • kitcon | June 20, 2012 8:16 AMReply

    After some negative tweets from Faraci and Ehrlich (who it turned out hadn't even seen the film), this gives reason for some optimism.

  • BANNER | June 20, 2012 6:20 PM

    I've got to see the film today. And it is brilliant, not only the best Spider-Man film, but one of the best entries on the superhero genre. There is some people preying for this film's demise, but it is hard to fight a superb film to be seen as anything else than amazing when that's what it is.

    The naysayers will have to keep their mouths shut in the following weeks, and I wouldn't be surprised if this became a phenomenon close to The Avengers.

  • Marko | June 20, 2012 12:30 AMReply

    Since when did this site care about early reviews of superhero movies? Who do you think you are? Germain Lussier?

  • Dee | June 20, 2012 12:13 AMReply

    I'm surprised. The previews look rather uninspired so far. They even went ahead and copied the poster of the first film (but set in the evening.)

    Spider-Man was one of my favorite cartoons growing up and I was mostly let down by the movies, I still blame Tobey McGuire. I'd be delighted if they get this one right. I get the feeling it might not be a big box office hit, though.

  • Huffy | June 19, 2012 11:55 PMReply

    Since those are UK outlets they're rating on the five star scale, right? Even so 4 out of 5 is nothing to sneeze at. Can't get myself too excited over it as I don't care about the character but at this point I'll probably check it out in theaters.

  • Mike | June 19, 2012 10:07 PMReply

    The other advantage? Practical stunts, rather than CG web-slinging, detailed down to the body language necessary for propulsion & straight from the comic panels. Plus Spidey is lithe & fast here, very much unlike the previous films.

  • KT | June 19, 2012 10:52 PM

    RELAX, Jesus, you're a fan, we get it.

  • Mike | June 19, 2012 10:03 PMReply

    Why the surprise? Unless your only exposure to Spider-Man was from the Raimi films this always seemed like an exciting prospect. A smaller scale filmmaker, focus on what it is that makes him a unique character, how young he is, a far better cast than the original films, throw in a shoot designed for astounding live action 3D & a script/star that actually understands Parker as snarky & a science genius, not just a nerd? I've been on board since they cast Garfield.

  • [A] | June 19, 2012 7:29 PMReply

    For some reason, I have to wait until July 5th. Anyway, is good to read some good things about the movie -- finally

  • Rebecca | June 19, 2012 7:16 PMReply

    Unnecessary remake is unnecessary.

  • Mike | June 19, 2012 10:05 PM

    This is a comic book property, comic book stories are transformed and redone all the time, it's fitting with the source material (though obviously an economic decision from Sony) and looks far better than Tobey & company's attempts. As a Spidey fan, it's the more the merrier as far as I'm concerned.

  • Kevin Jagernot | June 19, 2012 7:22 PM


  • oogle monster | June 19, 2012 7:11 PMReply

    I figured the film would get positive notices given Marc Webb seems like a solid director with a knack or two for thinking outside of the box but that's not going to help the box office receipts. Even with good word of mouth, the Raimi trilogy is still too fresh on most of the movie going public's mind. Just sayin'. (Also Stone should go back to red even if it's not her natural color).

  • Mike | June 19, 2012 10:04 PM

    Raimi only made one great Spider-Man movie & none of them really got the character.

  • David | June 19, 2012 7:49 PM

    At the same time, you've got really talented people involved here, and it's somewhat hard to dismiss the film though I'm in the same boat.

  • Kravennutz | June 19, 2012 7:00 PMReply

    Still not excited for this, shit I was more excited for Ghost Rider spirit of Vengeance: Drive Angry Reborn

  • woohoo | June 19, 2012 7:04 PM

    Good, now I don't have to care about your opinion.

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