Early Review Roundup: 'The Amazing Spider-Man' Soars on Teenage Emotion, Aimed at Women?

Reviews
by Beth Hanna
June 20, 2012 12:23 PM
6 Comments
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Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield in "The Amazing Spider-Man"
The Guardian and the Telegraph published first reviews for "The Amazing Spider-Man" today, both generally positive and citing the film's unusual amount of emotional appeal, largely due to the the cute-hot chemistry between leads Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. Excerpts and links below.

The Telegraph also notes the film's copious "soul-searching and lip-biting," and boldly states director Marc Webb has created "the first superhero movie aimed primarily at women." Women like lip-biting? Naming this the "Spider-Man" For Women could be a genius marketing angle if women were indeed the largest fan demographic of nerdy Peter Parker and the role's newcomer Garfield -- but are they?

Andrew Pulver, The Guardian:

"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. It's only towards the end, when there is no choice but to revert to CGI – as Rhys Ifans' Lizard goes on the rampage – that 'The Amazing Spider-Man' gets a little less amazing: cartoony reptilian carnage has just lost its power to enthral if it's rather obviously happening inside a computer."

Robbie Collin, The Telegraph:

"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."

"The Amazing Spider-Man" releases July 3.

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6 Comments

  • Lee | June 21, 2012 9:50 AMReply

    The Amazing Rhys-Ifans!!

  • Bree | June 20, 2012 10:21 PMReply

    It is nice to see some complimentary comments for a change concerning Raimi's Spider-man movies. I loved them. What has always confused me about so-called fanboy commentary concerning the original movies is how Raimi supposedly got PP's personality all wrong; particularly Peter's smart-assing his adversaries.

    Something I have never seen any blogger or commenter say when talking about the new film is that these fanboys clearly don't know their Spidey history and have erroneously faulted Raimi with not knowing Peter's character.

    How do they claim to be fanboys and not know that Raimi's version of Parker was based on the comics he grew up with--the ones from the 60s. The 60s version of Peter had a "a terrible identity problem, a marked inferiority complex, and a fear of women. He is anti-social, [sic] castration-ridden, racked with Oedipal guilt, and accident-prone ... [a] functioning neurotic." In many ways Raimi got the characterization spot-on and so was Tobey Maguire's performance.

    This new film--from what I understand--is based on the Ultimate Spider-man comic (2000 -2009) that features a different version of Peter as well as a younger Aunt May. I get very annoyed by this oversight for all the Raimi haters. Raimi's version was competent and solid and I will always love those films. He stayed very true to what Stan Lee was after when he wrote the comic back then.

    If these "fanboys" are going to criticize then they need to make damn sure they know what they are talking about.

  • BANNER | June 20, 2012 4:15 PMReply

    Well, I've seen the film. And it isn't just the best Spider-Man film so far, it is one of the best comic book films of all time. The angle that the Telegraph's reviewer went for is as much accurate as that one reviewer who called The Avengers Transformers done right. This will be much more appealing to women because of the romance aspect of it, because the actors - talented and top notch actors I would add, and let me just join the chorus here, Andrew Garfield IS Peter Parker AND Spider-Man, his performance is unbelieavable and the comparisons with Heath Ledger's performance aren't for granted - are "hot" among women as much as Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and Robert Downey Jr. are hot among them now.

    I love Raimi's Spider-Man with passion, even if my take of Spider-Man 3 is that it was all just a bad dream. But comparing Webb's Spider-Man with Raimi's is just like comparing Nolan's Batman with Burton's. They are in a whole different level. Both brilliant, but different. The critics and the general audience will fall in love with Spider-Man all over again, fanboys and fangirls included.

  • Scott Mendelson | June 20, 2012 1:19 PMReply

    I think critics everywhere need to re-watch the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy. The entire series was a romantic drama between Peter Parker and Mary Jane which occasionally had web-slinging action and/or a super-villain to defeat. The series was always big with women because A) it actually treated its female lead with respect and made her a full-blown starring character with her own life and personal goals and B) it was as much a romance as an action fantasy, usually putting character over special effects. We can argue about how artistically successful they are, but the three Spider-Man films were already romantic dramas/comedies disguised as comic book action films. So, whether the film is good or not (hopefully seeing it next week) the idea that Webb is paving new territory here is yet another case of instant amnesia. Twilight didn't pave the way for female-friendly blockbusters. Titanic and Spider-Man did, with Pirates of the Caribbean riding shotgun behind them.

  • Skippy | June 20, 2012 4:18 PM

    You're spot on with your analysis of the Raimi movies. I've never hesitated to call them sweepingly romantic; all of Peter Parker's motivations in these movies are based on emotion, whether or Mary Jane, his friends, or family. That was a startling turn for a superhero movie after the genre had degenerated into the debacle of "Batman & Robin."

    I also agree with your instant amnesia comment. In general, since "The Amazing Spider-Man" went into production, I've noticed a tendency for commentary to completely dismiss the Raimi movies as complete junk with the new one being the movie that will "get it right." It's almost like people are so fixated on the failures of "Spider-Man 3" that they've forgotten how good and how groundbreaking the first two were.

  • Vato Loco | June 20, 2012 1:44 PM

    ^^^THIS.

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