The Amazing Spider-Man: "We All Have Secrets: The Ones We Keep... And The Ones That Are Kept From Us"

Director: Marc Webb
Writer:    James Vanderbilt
               Alvin Sargent
               Steve Kloves
Starring: Andrew Garfield
               Emma Stone
               Rhys Ifans
               Denis Leary
               Sally Field
               Martin Sheen
               Irrfan Khan
               Chris Zylka
               Campbell Scott
               Embeth Davidtz
Rating:    ****

Release Date: Out Now

For years there have been rumours about a fourth instalment in the recent Spider-Man franchise, and whilst it isn't a sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man is a far superior remake/reboot/retelling of the superhero's story. Thanks to a fresh, new and revitalised cast and director (Webb), the arachnid, latex wearing teen-hero is brought back to life with thrills, spills and plenty of laughs. With each web-sling and high-flying stunt, the tension and adrenaline builds up; and with the perfect blend of heart, action and humour, The Amazing Spider-Man is honestly my favourite comic book blockbuster to date.

Andrew Garfield & Emma Stone
The previous Peter Parker, played brilliantly by Tobey Maguire, was a weedy school boy who's life changed after a spider bite turns him into a powerful crime-fighter. The story now is the same as before, just now he is a much more moodier loner type, rather than the school nerd; something else that has stayed the same is the risky casting. Way back when Maguire was cast there were many an eyebrow raised, the same happened when English actor Andrew Garfield was cast this time around. Luckily both times paid off, with Garfield playing the rebooted hero with ease, subtlety and obvious joy.

It was an obviously big risk to change the character of Peter Parker from a high school geek into a darker and moodier loner teenager, and let's face could have gone really wrong. What keeps the character working is the discoveries we make about his past and the reasons that he is such a loner. Delving into his parents disappearance gives us a much bigger insight into Peter's life and allows us to instantly sympathise with him. As the transformation starts to take place, in a surprisingly fresh way, Peter begins to become slightly arrogant; now fans of Spider-Man may not like this personality trait, but after years of being bullied and picked on, it is gonna feel incredible to get your let him be smug. 
Rhys Ifans

The transformation itself, as I said previously, is done brilliantly, and it never feels repetitive or like the original trilogy's transformation. As he fights a carriage full of people on the underground train, he can't quite believe what is happening to his body, and the mixture of bad-ass fighting and Peter's constant apologising to is victims mixes comedy and action superbly; something this film does constantly.

Alongside Parker for this wild-ride is the beautiful and intelligent Gwen Stacy (Stone), a quick and down to earth student who is the object of Spidey's affection. Emma Stone brings her usual dry wit and sassy personality to the role, and the chemistry between Garfield and herself is electrifying (and considering they're now a couple in reality, this is no surprise). Stacy works at OsCorp and is the protegee of Dr. Curt Connors (Ifans); whilst at OsCorp Connors has been working, for years, on a way for humans to regrow lost limbs (as he only has one arm himself...standard). When he finally comes up with what he thinks is the finished formula he tries it on himself, something that never ends well in these types of movies. Of course this is how all good super-villains start, with Connors turning into a giant lizard/human hybrid that threatens the safety and lives of New York cities citizens; only one person can save the city in peril, and in swings Spider-Man.

Martin Sheen & Sally Field
Also helping to fight crime in the city, as well as fighting against Spider-Man, is Gwen's father, Captain Stacy (Leary). He is the Police Captain who must stop Connors, but also believes that Spider-Man is a threat so is trying to put a stop to him too. This of course leads to some tense and awkward discussions when Peter goes to Gwen's house for a nice, civilised dinner. For me, the real heart of the film comes in the form of Peter's Uncle Ben and Aunt Sally (Sheen & Field). It is these two characters who keep Peter grounded and feeling secure, and probably supply the most emotion throughout the entire film. I'm sure most of you know about Uncle Ben's storyline, so I'll leave it at that (just in case); but at that poignant moment Sally Field's Oscar chops really come out and she shows everybody involved in the film how it is done.

It's kind of amazing how over the years the technology and visual effects are still just as breathtaking as they were in 2002, I still can't believe it has been 10 years since the originals release. With each sky-high stunt that swoops through the streets of New York, your jaws will literally drop and you'll be left gasping for breath. The original trilogy was fantastic and entertained a whole generation amazingly, but this new cast, crew and trilogy is so different that it isn't necessarily better, just fresher. So if there is a blockbuster you are going to see this summer, make The Amazing Spider-Man you number one choice.

The Amazing Spider-Man - Trailer