The Amazing Spider-Man (English)

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Irrfan Khan

Director: Marc Webb

Before The Amazing Spider-Man Marc Webb helmed this sweet love story, 500 Days of Summer.

Though Webb insisted in an interview with this reporter that there is no difference between a small indie film and a big fat summer blockbuster, it is obvious that Webb’s heart lies in the intimate moments rather than the wall-to-wall action sequences.

So the scenes of Peter Parker as a teenager discovering love, loss and grappling with issues of identity are heart-warming and engaging. Even his discovery and coming to terms with his superpowers is charming.

It is only when the movie shifts gears and gets into “let’s trash the city and set up a fight between a giant lizard and human spider” mode that the movie becomes rather tiresome.

This is not to say the action is not suitably eye-popping. The web shooter, the swinging from dizzying heights and great balls of fire look all rocking, and even better in 3D, but it is not particularly creative and does not provoke that jaw-dropping OMG effect.

The first of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies with Tobey Maguire as the web crawler came out in 2002. Spider-Man III came out in 2007. In a comment to our over communicated lives, five years is considered long time enough (a generation no less) for a reboot.

And so we have a new Peter Parker in Andrew Garfield who we last saw in David Fincher’s The Social Network. Emma Stone plays Parker’s love interest Gwen Stacy while Rhys Ifans plays Kurt Connors, the brilliant doctor who pushes the boundaries of science with disastrous results — echoing Doc Ock from Spider-Man II (2004).

Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben and Sally Field as Aunt May are steadily dependable in the movie.

Irrfan Khan — who was originally not too keen on working on the movie but finally accepted the role because his sons persuaded him — plays Connors’ boss Dr. Ranjit Ratha with sharp suits and an indeterminate accent.

While The Amazing Spider-Man does not have the comic book exuberance of Raimi’s trilogy, it is a charming little movie on its own — it is just not a blockbuster. Someone should have reminded Webb that with great power comes great responsibility!