THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN Early Overseas Reviews Mostly Positive

     June 20, 2012


Early reviews are in for the overseas release of The Amazing Spider-Man and so far they are generally positive.  The common theme seems to be broad support for Andrew Garfield’s performance as Peter Parker, lending a nervier version to the highschooler than Tobey Maguire’s character.  Reviewers also praised Emma Stone, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Denis Leary and, to an extent, Rhys Ifans for their performances, but decried the narrative for being a bit thin and lacking dimension.  Interestingly, The Amazing Spider-Man is coming across as more of a romantic drama with action elements than an action movie with a love interest thrown in; this observation was taken to the extreme with one reviewer calling it, “the superhero film for the Twilight generation.”  Hit the jump for much more from the early reviews.

As the following contains reviews of a movie that isn’t out domestically, there are obviously SPOILERS ahead. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s break down The Amazing Spider-Man by key points and see what worked (and in one case, didn’t work) for the early reviewers.  First up is the overall score:

- Total Film (4/5) – It iamazing-spider-man-reviewssn’t perfect but this reboot’s wins outweigh its wobbles. The leads charm, the action crackles and the grooves are well-laid for part two. Untold story? Next time, then.

- Static Mass Emporium (4/5) – Despite what I see as oversights in the film’s narrative, The Amazing Spider-Man is an exciting adventure that spins together a great cast and amazing special effects.

- The Guardian (4/5) – Marc Webb’s successful synthesis of action and emotion, together with a terrific performance by Andrew Garfield, means that this Spider-Man is as enjoyable as it is impressive.

- Telegraph (4/5) – Though it still packs plenty of testosterone, Marc Webb’s new Spider-Man is the superhero film for the Twilight generation.

- Time Out London (4/5) – The Amazing Spider-Man is light on its feet and feels both intimate and expansive, smoothly making the transition from hanging out in school corridors to hanging off the sides of buildings.

- SFX (4/5) – The Amazing Spider-Man more than succeeds. 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…

- London Evening Standard (2/5) – Webb’s film is slow on plot, skimpy on character development…Webb saves up most of the emotional punch for a downbeat, wet-eyed ending in which Garfield and Stone are superb.

Now, let’s talk Garfield for a second as he was clearly the highlight of the film for many a reviewer:

A young buckamazing-spider-man-review 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)

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. (Guardian)

Garfield gets the best lines and is a comic, often slapstick, presence for much of the movie as he learns how to cope with his new powers. (Time Out London)

Andrew Garfield is brilliant. Whether his slightly less nerdy, but slightly more nervy Peter Parker is better than Tobey Maguire’s is debatable, but his Spider-Man is magnificent. He quips away like he does in the comics, and even from behind the mask he makes the humour work. (SFX)

Stone received equally good marks, but reviewers were quick to point out that she had less to work with, narratively speaking.  On the ambivalent side of the reactions was director Marc Webb, who was, in equal parts, praised and questioned for his handling of the material:

Swinging amazing-spider-man-reviewfrom fresh to faithful-to-source, Marc Webb’s reboot is a sparky, well-cast, often punchy Spidey spin… but it’s also Spider-Man Begins Again, struggling in places to assert its own identity…Webb finds much surer footing as Parker hits high school, helped by crack casting. (Total Film)

Webb successfully treads a fine line between keeping the hardcore superhero-movie fans happy and injecting a dose of meaningful affect…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. (Guardian)

Webb offers no radical rethink about how to craft a comic-book summer movie, but still he delivers a enjoyable rush over a patchwork of genres – romance, action, sci-fi, horror and comedy (there’s almost one for every leg of a spider) – while avoiding bumps at the joins. The action sequences are gripping and have a bouncy, parkour-style giddiness to them. (Time Out London)

[Webb]…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. (London Evening Standard)

Aside from character performances and narrative issues, The Amazing Spider-Man relies heavily on 3D effects and CGI elements to carry the story forward.  Here’s a look at what the early reviews thought of the tech:

It’s the amazing-spider-man-reviewsuccessful 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. (Guardian)

…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. (Telegraph)

The “RealD 3D” is fine for the flying sequences, confusing in the fights, and gives that awful cardboard-cutout look to narrative scenes. (London Evening Standard)

Rhys Ifans is fine as Curt Connors, and does his best as The Lizard, but there‘s nothing special about him as an opponent. He’s not even a particularly well-visualised villain, blandly designed and often falling foul of some of the film’s less convincing CG. It’s a real shame that with so much invention going into the rest of this movie makeover the villain feels so off-the-shelf. (SFX)

So there you have it, some trendsamazing-spider-man-review to look for as more reviews come online before The Amazing Spider-Man opens domestically on July 3rd.  Below, you can check out some fan reactions to seeing the film, via Twitter:



Around The Web
  • Ripp

    The Telegraph and London Evening Standart are just ridiculous, they’re snobbish and a little pretentious. Even I can write a better review.

    • Ripp

      The Telegraph and London Evening Standart reviews*

    • Guns Of Navarone

      Agreed. I always refute Newspaper reviews because they’re so badly done .

    • Jay McKells

      Go on then, back that chat homeboy… Post a review for us.

      The Evening Standard is basically a free of charge tabloid for commuters now, so the last thing its reviews are is “snobbish” my man…

  • Oliver Franke

    For the Twilight Generation……be prepared for ParkerXGwen and ParkerXWatson teams.

  • MR.Rich316

    Thanks for spoiling the credits for me.Thanks for the warning Collider.

    • ozzie

      marvel movies do a credit sequence … also water is wet … sorry i didnt warn you about the water.

    • Jesus

      They did warn you. There is a spoiler warning, hence you were warned. It’s your own fault if you read anyways thinking you could figure out where the spoilers were.

  • Igor

    I’ve seen The Amazing Spider-Man last Monday. This film isn’t just the best Spider-Man film ever, it’s truly one of the best superhero films ever made, right between Avengers Assemble and TDK. People will be astonished at how much Webb and the cast nailed Peter Parker AND Spider-Man. Of course that there will be reviewers complaining about the fact it’s a reboot, but comparing this with Raimi’s films it’s like trying to compare Nolan’s Batman with Burton’s. I don’t know how much people are expecting this to be any good in America but seriously, you’ll be astonished. Or amazed, you name it.

    • MisterED

      Sorry but I don’t believe you there. This film doesn’t look that will be on the same level of greatness as TDK or even the Avengers. In fact, it will be lucky if it’s just as good as the TWILIGHT films.

      Aside from the undeniable charm of Gardfield, the movie seems to be weak in terms of plot. It’s basically another origin story that wasn’t needed. But I guess the director is hoping that the chemistry between the two leads (their romance) will bring in the TWILIGHT GENERATION to the theaters.

      I will see it and I hope it is good. But there is no way this will be up there with TDK, The Avengers, Superman (1978) or even The Crow. The real test will be with the sequels.

      • edmmeistro

        Ok let me get this straight. You are criticizing the opinion of a person who watched the movie despite not seeing it yourself. You are a joke.

      • Guns Of Navarone

        Am I sick of hearing this constant whinge about ‘another pointless reboot’. It’s happened, get used to it. Raimi’s Spiderman wasn’t flawless, the goblin looked like a Power Ranger. 2 was good, 3 was crap.

        Would you (as a director) like to continue a franchise that left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth by the 3rd? Or start over with a better actor in the lead? I know which I’d prefer.

      • ozzie

        he didn’t just list Superman as a good movie did he? that series was terrible.

        teenage problems were very much part of the spiderman story so i don’t see how people can complain that they included them to draw in the young people. This generation could use a hero to look up to.

        the people producing and starring in this film know what they are doing … this film is going to be fun to watch.

        trashing a film you havent even seen seems a little out of touch with reality too.

        MisterEd needs to go back to his front porch and continue to yell at those kids to stay off his lawn. Those of us excited about this movie are tired of you trolling it.

    • tarek

      How much did they pay you Igor ? Tell us Now!

  • Keemo

    Am so glad it did well can’t wait to watch it….

  • Richard

    Why is everybody complaining about the movie, so far is doing great overseas.
    If’ you’re not interested on watching the movie than don’t complain and stay your behind home. People like us just want to see the movie just because it’s fun and it’ summer and nobody care if you’re going to see it!!!

  • JohnnyD

    Look…I know TDKR will be a better movie, but I am more excited to see Spider Man. That might not make sense to any of you, but whatever, it makes sense to me.

    Sadly, people are going to look over all of the positive things being said in this article and only remember the Twilight comparison and continue to bash it…sigh…to each his own I guess.

  • mattinacan

    so did Battleship, they don’t know shit overseas

    • Strong Enough


      i can’t wait for the RT meter on this movie. Americans will rip this to shreds

      QUE PASI?!

  • iJackSparrow

    Battleshit was treated like the shit it is everywhere. Some ignorants think that the fact that Battleshit did better box office wise overseas than in the US means that peole overseas don’t know better, what this same group of ignorant people forget is that overseas is all the fucking World besides the United States, so of course that even a bomb will make more money than just one country.

    As for The Amazing Spider-Man, these reviews are not surprising to me. I know some people who have seen it almost two weeks ago and they love the movie to death. This is my most anticipated movie of the Summer, and I have a feeling that a hell lot of people will be surprised at how amazing this film is. Webb is a talented director and even the mixed reviews praise his performance to no end. This is shaping up to be the best year for superhero films, and I couldn’t be happier with it.

    • Ray

      Right, I have def. seen some “normal” folks from the UK on forums saying 9.5/10 and GREAT GREAT scores. I told one of my friends who was real leary that Emma Stone usually seems to pick good stuff and turn “bad” ones down.I think I’ll enjoy this one very much, peter’s fighting scenes looked good, he seemed to be funny here,etc.

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  • Ur mom

    Even LOKI is looking forward to see Spiderman!! ^_^

  • daveyboy

    I figured people were going to be liking the performances and all that, but I was really hoping to hear something like “the lizard is absolutely terrifying”…really wanted to hear that they nail the villain and those are the best parts but these reviews make it sound like that is the least cool part of the movie..i hope the Lizard is an awesome villain,but maybe its better for a first movie to have a villain he cant reason with and just has to kick his ass,and then the sequel could have a more psychological villain…

  • Scotty

    This makes me so happy! Cant wait to see it! From all the reviews it sounds like its a fun and well done movie. Woo hoo!

  • Black Widow

    This will sound weird, but i’m not excited about this movie.

  • Pocketses

    I love how, no matter what, no one thinks this film has a chance of being as good as The Dark Knight Rises, despite the fact that the promotion for this film has been leaps and bounds better than TDKR. Dark Knight is solely relying on the fact that it’s the follow up to a top 5 comic film of all-time and is the conclusion to that series. Don’t get me wrong, I think Dark Knight will be great, but the promotion has been not jsut bad, it’s been downright atrocious.

    From issues like not being able to, you know, understand the villain, to the director initially refusing to change that fact and say that his audience needs to “smarten up” to get on his films level, to the awful costume design. And yes, Bane looks awful. Like some S&M version of Scorpion from Mortal Kombat mixed with a generic villain from Bond or the Uncharted video game series. Catwoman has yet to show anything in the promo’s, and the latest round of posters have fallen in the realm of ridiculous.

    Meanwhile, the Amazing Spider-man promo’s have been blisteringly paced, showing visions of the real Peter Parker, as never seen in the Raimi films, with a female lead that can be believable as both desirable and able to stand on her own, again unlike Dunst in the Mary-Jane role.

    Do I think that, in the end, Spider-Man will be the better film than TDKR? I honestly have no clue. I LOVE the Dark Knight, LOVED it to death, but much of that was due to Ledgers performance. Maggie Gyllenhaal was insulting in her role, Bale’s batman voice finally got to me, after not caring about it in Begins, and even though I actually tend to agree with it, Nolan forcing his agenda on the audience was not necessary. And it’s happening again in TDKR, last time it was anti patriot act, this time it’s the occupy wall street crap. I don’t go to see super hero films to think about real world problems, I go for what they are supposed to be, escapism. Keep your politics out of the films, Nolan.

    Right now, I can say that I am more excited, personally, for Spider-Man than I am TDKR. We’ll see how I feel at the end of summer, though I think neither have the chance to dethrone Avengers in terms of box office OR quality of the summer.

  • Black Widow

    I don’t agree. I don’t think that amazing spider-man have what it rakes to be better than the TDKR in terms of quality or box office. TDKR is the most anticipated movie of the year, people are waiting for it for four years. the marketing of the film it’s being great so far, maybe the film don’t have the cahnc to dethrone avengers in terms of box office, ’cause od the 3d BUT in terms of quality YES. Avengers was a great bu wass too obvious, too family-friendly. TDKR it’s more serious, and also is the conclusion to the epic trilogy so of couse IT NEEDS to be the best. TASM will be a good movie but won’t be big as avenger OR tdkr. NEVER!!!

  • Black Widow

    I don’t agree. I don’t think that amazing spider-man have what it takes to be better than the TDKR in terms of quality or box office. TDKR is the most anticipated movie of the year, people are waiting for it for four years. the marketing of the film it’s being great so far, maybe the film don’t have the chance to dethrone avengers in terms of box office, ’cause of the 3d BUT in terms of quality YES. Avengers was a great but was too obvious, too family-friendly. TDKR it’s more serious, and also is the conclusion to the epic trilogy so of couse IT NEEDS to be the best. TASM will be a good movie but won’t be big as avenger OR tdkr. NEVER!!!

  • M Murdock

    I saw The Anazing Spiderman at a preview show here in Japan last night. Though the relationship between Peter and Uncle Ben is better served in Sam Raimis Spiderman, this new film is generally better that the first Spidey and in terms of action is better than Spiderman 2 ( a liitle unfair to compare with 8 years of cgi improvement).

    I was very happily surprised and I think it could be a big success.

    • Joe

      “and in terms of action is better than Spiderman 2″

      I understand it’s just an opinion but that’s so far off-base I wonder if you and I watched the same films. I’m no Raimi fanboy but Spidey 2 was miles and miles ahead of Spidey 2012.

  • Joe

    I just came from a screening. My rating 3 stats outta 5.

    The plot is quite weak and the pacing is slow. You’d expect the pacing to pick up after the initial half of the film after Parker gets bitten etc. but it never really hits a high comparable to Raimi’s works – all three of em.

    Just to get it out of the way, comparisons between Raimi’s trilogy and this are inevitable and you will do it yourself once you start watching.

    The action is not special and the transformation of Parker to Spidey is hum-drum. The musical score was a detriment to this film. James Horner did a real disservice to this film with his heroic score but failed to account for the youthfulness of his characters.

    The saving grace to an extent is the relationship between Parker and Gwen, ahem I mean between Garfield and Emma. You can see they really like each other…a lot!

    The whole subplot about his parents, scientific work is so thin it’s almost laughable if it wasn’t for Rhys Ifans Lizard who lends an element of credible menance. But it’s resolved too readily at the climax.

    The mid credit scene was poorly executed. It gives no real anticipation of what’s coming next. Webb is clueless in how to do so. Overall the film barely makes it in my opinion. It pales to the more recent Marvel films (though this is by Sony) and is no where near The Avengers or Dark Knight as others would have you believe.