Tag Archives: Marvel

Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice Review | Film

Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice

Superhero films have had a hard time growing up. For years they weren’t taken seriously in the industry or by the mainstream film audience since they were just silly little stories ‘just for kids’ or just a load of action with no substance.

Now, in 2016, it’s been 23 years since Batman first hit the big screen (34 years for Superman) – and six years since Marvel kicked the industry to new heights, and demanded attention, with Iron Man in 2008 – so you’d think that if any two superheroes could show how far we’d come, it would be Batman and Superman.

Unfortunately, this film does not complete that mission.

From the outset, there’s plenty to be excited about with this film, and really many of its elements work really well, it’s just the overall experience which doesn’t quite meet expectations.

Taking up the cape and cowl from Christian Bale as Batman is Ben Affleck, an actor (and accomplished director) who has had a difficult past with superhero films but restores faith quickly here by giving the audience a character they can genuinely sympathise with.

Batfleck isn’t rampaging the city as some sort of wish-fulfillment, but because he is adamant that Superman is a risk to humanity and must be stopped, following the destruction of much of Metropolis in Man of Steel.

BATMAN V SUPERMAN

Superman on the other hand (played by a permanently scowling Henry Cavill), is still trying to find his feet after taking up his cape, and is struggling to understand everyone’s resentment, fear and even worship of him.

In many ways, if the main cast had stopped there, the film might have felt more focused and effective, but since DC grows increasingly jealous of Marvel’s extended universe, it’s decided to kick-start it by throwing everything it has into this film.

Enter Wonder Woman, who is fantastically realised by Gal Gadot, and acts as an interesting element in Batman’s investigations before turning up for the film’s climax. As exciting a character as she is, and she leaves us wanting more, it’s difficult to say she is essential to telling this story.

Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of JusticeThe villain of the piece is Lex Luthor (Jr., which immediately feels like a bit of a cop out excuse to make the character more edgy and set him apart from his predecessors), played by Jesse Eisenberg. In many ways there are some interesting ideas being thrown around with Luthor, but in the end his manor doesn’t feel like it has enough darkness behind it, bringing up memories of Jim Carey’s The Riddler when it would have been more impactful to have the character turn in a heartbeat from slightly quirky to outright sinister and malicious.

Louis Lane seems to exist purely to flip between being a damsel in distress to an irritatingly stereotypical love interest, responsible for not only the film’s catalyst but a horribly underdeveloped love storyline with Clark Kent. Jeremy Irons’ Alfred is really the only member of the supporting cast who earns his place in the film, and feels tragically under-used.

The film’s strongest suit is the action and spectacle, which sees some expertly choreographed Batman fights in particular, and the titular battle between DC’s two mightiest heroes is worth waiting for – though its resolution is the somewhat anti-climactic and obvious realisation that both Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent’s mothers have the same first name…

The biggest indication of where the film goes off the rails, apart from struggling to make time to introduce new characters for The Justice League films, which ended up being more arbitrary than a huge distraction, is that the tone is all over the place.

BATMAN V SUPERMAN

Fundamentally, Batman and Superman don’t have vastly opposed philosophies as the film tries to make out, and jumping from Batman’s grit, to Superman’s inner turmoil, to Lex Luthor’s evil villain stereotyping just feels like it can’t decide what it wants to be.

What may have been stronger, is if the film had stuck with Batman’s perspective on events, which is set up extremely well at the beginning of the film, and followed that through, only revealing Superman’s side of the story when Batman learns about it, meaning the entire conflict had a grounded, specific set of eyes which the audience is supposed to see everything from.

While there is plenty this film didn’t quite get right, it is still definitely worth seeing, but if you are expecting a film to make you seriously rethink your love of The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy or Captain America: The Winter Soldier, then you needn’t worry.

Now the dawn of the justice league beckons, but not on the back of a film DC fans need, or deserve.

Rating: 3/5

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Ant-Man | Review | Film

Ant-ManAnt-Man PosterA small film and an even smaller hero in the context of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Ant-Man may be, but there’s no denying he knows how to make an entrance.

With a premise which stretches audience’s limits of what they are willing to believe (oddly more so than a virtually invincible god with a magic hammer) Ant-Man had its work cut out from the off. On top of that add the pressure of following up the tremendously popular Guardians of the Galaxy from the ‘oddball’ side of the Marvel camp and the excitement of The Avengers: Age of Ultron only a few months before.

Star Paul Rudd and director Payton Reed remain unphased and sensible focus their film around the character of Scott Lang, a crook fresh out of jail for burglary (not robbery) who has a daughter he cares about – a lot.

Being an ex-con is never easy, and immediately it’s easy to warm to Scott, who combines Rudd’s natural charm with some of the DNA of Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark and Chris Pratt’s Starlord to come up with something which somehow manages to feel fresh in a world filled with snarky heroes.

Watching him hopefully from the shadows is Hank Pym, played (frankly, quite suprisingly) to perfection by Michael Douglas, in many ways the polar opposite to the brash, showy scientist which Howard Stark was. Pym is under pressure as his own company is on the brink of not only being taken in a worrying new direction, but it’s thanks to some of his long-buried research – The Pym Particle.

Ant-ManIt’s this which brings us our titular hero, a moniker originally worn by Pym back in the day, and now passed on to Lang, along with a chance to make amends for his past mistakes.

Squaring off against our hero is the slightly disappointing Corey Stoll as Darren Cross. Stoll put on a fantastic turn on Netflix crown jewel House of Cards but here isn’t given too much to play with other than the broad strokes of Loki’s motivations, and sadly doesn’t stand up to them.

While Cross might fall short, he is more than compensated by the other supporting characters, such as Evangeline Lilly’s Hope Van Dyne and even more so Michael Peña as Luis, definitely the comedy stand-out of the film.

The story doesn’t take a massive leap from what we’ve seen before in the MCU and, one imagines, has been toned down from Edgar Wright’s original vision, after he left the project (though proudly maintains Executive Producer and Story credits). It seems like a missed opportunity to have tiptoed outside the box a little further than we’ve seen before, but given the scale of what Marvel are building, it’s no surprise they are taking a few safe choices.

Reed and the cast deliver a film filled with a nice blend of comedy and action, differentiated from the likes of Guardians by feeling more grounded and relatable and more intimate than The Avengers from its narrower scope.

Visually the film plays very well with 3D, so much so that it actually enhances the experience as advertised, and both the action and maintain the sense of fun which is threaded through the film.

The heist vibe is also nicely played in, particularly with the theme and score which build a feeling similar to the intricate-yet-relatable plans from the likes of Ocean’s Eleven.

The fun to be had here is massive and Marvel has handled a difficult property with precision, excitement and heart which is all-too-often lost in some of the more ambitious franchise films.

A great time for kids and adults alike, we’re looking forward to seeing Ant-Man play with the Avengers in the films still to come.

James Michael Parry

Guardians of the Galaxy | Review | Film

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The one thing most people seem to know about Guardians of the Galaxy is that it has a talking raccoon in it. After two hours of interstellar fun and games I can officially confirm that yes, there is indeed a talking raccoon in it. If you needed more than a semi live-action, feature length version of 1980s cartoon The Raccoons then you’ll be happy to hear that Guardians has a lot more to offer.

Guardians of the Galaxy poster

First of all the style of the film is definitely lighthearted, a clear and obvious departure from some of the superhero flicks of late – more similar to the likes of Kick-Ass and Scott Pilgrim vs The World – which makes for a refreshing watch without worrying about which character is going to turn out to be evil later on. In fact the plot is remarkably simple, almost to a fault, but serves as a device to bring this band of misfits together. Any film which begins with the main character dancing under a huge, glowing version of its logo knows exactly what it is.

All fun and games

You can't help but have fun with Peter Quill (Chris Pratt)
You can’t help but have fun with Peter Quill (Chris Pratt)

Self awareness is, in fact, one of the film’s strongest points, often throwing in 1980s pop culture references which remain just as well-known today almost to make a point. Our hero Peter Quill (The Lego Movie’s Chris Pratt), known as Starlord…by only himself, is a notable thief who gets caught up in something bigger – imagine a more childish Han Solo and you’re almost there. His inevitable incarceration calls him to join forces with his former enemies and so the games begin.

You could call the guardians the ‘B squad’ Avengers, but that would be selling them short as in fact they are very far removed from the power, might and glory of superhero status, rather doing the right thing even though no one expects anything of them in the first place – just the opposite in fact. Groot, notable for being a giant humanoid tree, has a delightfully sweet demeanour and this plays well against Rocket the Raccoons wise-cracking (courtesy Bradley Cooper).

Zoe Saldana, who plays token female character Gamora, is perhaps the most disappointing of the quintet, not showing the sort of variety we have seen from her as Uhura but retaining the childish female stereotype aspects in places, admittedly used to great effect at one point in particular.

The final character of the group is Drax, played by former wrestler Dave Bautista, who at first comes across as a one-note brute, but is soon gifted with some excellent one-liners in his own right.

More than just a pretty (furry) face

The space battles in the film almost take you by surprise
The space battles in the film almost take you by surprise

The visual effects are stunning in the sense that you barely notice them. There are few moments where you feel your eyes adjusting into ‘visual effects mode’, instead they are slipped in to the story and action sequences naturally. Particularly the look and feel of CGI characters Groot and Rocket, of which the latter really gets top marks for fur effects.

There is a certain beauty to the use of music in the film, all of which comes from a mix tape given to Starlord when he began his journey across the stars, and as such has not only an 80s vibe (something which follows through the whole film) but a consistency, keeping the film grounded and relatable while out-of-this-world madness and excitement happen on screen.

Small but perfectly formed

The ties to the existing Marvel films are passing at the most
The ties to the existing Marvel films are passing at the most

As a Marvel film, certain expectations have been built up over the past few years as its film universe has grown, but this film proudly stands alone with only a passing connection to the events of other films. In a way that’s the most refreshing thing about watching it – being able to enjoy the experience without thinking about the impact it will have on something else.

So, it might not be a perfect film, but it is the most entertaining and fulfilling cinema experience of the year so far, and suitable for all ages…for the most part anyway. Guardians is exciting, funny and just easy to watch, something has been lost in the convoluted cross-pollination of Marvel films and this title reminds us why we liked them in the first place – they are damn good fun.

Rating: 5/5

James Michael Parry

Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Review | Film

Captain America: The Winter SoldierPatriotism is a tough label to get around. For Captain America the character is forever typecast by his very name. Lucky then that the character Chris Evans portrays as the Captain has far more depth than it should.

Captain America: The Winter SoldierSince the first Captain America, the world has changed. The idealistic beginning of this symbol of hope and courage have become all too real as the aftermath of Avengers Assemble have taken their toll. Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D (so, SHIELD…) are pre-preemptively taking out terrorist targets, which cause the Captain to have something of a morality crisis.

Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is much happier not following the rules, and spends much of the film learning why they can, in fact, be some use after all. Fury himself even gets some time to develop as a character, at last becoming more than just a cool guy with an eye patch.

Newcomer The Winter Soldier, whose origins you either suspect or may already know, gets no such luxury however and sadly suffers for it, impressing on skill but not substance. Whether his character will grow in a future iteration of the franchise remains to be seen.


The stakes are higher this time around, thanks to a relic of the past coming back to haunt in true comicbook style, and the action rises to the occasion well. The drama shys away from the likes of romance for the most part, instead pushing ahead with the subject of morality, and plays the hand strongly, but still with a healthy dose of care from the audience about the characters.

There’s no magic or alien involvement in this Marvel story (though the technological accomplishments possible in 1945 seem a tad unlikely) so it’s up to the Cap to take on his enemies with nothing but his iron will and his insanely indestructible shield.

Captain America: The Winter SoldierThe story might be a stretch, but you can’t deny it is simplicity at its heart and this works in the film’s favor for the most part – there’s little risk of scenes dragging on too long and you losing interest.

News that Evans won’t be continuing, while not a complete shock, does surprise when you consider how naturally he falls into this role – especially after already playing a well-known Marvel character only a few years before.

Since then Evans, like his choice of characters, have come of age and taken on more responsibility as an actor. He brings a subtle physicality to the role, not wearing it on his sleeve like Hugh Jackman but undeniably well built, so much so that you can almost believe his opening mammoth sprint.

In all there’s a lot to enjoy about this film so long as you can immerse yourself in Marvel’s increasingly complex world, but at the same time resist the urge to ask questions like ‘So, where’s Iron Man while this is going on?’ and ‘No way The Hulk would sit around and let that happen’.

Whether the character has the mileage for the third film, after the difficult second compilation album that is The Avengers: Age of Ultron remains to be seen. For now, it’s a fun and enjoyable film which hits the tone just right to move things on, and leave you wanting more.

Rating: 4/5

James Michael Parry

Ten most anticipated titles of 2014 – Part 2 | Opinion | Entertainment

2014 ones to watch pt2That’s right, we ran out of space to fit in ten before – there’s just so much to talk about. In case you missed it, have a read of the first five things we are excited about this year, then take a look at another five below. After that you may go, or if you’re feeling really interactive you can leave a comment with what yours are.

X-Men: Days of Future Past – 22 May

X-Men: Days of Future PastIs more always better? We aren’t so sure. It definitely made Spider-Man 3 messy and is history is threatening to repeat itself with the second remake (see part one). That said, it’s difficult to bet against the pedigree of the cast involved with X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Promising new-ish talent in the form of Evan Peters as Quicksilver and rising star Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, while old guard like Hugh Jackman (born to be Wolverine) bring some gravitas to proceedings and knights of the realm Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart bringing up the rear.

Of course this time roles are doubled up, as both Michael Fassbender and McKellen take on the iconic role of Magneto and make uneasy alliance with James McAvoy and Stewart’s Professor X.

To say that this is an anticipated title would be an understatement. Original film series helmsman Bryan Singer is back and there’s some fantastic writers on board as well, with so many great characters, special effects and action sequences to come – what can go wrong? If the trailer is anything to go by we are in for a treat.

House of Cards: Series 2 – 14 February

The first of two multimedia TV choices on this list, both significant for different reasons. Last year House of Cards was Netflix’s first real foray into the world of original programming, and thanks to its success a handful of shows, both established and brand new, have followed suit. Now they have to do it again to prove that it’s not just a one-trick pony or a fluke – a second series is serious business.

The show isn’t strictly original, since it’s a remake of a UK show, but I think given the differences between attitudes and political systems in the two countries it can stand alone with its head held high. Kevin Spacey nails the part of Frank Underwood expertly, so much so that he gained a number of award nominations, but, alas, only a (well-deserved) Golden Globe win for Spacey’s co-star Robin Wright. Netflix will want to improve on that this time around, to prove that they ‘count’ in the big leagues.

Since the scrabble up the political ladder was vicious and frantic at times in series one, viewers won’t want Frank’s journey to get too easy this time around. All the episodes drop in at once on Valentine’s Day, will they make enough impact to tear people away from their loved ones?

The Halo TV Series – TBA

HaloThe Xbox One announcement was undoubtedly a multimedia entertainment affair, rather than a reveal of ‘a games console’. Microsoft had their sights set on something greater, and still do. Filming a TV series though, takes time, and with collaborator Steven Spielberg working on other TV projects as producer his time is sure to be in high demand.

The potential of this show is what makes it such an exciting prospect though. The Halo 4: Forward  Unto Dawn web series demonstrated fantastic production values and, crucially, a compelling story which wasn’t over-reliant on the games – a very difficult balance to get right.

The expectation from series fans is high, and as one of Microsoft’s key exclusives, they will definitely want to take the time they need to get it right first time. Particularly considering all the flack they got in 2013 for various PR mis-steps.

The potential of the concept is huge though, and there’s a lot to play for. A massive captive audience and exclusive delivery platform just waiting to get going, while the interplay between the show and the game series itself, which is also keeping its audience hungry. MS have an opportunity to make a bold statement about what they can achieve in multimedia. It might not come this year in the end, but there is sure to be more revealed by the end of the year.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier – March 28

Captain America: The Winter SoldierPoor Cap. Thanks to merely his name, his origin story wasn’t as well received in the UK as it was in his homeland. Luckily he has another chance with The Winter Soldier, and early forecasts are looking extremely promising.

The character established in the first film had a surprisingly deep arc compared to his fellow Avengers, and as such was short-changed by critics. In this instalment the trailer paints a very compelling picture.

Cap is still working with SHIELD, including Nick Fury and Black Widow, and is beginning to question the motives and methods of this highly destructive organisation. Not a gritty superhero story like The Dark Knight trilogy, but a very personal story which explores his character – albeit with some explosions thrown in for good measure.

Directing are little-known pair Anthony and Joe Russo, who are sure to bring their own spin to proceedings, while the rest of the crew are equally unknown to the Marvel film universe, meaning the film has that mixture of excitement and fear you often find with an unknown quantity.

The next Google Nexus tablet – TBA

Google Nexus 10 2 concept imageGoogle have been making strides over the past few months, buying up companies left and right and making progress with both software and concept hardware such as Google Glass, but since the release of the Google Nexus 7, things have been quiet in the tablet division.

The advertising for Google Play as the place to get your music, films and TV shows has seen a marked increase, giving the softest of indications that the next logical step on their tablet journey may be coming.

Another patent deal with Samsung done and dusted in the smartphones division means there’s a few more patents to play with and since there has been a lot of expectation for a more specced iPad or wearable tech. At the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES), product launches from Google were conspicuous by their absence and after Apple’s shares took a tumble on the back of less-than-overwhelming sales performance – now is the time to strike.

The technology needed isn’t a million miles ahead of the excellent Google Nexus 10, produced by Samsung, with its screen in particular going down well and generally performance stacking up to the equivalent offering from Apple. To really turn heads though, they will need to go further. Does that mean a Nexus 11? Time, as ever, will tell, but there’s potential there for the taking.

The ones to watch: Watch Dogs, Titanfall, Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Division, The Fray – Helios, Rancid’s new album, Robocop, 300: Rise of an Empire, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Steam Machines, Oculus Rift, Hannibal and Game of Thrones.
James Michael Parry

Thor: The Dark World | Review | Film

Marvel's Thor: The Dark WorldThor: The Dark WorldTopping The Avengers (or Avengers Assemble, if you must) was never going to be easy, and there’s no doubt Thor: The Dark World lives in the shadow of the events of the biggest grossing superhero flick of all time, but at least it has a really good go.

The gang’s all here: Thor, Loki, Odin…and Natalie Portman – OK, Jane Foster… Overall the cast performs well but it’s difficult to be sold by a supposedly highly intelligent scientist who things it’s a good idea, when she finds herself in a random place in the middle of nowhere, to touch the strange goo-like red substance which is moving around of its own accord.

Anthony Hopkins earns his place returning as Odin, bringing a reminder of how great power and the weary of war can change great men into the very thing they despise. Really it’s his wife Frigga (Rene Russo) who steals the show in the briefest of moments and she shows her true colours as more than just a queen.

Of the characters, most supporting players, such as Kat Dennings’ Darcy, get a decent amount of screen time and some good laughs or at least justify themselves. Sadly it’s the villain, unrecognisably played by Christopher Eccleston, who has no depth or complexity to him – you’d think after hanging around for 5000 years or more he’d have something interesting to say but there is no character beyond raw emotion.

Marvel's Thor: The Dark WorldMore than once, the film strays close to the feeling of the original Star Wars films. There’s a villain who speaks with wrath, is pale and wields great power, his dark servant who does his bidding without question and the feeling of the torch being past between the wise old man and the youngster who stands up to evil despite massive odds.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, in fact the parrallels with themes such as magic and space together, the frantic lazer battles juxtaposing the more traditional aspects of life on Asguard. Unfortunately there isn’t the same driving narrative surging through the film, and with Thor’s own lessons learned in the first film – little to encourage you to grow with the character.

Marvel's Thor: The Dark World - LokiWhat is a fantastic though is that the film has all the humour, all the action and, best of all, Loki. Since the first film, Tom Hiddleston has taken Loki on a journey which broke out of Thor into the Avengers, and now struggles to fit back in. For much of the plot he is sidelined, confined to the dungeons out of sight.

Despite this – every single time you see him on screen you are entertained. He is gifted with the best lines, the best timing and the strongest emotional story arc of any character. He could have been used more, think of the role of Gene Hackman in Superman II, but the team were cautious and merely held him back – setting things up for fireworks in Thor 3.

The story has some fun twists and turns, and even gives Idris Elba a chance to shine as we know he can (another character who deserves to go further in the next instalment), but overall plays it safe.

Marvel's Thor: The Dark WorldThe end result is a really really good film, but not quite as high as the standard set by so many Marvel flicks brought out over the past few years. Thor is a strong character, and Chris Hemsworth brings him to life brilliantly, but his sheer spectacle makes him the most un-relatable Marvel hero, and so it is more difficult to connect with the film.

In all Thor: The Dark World isn’t the moody sequel you might expect in this post-Dark Knight world, ironically it’s actually more comedic than the first film, but it does tick all the boxes for fans of both action films and comic book tales.

If you’re in the mood for a great film, this is a solid choice, but if you are looking for something unforgettable, you’ll be left wanting.

Rating: 4/5

James Michael Parry

Film | Review: The Amazing Spider-Man | This Is Entertainment

Guess whoTen years is enough time for the internet to grow from a slow-moving, loose association of computers to the fastest and most popular communication tool on the planet (thank you Facebook – 2004, Twitter – 2006, YouTube – 2005 and Skype – 2003). Not to mention mobile phones going from big to small to big again and Apple seemingly taking over the world with a combination of Pad, Pod and Phone.

The question is, is it enough time for us to forget the last Spider-Man origin story? Released back in 2002, Tobey Maguire introduced audiences to awkward teen Peter Parker, under the guidance of veteran horror director Sam Raimi. The film was a commercial success, pulling in over $821million worldwide, and although part three (which came out only five years ago) over-complicated things with multiple villains, the films were largely considered a definitive film version.

Spider-Man circa 2012 then, has a long way to go to fill those tights, not just for the figures-focused studio, but for the fans of all ages who have grown up with Maguire’s Spidey over the past decade.

Luckily, the signs are good right from the start. Andrew Garfield, who dons the mask this time around, is a far more natural and convincing Parker than Maguire ever was, and what’s even better is that he brings character, and particularly humour, to Spider-Man himself.

All the boxes are ticked in this instalment: nerdy, geeky, would-be hero – check, unrealistically attractive love interest – check, daddy issues – check. What’s interesting this time though is the time and weight put on Parker as a character, rather than the adventures of his web-slinging alter ego – he even manages to spend a fair amount of time as Spidey with his mask off.

Parker has clear issues with authority and responsibility from the word go, and doesn’t fall as naturally into his superhero endeavours as you might expect. At first he prowls the streets with only a Mexican wrestling-style mask and sunglasses as his ‘costume’, searching for the killer of his ill-fated uncle Ben.

Despite being a story many of us feel very familiar with, the director – the appropriately named Marc Webb – keeps things feeling fresh at every turn. At one point uncle Ben, fantastically brought to life by Martin Sheen, comes close to saying the over-used line “With great power, comes great responsibility,” but thankfully falls short of coming up with a replacement line at all, merely the sentiment is enough to steer Peter on his way.

The Lizard is on villain duty this time around, with Norman Osbourne banished to a silhouette of a sick old man. Rhys Ifans does the reptilian monster terrific justice, despite the slightly jarring CGI, which is otherwise unnoticeable throughout the film. Like any villain though, the real substance comes from his mild-mannered alter ego, in this case Doctor Curt Connors, who dreams of regrowing his lost arm with help from cross-species genetics. Ifans commands sympathy for Connors’ plight, and the character’s most moving moment comes as he longingly holds his hand up to a pane of glass to see his missing right arm restored through the illusion of the reflection.

The story is particularly unpredictable. It’s always tricky to come up with an original story for a well-known character, let alone one which has constraints in what viewers may have seen before. Luckily Webb still manages to take a handful of steps away from the OTT camp-factor of hero flicks of the past, and towards the gritty could-be-realism of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

What is refreshing is how the character himself, through Andrew Garfield, doesn’t take himself too seriously. He doesn’t get to bogged down on what he’s doing or why he’s doing it, he just acts impulsively, something which fits the erratic nature of Parker’s character.

Emma Stone is not Mary Jane Watson. Leaving all comparisons with Kirstin Dunst at the door, Stone isn’t even your typical damsel in distress as fellow student Gwen Stacy. Stacy shares Peter’s interest in science, working at OSCORP with Connors as an intern, and can handle herself in a fight, even taking on the Lizard with a stool at one point. Though there are emotional moments between Parker and Stacy, it’s very down-played, awkward and under the surface, just as it is for Parker himself, and thankfully there are no cringing moments at all, it plays out quite naturally.

Those going to see this film with no knowledge of the Raimi era are certain to love every minute, and even those who remember the trilogy fondly will find a place in their heart for Garfield’s version of the masked arachnid. The story won’t win awards but is solid, bar the usual suspension of disbelief, and each cast member adds exactly what they should in good balance. You can’t help but wish for one more meeting between the Spider and the Lizard, with a real exchange of words rather than just blows, but to indulge too much in banter would risk the ‘camp’ factor coming in to play.

As a superhero flick released this year the film faces stiff competition. As the years go by though, and with possible sequels to come, we may well look on this more fondly in ten years time.

Rating: 4/5

James Michael Parry

Picture: ifanboy.com