The Amazing Spider-Man
Spider-Man Not Quite Amazing, but is a Solid Film
It seems are super hero reboots just can't wait. It took 19 years to reboot Superman, and eight years to wash the stank of Batman & Robin out before Batman Begins revved things back up. With Spider-man, it has been just five years since Tobey Maguire went all emo in Spider-Man 3, and now a new hero steps up to the plate.
The Amazing Spider-Man looks to follow its own path - some familiar characters (Uncle Ben, Aunt May and, of course, Peter Parker) show up, but this film takes a somewhat different route. Here Parker, played by The Social Network's Andrew Garfield, is more of a brainiac at school rather than some social outcast. Garfield brings the right mix of nerd cool to the role - Maguire never played the whole school angle up much, but Garfield fits right in (even if he's too old - just like the cast of Glee). His significant other is Emma Stone - as a redhead you would think she would be perfect for Mary Jane, but no, she gets blond hair and takes on the Gwen Stacy part. Stone just works in everything it seems, and this role is no different. The two have enough chemistry to make things work.
Sally Field and Martin Sheen take over as Aunt May and Uncle Ben and they do well with the wisdom (don't worry, there's no "great power" quote here) and manage to thrown in some emotional scenes as well - Uncle Ben follows the same route as his Spider-Man counterpart. If there's any weak point, it's that while I think Rhys Ifans played it well, The Lizard is just kind of a weak enemy compared to say Venom or The Hobgoblin.
The story itself is interesting - Peter wants to find out more about his dad - a one-time scientist at mega corporation Oscorp (ring a bell?) and tracks down his old partner Dr. Curt Connors. After sneaking around the building, he finds a room filled with enhanced arachnids, one hitches a ride with him and, yup, he gets bitten. I like the fact this film explains how Spider-Man made his costume and this time his webbing is mechanical (like the original comic) and now some strange organic hooey. It makes him more human, even if he can cling to walls and balance on one finger like a champ.
Of course, Stacy works for Dr. Connors, oh, and he dad is chief of police, who is after Spider-Man. Our boy has a chip on his shoulder looking for a specific criminal, and goes all vigilante breaking up petty crimes, but the police aren't so happy. Parker provides Connors with a missing key piece his father left behind before his untimely death - and Connors uses it to come up with an amazing serum - which Oscorp wants to use immediately on human subjects and despite Connors objection, he is literally told to take a hike while they potentially infect a bunch of U.S. war veterans. Connors makes himself a Guinea pig - watches his arm grow back - then turns into a giant lizard and wrecks havoc. He then goes a bit crazy and decides everyone really needs to be a lizard and sets up an aerosol device to coat the city. I wonder who will stop him?
Casting and story are solid, if not exactly as amazing as say, The Avengers, but it has its moments. I actually thought the 3D was pretty well done. Considering it has been over a year since I last saw anything in 3D, I was impressed. It works best when Spider-Man is web-slinging around the city, giving you a first-person POV. I'm still not sold on the whole 3D thing, but even though I managed to see this early, I would still say the 3D is worth the money, at least this time around.
Garfield adds a new dimension to this hero. I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of him even if I felt this opening was a bit too generic. If you need a super hero fix, though, this will do the trick and while I feel this will ultimately be overshadowed by The Avengers and Dark Knight Rises, it still makes for a decent super hero outing and if you liked the original trilogy, this provides a good start to jump back into the series.