Writers: James Vanderbilt, Alvin Sargent, Steve Kloves, Stan Lee (comic book) and Steve Ditko (comic book)
Plot: Peter Parker finds a clue that might help him understand why his parents disappeared when he was young. His path puts him on a collision course with Dr. Curt Connors, his father’s former partner.
Cast: Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man / Peter Parker
Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy
Rhys Ifans as The Lizard / Dr. Curt Connors
Denis Leary as Captain Stacy
Rebooting the Spider-Man franchise just five years after Spider-Man 3 may initially seem like a pretty pointless and unusual thing to do. However, when you take in mind the Sony-Marvel contract, which mandates Sony to make a Spider-Man movie every five years or they lose the rights over the characters, the picture becomes clearer. Originally, Spider-Man 4 was planned, but there were some creative differences between Sam Raimi and the studio, so he pulled out of the project, and Sony ultimately decided to reboot the whole franchise. Considering how awful Spider-Man 3 was, the reboot idea doesn’t seem that bad anymore, but The Amazing Spider-Man doesn’t offer anything new and it still feels pointless.
In case you don’t know – the movie follows Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), a teenager whose parents mysteriously left him when he was a young child and who now lives with his uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and aunt May (Sally Field). One day he learns of a doctor named Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), who worked with his father, and decides to visit him at his workplace – Oscorp. There Peter gets bitten by a strange spider and soon develops spider-like abilities and uses them to become a superhero named Spider-Man. He meets his first villain when Dr. Curt Connors injects himself with mutagen chemicals and becomes the menacing Lizard.
The Amazing Spider-Man definitely isn’t a terrible movie: the casting and the acting are great – Andrew Garfield is a very believable Spider-Man, and the always likeable Emma Stone is superb as his love interest Gwen Stacy, and they have a lot of chemistry. The action sequences and the visual effects are decent: they are by no means superb, but are exciting enough for a generic superhero popcorn movie flick. And the director, Marc Webb (who never directed a big blockbuster movie before), did a satisfying job. Furthermore, the movie is darker and more brooding than Sam Raimi’s trilogy (actually, the movie is more similar to Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy than to Raimi’s movies), which works surprisingly well.
Even though The Amazing Spider-Man has some strong points, the movie utterly fails script wise. The movie spends a big chunk of its over 2 hours runtime on a origin story which the audience is already familiar with. Not only that, but all the characters in the movie are conveniently tied to one another in an absurdly naive fashion. Moreover, some scenes are ludicrous (Peter not being able to control his powers and the infamous cranes scene). Because of that, The Amazing Spider-Man can get both tedious and silly from time to time, which may severely annoy some viewers. And speaking of silly, The Lizard design could have been improved to some degree (he should at least have kept his lab coat on!). In a nutshell, The Amazing Spider-Man isn’t as bad as it could have been, but it still is a pretty dull and pointless movie which offers nothing new to justify the reboot.