%@&#! reboots. I hate them. I throw up in my mouth a bit every time I hear the word. Sure there are occasional happy surprises like the 1978 reboot of 1956's Invasion of the Body Snatchers, or 2009's Friday the 13th, or the 1982 remake of the 1951 movie The Thing (and yes I am ignoring the 2011 reboot here). Even the Fright Night reboot was kind of okay. But sadly, 98% of the time, reboots are only a painful reminder of how stupid most movies of the 21st century are.
But wait... What if you reboot a successful movie franchise that started in the 21st century??? What an amazingly moronic idea! With that, Sony Pictures presents: The Amazing Spider-man! Not to be confused with Spider-man 2002.
Do I really need to tell anyone what this movie is about? It's another origin story. I'm pretty sure everyone in America from 8 to 80 could write an origin story for Spider-man. Radioactive spider bites friendly neighborhood nerd... Do the math. Then add Gwen Stacy and The Lizard.
As much as I loved the 2002 version, this 'reboot' wasn't bad. Sure it had it's flaws, and I would never call it 'Amazing', but it was one more decent superhero movie from a growing list of other enjoyable superhero movies.
Director Marc Webb, does a decent job, but I'll always wonder if he got the job because of his name. You might remember him from one of his other action movies like... um... Well okay, he had a romantic comedy (500 Days of Summer), that I heard was fairly successful. At times his action was the typical quick edits, and close-ups so you couldn't quite see what was going on, but not often enough to annoy. He does deserve a pat on the head for his efforts, but he's no Sam Raimi.
Now let's compare our Peters. Tobey Maguire (2002 Peter) vs Andrew Garfield (2012 Peter). This was a surprisingly close race in my mind. I've always liked Tobey's Peter, but I have to admit, I quickly accepted Garfield's Peter without a second thought. There were moments where I felt Garfield was a bit too cocky, but in the end, he fit nicely.
I was also quick to accept Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben. I was worried I would only see The Illusive Man from Mass Effect, but he was just as good for Peter as Cliff Robertson was in 2002.
Now let's talk about the not-so-amazing parts.
I love Emma Stone. I wouldn't say I'm stalker material yet, but I did consider it after seeing her in Zombieland. However, I couldn't see her as Gwen Stacy, 17 year old high school genius with an internship in a huge high tech facility who has access to every room in the building. But then, what do I know about 17 year old girls these days.
I also thought Doc Connors (aka The Lizard, aka actor Rhys Ifans) was a bit one dimensional. And as impressive as they made The Lizard, they should have made a bit more effort on his face. Is a lizard snout so difficult to animate???
Then we have Sally Field as Aunt May. This worked if you forget everything you know about Aunt May. But I think at this point in her career, Sally Field will always be Sally Field in anything she does. And Denis Leary was a fine Captain Stacy but nothing 'amazing' here either.
The biggest problem this movie suffers from, is retelling another origin story. We know where he came from! You told us a few years ago, and we remember cause you did it right! If you forget everything you know about Spider-man from comics, or the 2002 version, it's not a bad story. The things it did well were done very well, but Amazing Spider-man will never be Amazing like The Avengers, or Iron Man, or even 1978 Superman. I give it a pretty good, but I wonder how well tickets to The Pretty Good Spider-man would sell.
Now let's compare it to Electric Company Spider-man, Nicholas Hammond 1977 Spider-man, and of course, Japanese Spider-man!