Two questions surrounded the new Spider-Man reboot: after two great movies (the third one doesn't exist to me!), do we really need a reboot? And do we really need a reboot this early? But those questions really never mattered, because The Amazing Spider-Man is real, it's done, and it's really here. The only question that matters right now is the most important one: is this new movie truly amazing?
Yes. Yes it is.
And here's why: The Amazing Spider-Man is director Marc Webb's attempt at doing for Spidey what Batman Begins did for Batman, and it works. By taking everything that made Spider-Man great and grounding it a little closer to reality, we get a flavor of Spidey that's less comic-book camp and more big-budget Hollywood blockbuster.
Here, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is a social misfit, still reeling from the mysterious disappearance of his parents as a child, with nothing left but the love of his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field) and his infatuation with schoolmate Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) His search for answers will lead him to Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), a brilliant scientist and his father's former colleague, who's searching for a way to regrow his right arm through cross-species genetics. After an accident with a spider, Peter gains the powers and proportionate strength of an arachnid, which he uses to fight crime. And just in time, because an experiment gone bad has turned Dr. Connors into a monstrous Lizard, who will stop at nothing to mutate the human race into his twisted idea of perfection!
If this all sounds like a retread, don't worry. Webb seems to know what the viewers really want to see, and so he opts to present the origin story in poignant bite-sized pieces, leaving out the superfluous parts and lingering over the important, more dramatic ones, making it easier to digest and lets Spider-Man swing into action faster.
And oh, does he swing. Anyone who felt short-changed of Spidey moments in the previous films can rest easy, because this in my opinion is the best and most graceful Spider-Man we've seen in years. Webb throws every signature Spider-Man move at the screen and then some, from the wall-climbing to his acrobatics to the web-swinging to webbing stuff up like a madman. And in copious amounts too. This is the Spider-Man we should have gotten years ago!
But it's not just the hero in the mask that's amazing...the man behind the mask had a lot to do with it. Whereas Tobey Maguire was the first to bring the comic book superhero to life, it was Andrew Garfield that made him human. Garfield (a BAFTA and Oscar nominee) brings a raw, more dramatic energy to his Peter Parker, making you feel for him on his journey from man to Spider-Man. And it's not just Garfield...Martin Sheen's Uncle Ben is funny and heartwarming, far from the walking plot point he was in the very first film, making Peter's legendary tragedy all the more tragic. And Emma Stone is feisty and cute as hell as Gwen Stacy, and I smiled when they made her wear the character's signature go-go boots whenever possible!
Amid the grit and grime and blood, this is a Spidey movie at heart. I hate to go X Y is X on you, but The Amazing Spider-Man is amazing. Different isn't always bad...in this case, different just made it better. Be prepared to involuntarily make web-shooting poses after you watch this. Highly recommended!