It was just ten years ago horror film director Sam Raimi set the superhero movie world on fire with his exciting new vision of the Spider-man character. As played by Tobey Maguire, Spider-man was filled with wonder and amazement at his newfound powers, and the special effects were top notch, introducing a web-swinging Spider-man we'd never seen before. Now here we are in 2012, one of the most super-hero movie-filled summers ever, and the Spider-man reboot is sandwiched inbetween the releases of "The Avengers" and the new Batman film (two films that might go down in the history books as the highest grossing superhero films ever).
Though the odds may not be in The Amazing Spider-man's favor, it does have a few things going for it. For one, director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) knows how to wrench the pathos from the comic book page, even while not always staying true to the comic book origin story. Take for example (SPOILER ALERT), the death of Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen). The "spider-man as a celebrity" angle from the comics (and 2002 movie) has been completely forgone, but the results are no less devastating and final. Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is told by his uncle that it is his obligation to always do the right thing. When Peter turns the other way during some petty crime, he learns the hard truth of his uncle's lesson. Another thing this Spider-man has going for it is its amazing cast. Martin Sheen and Sally Field as a cooler, hipper aunt May and uncle Ben, Emma Stone as the sexy and always mini-skirted Gwen Stacy (Spidey's love interest this time, rather than MJ), Denis Leary as her police chief father, and Rhys Ifans as the off-kilter Dr. Connors, whose work with mutating human DNA, crossing it with lizard DNA so that he might be able to re-generate his lost arm, is the focus of the film's storyline. Of course we can't forget Garfield, whose Peter Parker is a little bit creepy, and a little bit flawed. He doesn't mind being dishonest, and when presented with an opportunity to advance himself, he makes full use of it. His Spider-man is a wise-cracking punk of a superhero, always so full of self-confidence until suddenly he isn't (much like any teen superhero might be). As someone who had been persecuted and picked on and suddenly gets almost god-like powers, Parker is giddy with over-confidence. His abilities are so great, he can't help gloating as he captures car thieves with such ease, or shows up the school bully in a basketball game.
Spider-man the reboot moves at a brisker pace than the previous series and perhaps it's a sign of good things to come. I already find it more enjoyable than half of "The Avengers" franchise movies (cough cough-ahem Thor, cough Captain America ahem cough).