I am going to feel really old typing this out but 10 years ago Sam Rami and Tobey Maguire produced the first big screen version of Spider-Man. By now you know the story. Boy meets girl, boy falls in love, gets bitten by magical spider and gain super powers, boy fights crime.
Many people wondered (myself included) if a reboot of the Rami three film franchise was really needed. Some would say yes after the poorly received Spider-Man 3 (aka Jazz Hands Spider-Man). Others just thought it was too soon, especially after hearing the news that the Mark Webb version would once again start with the origin story.
The Rami series while good (for the most part) was always a little too cheesy and cartoonish for my liking and I can't say I ever really liked Maguire's Peter Parker. But still I thought this movie would be better served up like the Ed Norton version of The Incredible Hulk (where we get a sort of mini origin story through the opening credits). I still think doing another origin story was not needed.
However the Mark Webb version of the story is actually very different in execution although very similar in theme to the Rami version. But the theme is about all this has in common with the original from 2002 and that is a good thing.
Mark Webb gives us a slightly darker tone and feel to the movie. It still certainly keeps its comic book elements but not as lighthearted as in previous films. Nothing about this felt cheesy and I think a lot of that credit can go to the cast as well.
Andrew Garfield is the NEW Peter Parker in so much as he was a huge step up from Maguire. Not only did I like Garfield's Parker, I liked his Spider-Man as well who was much more in line with the quick witted Spider-Man from the comics. Emma Stone once again brings it playing Gwen Stacy (Mary Jane who?). Rhys Ifans and The Lizard was kind of just there for me. I understand the reasons they went with that villain but I was just not hooked in like I was with Doctor Octopus. Ifans himself was okay, his character just felt like the facilitator to Spider-Man's development as a hero.
There were a couple of pretty cliche ridden scenes that just drive me up a wall like when Peter Parker and Kurt Connors are talking to each other like they know each other is the good/bad guy, then in a flash it's like they don't realize it and go on with their day.
Overall the visual were fantastic, the city felt more alive to me then it ever did in the previous Spider-Man films, and in general I think this was a much better made film. In this franchise of Spider-Man I still think Spider-Man 2 is the best of the films produced thus far but I think this would be a solid second place.
It is less of a film for kids than its predecessors as well with slightly more graphic violence. In fact this felt much more in line with what Marvel Studios has been doing with their Avengers films.
If anything The Amazing Spider-Man converted me. I was not down for this move at all, but now I can happily say that the reboot worked! I am looking forward to what this cast can do with the franchise going forward!