That last film was pretty bad, but not bad enough to warrant a franchise reboot, but here we are. With a new take on the origin story of Peter Parker becoming Spider-Man. But does it really add anything? Surprisingly, the answer is yes, and in a big way.
This time round the metamorphosis into Spider-Man isn't by chance, like in the first film from 2002. There, Peter Parker (then played by Tobey Maguire) just happened to be on a school trip where he just happened to be bitten by a radioactive spider. This time everything ties in with the main plot of the film, and it serves the film much better from a story and character point of view.
|"At least I don't look stupid..."|
With everything tying in with the plot, the characters are far better than the previous Spider-Man films. Andrew Garfield makes for a far more interesting Spidey than Tobey Maguire, and the same can be said for Emma Stone as love interest Gwen Stacey over Kirsten Dunsts Mary Jane. And even better, Garfield and Stone have far greater on-screen chemistry as a couple.
Where the character and story are stronger, the action is slightly weaker than its predecessors. Obviously, when you have a director like Sam Raimi, you are always going to get a very interesting style, a style that new director Marc Webb has yet to attain. But the action sequences are competent, and the film even harkens back to the first Raimi with a big 'Don't mess with New York' moment.
One moment I knew that was going to tug on the heart strings from the moment it was announced was Martin Sheen playing Uncle Ben. Even if you're not a comic book fan, you should know what happens there, and it's highly emotional stuff. And there's a callback to it near the end of the film that if you don't well up, you have no soul.
If the film had one point letting itself down, it would probably be the lead villain of the Lizard. Through no fault of Ifans, it just doesn't become that interesting a character, and that side of things is let down a bit.
When it comes down to it, it all depends on what you want out of the film. If it's slam-bam action with crazy camera work, then the Sam Raimi films will do you. But if you want more interesting characters, and a richer plot then the new Amazing Spider-Man is well worth a watch.
A new and improved Spider-Man, with a new and improved love interest to boot. Great performances and story, slightly let down by a weak villain. Just edges out Raimi's original. Just.