Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) finds a clue that might help him understand why his parents disappeared when he was young. His path puts him on a collision course with Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), his father’s former partner.
All of this is true. However as this is a reboot we need to see how young, nerdy (suspiciously good looking, fit, and stylish nerd, but I digress) Peter Parker comes into his fate as your friendly neighborhood web slinger. This is where rebooting such a successful series so close to its original film is to this movie’s detriment. I get it. I know I’m more knowledgeable about this story than most people are. I get it that not everybody saw the original movies, and that Stan Lee’s idiom that every comic book is somebody’s first is a truth for movies, too. I get it. I understand that story must be established. However, I think 90 minutes of material that we’ve basically seen before is a bit excessive.
But all is not lost; there are definite positives to this newest installment. First off, Andrew Garfield was a much more believable Parker. Some of my favorite moments were some truly awkward moments of post-bitten Peter not understanding his own strength. Garfield’s awkwardness was much more physical than Tobey Maguire winking at the camera in that “I’m really cool in real life” take on the role. And unlike Bryce Dallas-Howard’s portrayal of Gwen Stacy, Emma Stone chooses to play the character as likable! Add in a few very admirable supporting performances by Martin Sheen, Sally Field, the unoriginal “Asshole” himself, Denis Leary as Captain Stacy , and Rhys Ifan’s harmless turn as Curt Connors, the cast is capable and well rounded.
The real improvement of the series is a tonal shift. Much like this summer’s Prometheus,this really doesn’t feel like a summer movie. Many of the recent summer action extravaganzas feel the need to shove an action beat every 15 minutes or so. This one chooses to more focus on the quieter moments between Peter and Gwen, or Peter and Uncle Ben or Peter and Cpt. Stacy. This was refreshing. I also appreciated the conflicted nature of Dr. Connors. The Doctor was a good but beleaguered man. The Villain of the flick was The Lizard and it doesn’t feel like the suppressed rage within him. It was mostly a chemical reaction or the animalism of The Lizard.
I enjoyed this movie. I still prefer Spiderman 2. The Amazing Spiderman is a close second. However I’m I wondering if I actually enjoyed what is promised in the soon to come sequels. Had the Toby Maguire Trilogy never happened I would have enjoyed this more than I did. Such a close proximity affects. You’ve heard the saying “Too little too late?” well this is the opposite too much too soon.