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July 4, 2012 | 12:27 a.m. CST
There’s not much new about the superhero origin story found in The Amazing Spider-Man. Just 10 years ago, audiences flocked to see Tobey Maguire fill the shoes of Peter Parker in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, and apart from a different love interest and villain (swapping Mary Jane Watson for Gwen Stacy and the Green Goblin for the Lizard) the two films follow the same story. It’s the performances that allow this reboot to differentiate itself from its not-too-distant predecessor.
Andrew Garfield handles the role of the teenage Spider-Man with the appropriate amount of moodiness and awkward charm. Where the film really shines is Peter’s relationship with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). Garfield and Stone have excellent chemistry, and while the actions sequences are fun, it’s also a treat to watch them fall for each other. This makes sense seeing as director Marc Webb’s last film was the relationship-driven hit (500) Days of Summer.
Those not big on romance can still find entertainment in The Amazing Spider-Man. Rhys Ifans plays the scientist turned villain Dr. Curt Connors nicely. His battles with Spider-Man, particularly their showdown at the teen’s high school, are highlights. However, the movie seems to take a little too much time to get to the superhero part of the plot. With a story so familiar (spider bite turns awkward kid into hero), it couldn’t hurt to cut to the chase, especially when it’s treading on recent ground.
The movie does manage in other small ways to distinguish itself from the previous Spider-Man movies. A focus on Peter’s parents as well as the introduction of mechanical web-shooters are welcome additions.
In the end, The Amazing Spider-Man might not be treading new ground. Then again, what superhero movies are? Instead, the film provides some fun summer entertainment and the promise of an even more exciting sequel.Related Movie