Yes, the story is somewhat different. But it’s also kinda the same. And therein lies the rub. There’s nothing wrong with the Spider-Man reboot – it just doesn’t need to be. The incredibly talented cast is wasted on a retread. I mean, c’mon Hollywood, can’t you find just one solid, original script worth taking a multi-million dollar gamble on?
First, for what’s different: The Amazing Spider-Man focuses on the true origins of the Spidey character, including Peter Parker’s quest to understand why his parents left him in the care of good ol’ Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field) when he was just a boy. When Peter (Andrew Garfield) crosses paths with his father’s former partner, Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), you know that can’t end well. Especially when Dr. Connors starts putzing around with a serum that turns him into a giant killer lizard.
Also different in the reboot: the romance. This time around, Peter is smitten with his schoolmate Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), and the feeling is mutual. They make quite a cute couple, but their relationship is complicated by the fact that her father (played by Denis Leary) is a Captain with the NYPD, and he doesn’t have much patience for Spidey’s brand of vigilantism.
Now, for what’s the same. The webs! The fights! The leaps across tall buildings! The secrets! The costume! The great power that comes with great responsibility!
Bottom line: If you can clear your mind of Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and Spider-Men 1, 2 and 3, then you can enjoy this reboot for its fine cast, special effects, dry wit and sweet romance. If you can’t help but make comparisons (guilty as charged), it’s a much tougher sell. And if you are a comic book geek and/or superhero movie aficionado, then you’re probably standing in line for the midnight showing while I’m posting this review. So feel free to weigh in! And don’t forget to stick around through the credits for what else? The tease of a sequel. Shocking!