It’s hard taking The Amazing Spider Man seriously, simply because having another Spider Man so soon after the last franchise ended is completely unnecessary. For this reason alone, the film is damaged from the start. The moral is the same. The story is very similar. The acting, tone, narrative and direction are all oddly repetitive. Andrew Garfield is a great Peter Parker, but just because he makes a great character, doesn’t mean that character needed to be brought back to life on screen so soon. In fact, everyone in their respective roles fill the shoes wonderfully.
You know the story. Parker is the dork, the photographer. He’s not the dumb jock. He’s not the guy who obviously gets the girl. He’s weak but righteous, timid yet smart, introverted yet artistic. His aunt and uncle raise him when his parents suddenly abandon him at the age of ten. Years later he’s a senior in high school and decides to investigate his father’s disappearance, ending up at his father’s former partner’s laboratory where he’s bitten by a radioactive spider. There’s also a guy who turns into a giant lizard. Been there, done that.
The story is familiar. That said, The Amazing Spider Man does the best job is possibly could reinventing a franchise that hasn’t even expired yet. It has a way of connecting that the other films didn’t quite have. We have something interesting here, because this truly is a better version of the Tobey Maguire Spider Man. Had we not just experienced three Spider Man flicks thrown at us in the last decade, this would be exceptional. But we’re fatigued. This franchise is a bit overstuffed.
I can’t blame anyone for thinking they can do a better job than someone who came before them. Granted, I’m sure Marc Webb (director) will just tell us he’s giving the public a different aspect of Spider Man, a different story. When truthfully, and obviously, he wants to one-up the previous. There’s nothing wrong with this, and he succeeds.
The Amazing Spider Man, had it come along just five years later, could have been tremendous. Instead, it’s a good summer flick made even better because of the choices. The casting here is perfect. The direction is wonderful, and thankfully it never gets overly cheesy like so many superhero flicks often do. (This is huge.)
While The Amazing Spider Man might be better than two out of three in the last franchise, it’s still the same Spider Man. “With great power comes great responsibility.” There’s only so many times we can learn this lesson. And there’s only so many times one can watch the same story play out, regardless of how new the cast is. Even if we’ve seen it all before, it’s still incredibly enjoyable.