That was such a disappoinment, no one was clamouring for another Spiderman movie. However, because Columbia/Sony had the rights to Spiderman, and were about to lose them to Marvel - a concern now that Marvel had become a legitimate movie studio through the careful Avengers release plan (I criticized the plan when they first announced it, how wrong was I?) - Comlumbia/Sony asked Raimi/McGuire for another Spiderman. They agreed, but didn't want to do it in the timeframe necessary to maintain rights. So, here we are, a scant five years after the last Spiderman, with a reboot.
It terms of plot, Andrew Garfield plays Peter Parker, an awkward teen who lost his parents and lives with his aunt and uncle and attempts to romance his high school crush Gwen Stacey. He gets bitten by a radioactive spider, creates web-shooters, looses his uncle in a random murder that he could have stopped, and has to do battle with the Lizard, who is actually a scientist friend of his who transformed into the Lizard after injecting reptile DNA into himself in an attempt to regrow his lost arm: you know, standard spiderman-type stuff. Webb directs it with a surprising amount of naturalness and ease, and the effects look crisp and believable, especially in the 3D version.
- Andrew Garfield, the young british actor best known for the Social Network, is an admitted Spiderman fan from the age of 3 and was thrilled to get the chance to star as Spiderman. He has said that the first time he put on the suit - he broke down in tears! That is the level of appreciation I want from a superhero movie start - not someone like McGuire, who badmouthed Spiderman from time to time. Garfield is fantastic in this, equal parts socially awkward as Peter and joyfully exuberant as Spiderman. He plays the role like he has always wanted to. Also - his leaner, lither physique fits the web-swinging well.
- The fantastic Emma Stone plays Gwen Stacy: smart, sassy and attracted to Peter because of his brains, exactly as she was in the comics, where she debuted in 1965. Their chemistry is natural and fun. If you haven't seen her in EasyA, Netflix it now.
- Rhys Ifans plays Dr. Curt Conners, who will become the lizard. The Lizard was first introduced in 1963. Ifans is good, but always comes off a little reptilian, even when not the Lizard. It's an odd choice, because Conners has traditionally been a friend to Peter, a likeable guy. I can't tell if it's Ifans himself, or the choice he made to play him that way, but he comes off as really creepy.
- Denis Leary shows up as Captain Stacy. Leary excels at playing New York anything, he was amazing on Rescue Me, and is very good in this. The last scene between he and Garfield was incredible.
- Marin Sheen is as good as he normally is, playing Uncle Ben. He never quite utters the famous line, but he gets close. He is genuine and believable, his dentures on the other hand...
- Sally Field is a good choice as Aunt May - bringing back some of her Steel Magnolias parental concern.
- Irrfan Khan, an well known actor in India, brings in the Pete Postlewaite Kobyashi (Usual Suspects) effect as Norman Osborn's mouthpiece here. He's slimy and malicious, and could be quite the villian on his own.
- Chris Zylka takes over Flash Thompson from Joe Maganiello and is passable as a high school bully/jock.
- C.Thomas Howell shows up as a man who's son Spiderman saves, and a crane operator that becomes key in a climatic, and very touching, final sequence.
Go see this, you'll enjoy it - the 3D is great for the web-swinging, but not necessary -you could see it regular and still be entertained.
8 out of 10! Hooray for another great Spidey! Lost points for the spider bite scene, hundreds of them rain on him, gives me chills just thinking about it. Gained points for the Stan Lee cameo - awesome. Lost points for the Lizard not wearing his lab coat all the time, like he is supposed to! Gained points for the incredibly awkward exchange when Peter sort of asks Gwen out. It's so cute!
Bonus Video 1: Marc Webb's 500 Days of Summer dance sequence, the best part of that movie: