The original “Spider-Man” and its first sequel are two of the best films in the ever-growing superhero genre — and since they were both made in the last decade, they remain fresh in the collective consciousness.
Sure, “Spider-Man 3” was a bit of a disappointment, but if ever a movie did not need a remake, it was “Spider-Man.”
Sony Pictures, however, needed an influx of cash, and “The Amazing Spider-Man” was born.
The franchise reboot, featuring Andrew Garfield (“The Social Network”) in the title role, isn’t a bad movie, but it doesn’t have a thread of originality, and it’s the early front-runner for the Most Unnecessary Film of 2012 award.
The special effects are more advanced than in the 2002 film, but “The Amazing Spider-Man” isn’t as funny or emotional as the original, and its villain isn’t as compelling.
For those few who are unfamiliar with the story, “The Amazing Spider-Man” tells the tale of nerdy high-schooler Peter Parker, who is bitten by a radioactive spider, acquires super powers, gets the girl and discovers that being a costumed hero has its drawbacks.
The new movie has a handful of differences aside from the new cast — the love interest is blond Gwen Stacy (played by redhead Emma Stone) instead of redhead Mary-Jane Watson (played by blond Kirsten Dunst); there is nary a single appearance by surly, scene-stealing newspaperman Jonah Jameson; Spider-Man’s web shooters are artificial, not organic.
The basics, and many of the specifics, are the same, however.
Garfield isn’t bad as Peter Parker, bringing a good level of energy and his own angst-ridden charm, but he lacks the fresh-faced innocence of Tobey Maguire. Garfield looks more like the cool kid at school, not the unpopular dweeb.