One could be excused for questioning the necessity of a franchise reboot just ten years after the beginning of Sam Raimi’s perfectly good series (well, two out of three anyway). What’s different? What’s the same? This alternate origin story is more a drama with action than a pure action flick, especially in the first half, and perhaps more thoughtful. Director Marc Webb, who gave us (500) Days of Summer, knows how to flesh out characters and create believable emotions. But gone are the Daily Bugle and Spidey’s press-photographer job, and Peter Parker has a new girlfriend (sweet chemistry between a spot-on Andrew Garfield in the title role and the always affable Emma Stone). Rhys Efans does a creditable mad scientist/malevolent Lizard, and the action scenes are for the most part coherent. The promised explanation as to why Peter’s parents disappeared when he was a boy will apparently have to wait for the sequel. It’s an entertaining if popcorny date-movie blend of action and emotion, and it’ll do. But, I don’t know, it lacks the imagination, the sense of wonder and the pure exhilaration of the Tobey McGuire flicks, and felt in spots a tad warmed-over.
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