Though it wasn't quite necessary to reboot Spider-Man, director Marc Webb offers a fun and well-cast instalment of Peter Parker's adventures in The Amazing Spider-Man. Played by Andrew Garfield, Peter is much more charismatic in this film than Tobey Maguire ever was. And far sexier. There's an element of boyish geeky charm that's endearing.
Maguire's version of Peter Parker was always much more timid and borderline annoying. Even his more confident, darker characterisation in Spider-Man 3 (yeah, remember that god-awful scene where he tries to dance?) lacks conviction and charm.
Thankfully, Garfield has come to save the day. And the supporting cast is equally excellent. Garfield's love interest Gwen Stacy, played by Emma Stone, is a funnier, sharper leading lady compared to Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane. Rather than a helpless damsel in distress, Stone gets her hand dirty in some of the action scenes too. And to top it all off, Garfield and Stone make an adorable couple. Their portrayal of young love is familiar and very sweet.
Peter Parker's transformation from nerdy, awkward teenager to a superhero with spidery powers is portrayed well. Interspersed with touching moments with Gwen as well as his uncle and aunt, The Amazing Spider-Man creates a good balance between emotional nuances, comedic relief and action-packed fights.
The action scenes are exciting, but they don't over-saturate the plot. I also appreciate the way that Spider-Man is sporadically portrayed as flawed. He's amazing, yet not invincible.
Rhys Ifans, who plays Dr Curt Connors, is a powerhouse (I've been a fan since seeing Anonymous).
The 3D effect wasn't a selling point for me in this film. Yes, when Spider-Man is swinging through the New York cityscape there are some enjoyable moments where he leaps out before your eyes, but I wouldn't say it added much to the film in its entirety.
There are a few corny moments that I could have done without, but overall I left the cinema in high spirits. It's smarter than Sam Raimi's rendition of Spider-Man. And it's also much more fun and believable.
Note: I attended the media screening of The Amazing Spider-Man as a guest.