It feels too soon. And somehow, I feel this strange disloyalty to the previous spider people, director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire. Plus, I know there are a lot of studio battles over future rights going on behind the scenes.
But having said that, I actually had a good time at “The Amazing Spider-Man.”
This reboot has the rare distinction of being mostly familiar, while offering up a whole new cast with their own unique personalities, earlier background material and a new villain, The Lizard.
But since the previous “Spider-Man 3” was released just five years ago, comparisons will be made.
Fortunately for this latest “Spider-Man,” that last one was the weakest of the franchise, with too many bad guys (Venom, Sandman and a new Goblin), too much internal angst and not enough external oomph.
We briefly meet Peter Parker’s parents in the worst game of hide-and-seek ever. 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... ready or not, here I come. Oh my, we’ve had a break-in and you’re going to live with your aunt and uncle. Thanks. That was fun. We should play that again sometime, only never get the chance. Aahh.
Later in high school, Parker (Andrew Garfield) becomes the class punching bag, until a field trip accident turns him spidey-rific, giving him super strength, quickness and a new attitude.
He will become enamored with sassy science siren Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) — sorry, Mary Jane — who is also the daughter of a New York City police captain (Denis Leary).
Martin Sheen shines as the new Uncle Ben, while Sally Field flounders a bit as the new Aunt May.
Which brings us to the latest villain, The Lizard.
I quite like Rhys Ifans as an actor and I think he sells the good intentions of Dr. Curt Connors, the brilliant, one-armed biochemist using hybrid DNA to create a better human being or a facsimile thereof.
Only he turns into a lackluster lizard creature that feels like old school CGI and looks like a green-tinted Thing (of Fantastic Four lore) with a tail. He also has that same good guy/bad robotic arms dynamic that Dr. Octavius had in “Spider-Man 2” (the best of the series). So honestly, he’s nothing special.
Comparing Andrew Garfield with Tobey Maguire?
Two very different styles — Garfield is more gangly, witty and emotional; Maguire is more everyman, easygoing and approachable.
It’s apples and oranges, really. I like them both for different reasons.
Bottom line? I enjoyed the new “Amazing Spider-Man” (minus the dulling 3-D effects). The deciding factor for you will be: Can you set aside the previous “Spider-Man” and allow the new guy to grow into his role and possibly entertain you?
If you do, you will. If you can’t, you won’t.