With just a decade separating the reboot from the debut, the new Spider-Man film is a mixed bag of contradictions, managing to look both fresh and stale, exciting and predictable.
Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is a shy high school student bold enough to stand up to bullies and getting beaten up for his troubles. The silver lining is that he gets the attention of Stacy Gwen (Emma Stone), an attractive student whom he fancies. Whilst looking for information about his missing father, Peter ventures into Oscorp, an organisation for which Dr Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), a former colleague of Parker Senior, works. And there he gets bitten by the spider.
The origin story is more or less the same as the one in Sam Raimi‘s film, which makes for a rather dull, uninteresting first half. The only redeeming factor is that director Marc Webb cares for his characters and allows ample time for exposition and development. When you’ve got such a good cast (besides the ones mentioned above there’s also Sally Fields and Martin Sheen) the returns are guaranteed. In fact, during the second half, when the villain is finally out and the action kicks in, the film gels together really well and becomes truly enjoyable.
Good but far from amazing.