As a critic of all things entertainment, it’s my job to make quick, black-and-white decisions. So when it was announced that Sony was rebooting its Spider-Man franchise just five years after the Tobey Maguire fronted “Spider-Man 3” swung its way into theaters, I wasn’t just skeptical, I was downright livid. It seemed like nothing more than a movie studio’s desperate money grab, creative integrity be damned.
After being somewhat softened by the four-minute trailer, I’m happy to admit that I am a full-on marshmallow after seeing the “The Amazing Spider-Man,” and have never been more grateful to be wrong. I’m even going so far as to say that this installment of Spider-Man, led by Andrew Garfield (“The Social Network”), is better than Sony’s last reincarnation for five reasons.
Andrew Garfield. If you’re going to build your tentpole superhero franchise on the shoulders of a fairly unknown, British actor, make sure he's a fanboy. Garfield reportedly is a diehard “Spider-Man” fan, and bought that love and respect to his vision of Peter Parker, creating an adorably gawky, heartbreakingly effected teenager loner, who even though he has loving caretakers in his Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen), radiates a palpable unsettled loneliness like the orphan he truly is.
Garfield also shines as the masked hero. Spidey, a teenager with epic powers, has always been as cocky as he is nimble, and this version is one of the best incarnations yet, even a few hairs better than Maguire’s. As Spider-Man, he plays games on his cell phone while waiting for a showdown with The Lizard. Out of the mask, he still moves like a lethal force of nature. Garfield had to move mountains to woo fans to the box office, and after the film raked in $140 million dollars in six days according to Deadline.com, I’d say that Everest is a few feet to the left.