‘Spider-Man’ story saved by charismatic leading couple

These two make a new “Spider-Man” worth watching.

The first thing many of us thought when we heard there was a Spider-Man reboot afoot was, “What? Why?” Well, Marvel actually makes a good case for this new iteration to exist. We have Tobey Maguire replaced by Andrew Garfield and Kirsten Dunst, as Mary Jane Watson, replaced by Emma Stone as Peter Parker’s lesser-known girlfriend, Gwen Stacy. Even though we only last saw Spidey five years ago in Sam Raimi’s third installment with Maguire and Dunst, Garfield and Stone use their unique charisma to make the story their own. Given that these two have been dating offscreen as well, the chemistry we see between them is powerful.

Considering the director hired to direct this Spidey, Marc Webb, was the man behind the tender indie rom-com, “(500) Days of Summer” it’s clear that this isn’t going to be a “Transformers” sort of show, where bad CGI has the starring role. Webb’s emphasis on relationships makes the whole superhero thing almost tastefully understated. The rest of the cast, too, makes it look effortless, with Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors and Sally Field and Martin Sheen as Peter Parker’s aunt and uncle.

But every comic book movie must have those elements that say “we spent billions on this, so let’s make sure everyone on the planet can follow it.” There are some major gaps in logic and the occasional bonehead plot point (for example, The Lizard discovering who has been following him by conveniently finding a camera marked “Property of Peter Parker.”) There are, also, those bad puns shouted by a masked Spidey as he web-traps a baddie, and silly one-liners uttered while he’s swinging from building to building. But it is what it is. Falling within the conventions of the superhero movie, this one demands a certain degree of respect — and we’ll give it.

“The Amazing Spider-Man”
Director: Marc Webb
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone
Rating: PG-13
Grade: 3/5


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