*** out of four
I didn't feel there was a need to reboot/remake Spider-Man, for I was perfectly happy with Sam Raimi's take on the comic book super hero. In fact, I think that Spider-Man 2 is one of the best comic book movies ever made (along with Superman: The Movie and this summer's The Avengers). So, it surprised me how effective and entertaining The Amazing Spider-Man turned out to be. In this version, Andrew Garfield plays lanky high school outcast Peter Parker whose life changes when he develops super powers after being bitten by a genetically enhanced spider. His nemesis is The Lizard, who, in human form, is the one-armed Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans). Then there's the lovely Emma Stone, who's spirited personality shines through as Parker's love interest Gwen Stacy. The movie has its lulls and some of the frenzied action scenes are ineffectual, but what makes The Amazing Spider-Man work is that it is painted with a slightly darker shade than its predecessors, and the main character comes off as much more vulnerable.