Honestly. there is nothing really new about this film. In fact, it's almost a rehash of Sam Raimi's film from 2002. There really wasn't anything new about this reboot, nor was there anything that stood out, beside being in 3D. There were a number of items in this film that fell short in comparison to Raimi's film.
1) Director Marc Webb (how ironic is that?) does a decent job directing the film, but he cannot match Raimi's directing flare. Also his scenes with Spider-Man swinging through New York doesn't have the same comic book pizazz as the first film.
2) Andrew Garfield portrays Peter Parker/Spider-Man, taking over for Tobey Maguire. While he's more of a geeky-looking teenager than Maguire, Garfield tries a little too hard and his performance falls flat. He's a little too cool to be a geek (he rides a skateboard and likes to wear a hoodie, thus making him look mysterious and interesting). His character felt somewhat underdeveloped, but no where near as Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy. While Stone is a great actress, and she's totally cute and sexy, the filmmakers could've built her up more to that of Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane Watson. The filmmakers didn't utilize Stone's talents and to me, Gwen was just there and had no personality. Both Peter and Gwen's love for one another fails to gets off the ground and doesn't feel real like Maguire's and Dunst's.
3) And speaking of undeveloped characters with no personality, Sally Field's performance of Aunt May was abysmal. Field is one of the finest actresses in Hollywood, and the filmmakers make her out to look disheveled, unkempt, and lacks any personality. It's a far cry from the Aunt May from the previous films, which was performed by actress Rosemary Harris. This was such a waste of time for Fields in my opinion.
4) Doctor Connor AKA The Lizard is Spider-Man's foe in this reboot. Actor Rhys Ifans does a decent job, but he lacks the psychotic behavior of The Green Goblin and the vulnerability of Doctor Octopus. Good performance, but just not great.
5) The only redeeming character in the film was Uncle Ben, portrayed by the great Martin Sheen. His performance as the family patriarch was spot on perfection. Wise, caring, firm, father figure, this Uncle Ben was great! However, I have one major complaint about Uncle Ben: nowhere in the film does he say his most famous quote, "With great power, comes great responsibility." How can you have a SPIDER-MAN movie and not have Uncle Ben say this? It's blasphemy!!
6) And speaking of blasphemy, there is NO J. Jonah Jameson in this film! What the hell is this crap?!? We see a copy of the Daily Bugle and that's it! So instead, we get Denis Leary as Gwen's father and Police Captain George Stacy, who sees Spider-Man as a public menace and wants him captured. Wait, I'm sorry but isn't that Jameson's schtick? Why yes it is! Can you say lame? Sure you can!
7) And speaking of lame, the 3D effects weren't all that impressive. At time the film was too dark and you really couldn't tell if it was in 3D. The filmmakers wanted to make the film darker. Not just the look of it, but the story as well. As the result, the story felt uneven, but like I said earlier, it's mostly a rehash from the first film.
Overall, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN brings nothing new to the table and it bored the hell outta me! While it's better than SPIDER-MAN 3, that's still not saying much. Sony Pictures wants to recapture the magic from the Sam Raimi films, but after seeing this film, it looks doubtful. So just stick with the first two films. One out of five stars!
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is currently playing in both 2D and 3D in theaters nationwide, including at the Camera Cinemas here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at http://www.cameracinemas.com.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!