‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ lacks sense of wonder, originality

Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man.’ Rated PG-13, 136 min. Columbia Pictures, 2012.

Devoted fans of the franchise may be excited to see “The Amazing Spider-Man” take theaters by storm, but the more casual movie-goer will be left with a real sense of déjà vu, as the latest reboot of the series fizzled out just five years ago. The character’s once-novel sense of wonder and discovery is hurt by the familiarity of it all, and there is not enough of a new or exciting viewpoint in the film to forge a unique identity.

This iteration finds the brilliant but awkward teen Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) using science to supplement his newfound strength and agility following a bite from a laboratory spider. Emma Stone plays Gwen Stacy, developing a nice rapport with Garfield’s Parker. Other highlights in the cast include Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Uncle Ben and Aunt May, Denis Leary as the hard-nosed Capt. Stacy, and Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors, who morphs into a standard-issue comic book bad guy.

While the story is classic and the filmmaking by director Marc Webb is solid enough, there seems to be little reason for another Spider-Man origin story beyond a major cash grab. The studio may have a lot of power, but where is the sense of responsibility to the audience?

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