The Amazing Spider-Man is a reboot worth watching


Starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. Rated PG.

“Spandex, spandex, everything spandex.” That’s what Peter Parker says in The Amazing Spider-Man while searching outfit ideas on the Interwebs (cough). Which reminds one that there have been many superheroic people in skintight suits on-screen lately. Well, except that green personage who’s into cut-offs. Anyway, this Spider-Man actually is kind of amazing, so, yeah, make room for yet another guy who doesn’t have body dysmorphic disorder.

Pretend those preceding spider movies don’t exist, because this one’s a reboot of Stan Lee’s origin story. Apparently, Marvel Comics always needs your geeky dollars, but worry not. This movie’s like a gorgeous metaphor for teen angst, with the bonus of people getting imaginatively beat up along with some seriously thrilling web-slinging. Plus, Spidey pretends to sneeze and a wad of web lands on a criminal’s crotch.

Peter (Andrew Garfield) lives with Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field) because his mother and scientist father mysteriously perished. He’s a high-school outsider who defies bullies, meets pretty Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), then gets the weirdo spider bite at the species-mashup lab of Daddy’s ex-partner, Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans). Peter gets sticky-fingered and -toed, spandexes up, and must deal with Curt turning into a mutant ninja turtle. Sorry, giant mutant lizard. Not from Tokyo.

It’s emotional, mysterious, funny, and wild (directed by Marc Webb [yep])—all in 3-D. The school stuff alone is damn entertaining. Garfield is Spidey as a sweet, cocky, disaffected, soulful punk kid. When his powers emerge, he accidentally trashes a subway car, freaks people out, and hilariously repeats, “I’m so sorry.” A rather glorious montage where he’s fully discovering his abilities feels really about teenage love. (Sizzly Stone wears lotsa miniskirts.) It’s strangely affecting.

And the aerial manoeuvres through New York City? Exhilarating. But, back to the mutant ninja lizard: this is what can happen when you have a bad reaction to meds. Yikes.

Watch the trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man.

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