Technically, the title is The Amazing Spider-Man. When I came out of the theater yesterday after seeing the film, I thought it was The Pretty Good Spider-Man. Since it was a 100 degrees outside yesterday, a couple of hours in a cool theater was welcome relief and the film did not disappoint in that regard.
Going back a few years now, I thought the last Spider-Man movie (Spider-Man 3) from director Sam Raimi and with Toby Maquire in the title role was one of the worst superhero movies I had ever seen. I wasn't alone as the movie was pretty much torched by critics and fans. Something had to be done. When Sony and and Raimi could not work out their differences for Spider-Man 4 Sony made the call to reboot the series a concept which had proved to be successful with the transition for Batman to The Dark Knight. Basically, The Amazing Spider-Man is a do-over from the Spider-Man made back in 2002 and achieved huge success at the box office.
The two movies are quite similar in plot but with different actors, a different director, and a decidedly different tone, The Amazing Spider-Man succeeds in rebooting the character with different look and feel. The new Spider-Man is darker and edgier. His movements and gestures along with the taunting sarcasm behind the mask are far truer to the original Spider-Man of the comic book series. This is where new actor Andrew Garfield gets a plus over Toby Maguire's Spider-Man.
The main problem I had with the movie is that neither Garfield or especially his love interest Emma Stone looked like high school students. They are easily in their mid to late 20's I would imagine. The movie is also bit too long and the movie is half over before we see a fully costumed Spider-Man.
I liked Martin Sheen and Sally Field and Uncle Ben and Aunt May. They are the ones who give Parker/Spider-Man his sense of purpose and belonging after being abandoned as a child. These are fine actors giving excellent performances in supporting roles. Same with Denis Leary.
So overall, I liked the movie but it has just enough flaws for me to make it an D-Ticket attraction rather than a E-Ticket like The Avengers. The Avengers was rollicking good fun that threw everything at you but the kitchen sink and most things were a direct hit. The Amazing Spider-Man is slower, darker, and quirkier which succeeds on many levels but comes up a bit short on a few others. On a hot day in July, you could do a lot worse than going to spend some time with The Amazing Spider-Man even if he isn't quite that amazing.