The first half of the new version of Spider-Man–The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)–is quite captivating and even disturbing as it tells of Peter Parker’s becoming the titular hero and his fighting the Big Mutant. But the second half is clunky and somewhat boring. Why, I have to ask, is Gwen Stacy’s policeman father such a fool? He obviously thinks he can take on the Big Mutant without Spider-Man’s help. (He can’t.)
Andrew Garfield is fine as Spider-Man. So is Emma Stone as Gwen, and although the role is underwritten, Gwen is plainly both a strong female and a romantic. In a pleasing scene, Peter Parker hesitantly begins to tell the girl about the astonishing spider bite he recently received. “I’ve been bitten,” he murmurs. “So have I,” Gwen replies, looking softly at Peter.
But a lot of not-so-pleasing stuff is here too. I actually consider Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (2002), insipid as it occasionally is, a somewhat better entertainment.