It's impossible not to look back on the Sam Raimi version of the story and compare it to the current reboot. Many who were wondering why we even needed another Spider-Man movie will not feel that way after seeing this terrific adventure. We needed the first trilogy to get to this next level - a next level in storytelling mixing with cutting edge special effects that enhance but not overpower an already terrific tale.
As ridiculous as the Lizard looked in the trailers, even he comes across as a fully realized Spider-Man villain. He's all speed and brute strength and as a digital effect he has some real life to him.
Personally I loved how he still kept his ripped lab coats on for a brief scene as the Lizard. That was the best part of the Lizard in the comics...he was always wearing his lab coat and those purple pants while he did all his mayhem.
The story moves at a great pace. Before I had time to think about one bit of razzle dazzle, the story take another turn like pages in a comic book. Nothing felt forced or unnecessary. For a 2 hr 16 minute movie, that is saying alot.
I was hoping for something fresh and that is exactly what this movie felt like. Filmmakers can do pretty much anything these days with effects so you really have to insure that the story you want to tell is grounded in some kind of reality.
To do that well you spend all your effort on casting the best actors for each role. I have been reading Spider-Man all my life and this film found an exciting way to tell me the same story I have read a thousand times. This film justified all the reasons I love Spider-Man in the first place. He is truly the most relatable of the superheroes.
The effects people have also worked out the physics of web-swinging so that you really feel that this is a real person performing the stunts. I couldn't get enough of the footage of Spider-Man working his way up and over the rooftops and caverns of the city. Usually I can tell when it's a live actor in the shot and when it's a computer generated image. Here, I was fooled many times.
Emma Stone not only looks incredible in her boots and skirt but also totally embodies the character of Gwen Stacy. Her and Andrew Garfield have amazing onscreen chemistry. If anyone hasn't fallen in love with her already, get ready for the magic that is Emma Stone. She is a girl worth fighting for. Her final fate will be all the more poignant because of how much we love her. I am so glad that the script decided to focus on the relationship between Peter and Gwen. instead of trying to created the Gwen/Peter/Mary Jane romantic triangle.
If you follow the Gwen Stacy storyline you get a nice tweek to the origin story we all know so well. Eliminating the entire Peter/Mary Jane dynamic leaves the franchise open for one of the greatest opening lines in comic history ("Face it Tiger, you just hit the jackpot!") and allows the role of Captain Stacy to come to the foreground - where it always deserved to be.
If you remember the comics, Captain Stacy was the first person to call Spider-Man, Peter while he was in costume. Stacey had known for a long time that Peter Parker was Spider-Man. Stacy was dying at the time but Peter got a chance to learn the most important lesson he ever needed to know as Spider-Man - NO ONE CAN KNOW YOUR SECRET - you will make enemies and you have to protect the ones you love, even though the truth is killing them - the only way to keep them safe is to lie and protect your identity above all. It's how Peter deals with that reality is what makes him so interesting a character.
Most movies don't require you to see them with all the 3D enhancements. Spider-Man is made better because of the depth of field that 3D provides. You can see Spidey move in a real space. For someone like me unaccustomed to such visual video game-like acrobatics, every second was a thrill for me to see. They even slow down the action several times so you can take in Spidey in all his web-swingin' glory.