Spider-Man Is a Retread With Heart

Andrew Garfield is great in a thoroughly unnecessary movie
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2012 1:54 PM CDT
In this film image released by Sony Pictures, Andrew Garfield is shown in a scene from "The Amazing Spider-Man, set for release on July 3, 2012.   (AP Photo/Columbia - Sony Pictures, Jaimie Trueblood)

(Newser) – Did the world need another Spider-Man movie? Probably not, critics agree, but The Amazing Spider-Man is a pretty good flick all the same. Here's what people are saying:

  • "Five minutes into The Amazing Spider-Man, I got bitten. With pleasure," writes Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly. "The Amazing Spider-Man may be the first big-ticket, big-budget, big-action-sequence comic-book movie that also doubles as a lilting coming-of-age indie." The focus here is squarely on the romance; stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone "are a chemistry experiment gone blindingly right."

  • Peter Travers of Rolling Stone agrees. Sure, you already know the entire story, but director Marc Webb "never loses touch with the film's emotional through line." He, and the "stellar" Garfield and Stone, "turn a high-flying adventure into something impassioned and moving. A Spider-Man that touches the heart."
  • You might think you're sick of superheroes, but this "ebullient, satisfying" movie "might leave you with a new attitude," writes Mary Pols of Time. "They’re becoming like venerable Broadway plays. … You don’t say, 'Oh, I’ve already seen Death of a Salesman.' You say, 'Philip Seymour Hoffman as Willy Loman? I’ll bite.'"
  • But James Berardinelli of ReelViews couldn't get over the "regurgitated" origin or "sloppy" screenwriting. "This is as deflating a movie as I have seen all year. Not the worst, to be sure, but a project so utterly unnecessary that it made me want to gnash my teeth in frustration," he writes. "The Transformers movies show more inventiveness."

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