While I enjoyed Tobey Maguire's performance as Spiderman in the last series I always got this impression that...something was missing.
He had the Peter Parker side of his role down perfectly as the shy, outcast and nerdy nephew of Aunt May & Uncle Ben. But as Spidey? He was lacking the charm, wit, charisma and his one-liners that the character is synomous with.
After a 5 year gap between Spiderman 3 and this, Spidey is reintroduced with a rebooted format which was basically retelling the first movie to a heavy degree with his origin and how he got his powers, but did it in a slightly different way and didn't spend a fair portion discovering his powers and looking for the right design for the costume. Since people still had the previous series still fresh in their minds it was better that he came up with the look really quickly and didn't go with the same story of going to a wrestling arena for money. It's referenced but just of him falling through a roof into an abandoned arena and seeing a wrestling mask painted on the wall that inspires him to come with this costume.
Andrew Garfield is just amazing as both Peter and Spidey. He has the shy, awkward and outcast side of Peter down well and giving his own spin compared to what Tobey had given a decade earlier in the 2002 movie. Peter is still a nerd, but he's also a skateboarder who enjoys getting his thrills with that as well as his photography. As Spidey, he had it perfect. He was sarcastic and he was telling jokes.
What people forget with Parker's Spiderman side is that he's a jokester who uses his humour as a facad as a way of masking his true feelings. And unlike the previous series where Tobey would seemingly only tell 1-2 jokes per flick, Garfield doesn't know when to stop telling jokes. Such is an example where he confronts the car-jacker and asks the thief if he really thinks he's a cop in a skin tight red & blue outfit.
The supporting cast are amazing with the slight exception of Rhys Iffans who come just comes off as real flat and cold as Dr.Curt Connors in regards to the mentor-student dynamic between Peter and Curt Conors, whom is the one of the few people who knew Richard Parker well. He gives a good performance as a man trying to aid himself with regrowing his arm of which Peter gives him the equation to do so, but comes with side effects, of which turning him into the Lizard.
Emma Stone is a much needed breath of fresh air as a love interest in not only a superhero movie, but a Spiderman love interest that is talented, can feel sympathy for and a woman that will stand her ground and call Peter out on his BS as and when applicable. And she's not your typical damsel in distress. Far from it, she takes action and even goes against Peter's orders when the Lizard is on the way to the lab and uses her innitiative to protecth the device that Connors is looking for to spread his serum across the city that would turn New York into a Lizard free for all.
Denis Leary. What is there to say about him? Gruff, firm and fair as Captain George Stacy. I think what's so redeeming about his performance is that he doesn't beat about the bush and tells it like it is with a somewhat sarcastic wit. I didn't think his character should have been killed off, but that's me.
Really was pleased to see the inclusion of the web-shooters which had been absent from the previous series as then director Sam Raimi favoured Spiderman being able to produce the webbing organically, which in truth is just a slight play on the capabilities Spidey as the black suit Spiderman. But having the web-shooters back in just showed how intelligent and ingenuitive Parker is not only a scientist and a crime fighter.
It was promising start to a new series, but sadly this was the only decent installment. Which is a shame because at last we had the perfect Spiderman.
Time will tell if Tom Holland can top what Andrew Garfield did.