Feature

The Amazing Spider-Man

A new Peter Parker drops in.

Directed by Marc Webb
(PG-13)

*** 

Only word of mouth will decide if the latest Spider-Man reboot becomes a must-see blockbuster, said Boyd van Hoeij in Variety, but the “perfect chemistry” of its leads will surely help. Arriving just a decade after Sam Raimi’s “perfectly good” rendition, this July 3 release casts Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone as the teenage superhero and his high school crush, and their “palpable” rapport “wows far more” than the well-executed web-swinging and villain-crushing that many fans will come to see. At first, this origins tale feels a touch darker than its predecessor, said Jordan Mintzer in The Hollywood Reporter. Garfield’s Peter Parker is a “brooding” skateboarder who’s exploring his absent father’s research into spiders when he’s transformed by the bite of an arachnid. But “tongue-in-cheek high jinks” ensue when Peter discovers his new powers on a subway train and in a basketball-court showdown with a bully. Only when the film’s villain goes on a late rampage does this joyride become “a little less amazing,” said Andrew Pulver in The Guardian (U.K.). Carnage doesn’t thrill when it’s “rather obviously happening inside a computer.”

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