Sony Pictures Entertainment made the right move when it decided to scrap Spider-Man 4 and instead opt for a reboot of the 2002 Spider-Man. The end product, The Amazing Spider-Man, delivers a fresh narration of the beginnings of one of the most famous superheroes in the Marvel comic’s universe, without coming across as repetitive or unnecessary.

Directed by Mark Webb, whose debut feature length film, the romantic (500) Days of Summer was a hit with audience and critics alike, The Amazing Spider-Man is a film fit for both teenagers and adults. In this prequel, however, Andrew Garfield, who was critically acclaimed for his performance as Eduardo Saverin in The Social Network replaces Tobey Maguire as the enigmatic webslinger.

While there are few surprises in store given that the film is essentially a recycled storyline, both Garfield and Emma Stone (who portrays Peter Parker a.k.a Spider-Man’s first love and girlfriend Gwen Stacy) managed to shine and captivate the audience with their youthfulness and amazing chemistry together. No wonder they eventually ended up dating in real life.

The incredible chemistry between Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield is apparent all throughout the movie.

Many will envy the eye candy couple’s affection for each other bloom scene after scene. They also remain relatable to audiences despite not being the most typical couple around. Despite Peter’s ability to bring Gwen literally swinging around in Manhattan, their first encounter takes place in school and their courtship, after school.

Ignore the never-ending discussion between die-hard fans of who makes the better girlfriend (Gwen or Mary Jane Watson?) and you’re set for a perfect high school romance. One tiny grouse however, is that Brit actor Garfield is, unlike his predecessor Maguire, a little too handsome for the geeky Peter Parker.

Other than young love, the film brings to the surface deeper issues that the masked one faces such as the disappearance of his parents and coping with the death of his father figure, Uncle Ben. And while the revelation of the departures of Richard and Mary Parker was a point of weakness (surprising as they were the reason behind teenage Peter’s actions, which subsequently led to him getting his powers), Uncle Ben’s death scene evoked strong emotions even though it was already largely expected by anyone who watched the original movie or read the comic books.

Perhaps it was the circumstances that led up to that particular moment, or the strong performances delivered by the actors, but UrbanWire felt that scene brought on the tears as effectively as the romance flick The Notebook. In fact, despite this being a superhero comic flick, The Amazing Spider-Man has a number of heart-wrenching scenes. A stellar performance by Denis Leary, who plays Gwen’s father and the New York City Police Captain, was one of these. The part where he sacrifices himself to distract The Lizard, a 9-foot heavily muscled hybrid of lizard and human, was heartbreaking. One might even wonder if there’s an underlying theme of self-sacrificing fathers in the film. Nevertheless, the emotional weight of such scenes, along with the actors’ spectacular performances made the climax of the film, the final battle between Spider-Man and Spider-Man’s new nemesis, pale in comparison.

While not a green, mean fighting machine like the Hulk, the Lizard still stands his own with his incredible regenerative powers.

Shot in IMAX and in 3D like most recent high-budget films, another main selling point of The Amazing Spider-Man’s is the great visuals. Here, Sony Picture Entertainment delivers the quality it’s known for in films like Men In Black 3 and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Fan boy or not, having Spider-Man swinging in the air shooting webs in your face is enough to justify the 3D ticket price. Good laughs successfully held up by Garfield and Stone are also spread  across the film – exactly what you’d expect from Marvel Entertainment.

The Amazing Spider-Man works well as a standalone show despite the unclear ending. But that perhaps is an intentional lead in to the sequel scheduled for 2014.  And while it’s definitely not as action-packed as The Avengers it packs family values, a sappy, happy relationship and saving the world into 1 movie, making this remake of the classic comic worth watching, never mind that you already know the entire story.

Movie: The Amazing Spider-Man
Rating: 5/5
Release Date: 29 June (Singapore)
Duration: 136 minutes
Language: English
Age Rating: PG/Action Violence
Genre: Action, Adventure, Science Fiction
Director: Mark Webb
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Campbell Scott, Irrfan Khan, Martin Sheen and Sally Field