After the way-too-much-going-on Spider-Man 3, one would think the cynical minds behind this reboot would concoct a story that doesn’t fly in a million directions at once.
There’s nothing wrong with The Amazing Spider-Man. But what is it? The story of an outsider who finds his place in the world? A tale of vengeance? A love story? A faux father-son piece? Mostly it’s a mess.
The story machinations are so contrived, even cinema neophytes will see the plot wheels turning. The game cast goes a long way in making the material play better than it should. (Do we need the origin story again?) Andrew Garfield is an outsider Peter Parker—not a nerd—and it works. Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) is one of the smartest kids in school. Their love story is believable, even if Gwen's internship at Oscorp isn't.
And because Oscorp—and the movie—needs a villain, we get one in Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), a one-armed scientist who worked with Peter's dad. A better bad guy is Oscorp's Rajit Ratha (Irrfan Khan), who sets the darker story points in motion but then disappears. Ratha as villain would have been a twist no one saw coming.
Maybe The Amazinger Spider-Man will be better.