- The one plus is that Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have great chemistry.
Whatever you may think of Willem Dafoe's performance as the Green Goblin (I thought it was pretty awful), you have to admit that the first hour of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man film—the origin sequence—was perfect. With an appropriate sense of humor and remarkable economy, it established Peter Parker as a nerdy outcast with a deep-seated sense of responsibility inspired by his doomed uncle Ben. By the time Peter is accidentally imbued with spider-powers and puts on the Spider-Man suit, you're ready to follow him anywhere, because you like him a whole lot.
The biggest—but by no means the only—mistake the Spider-Man reboot makes is throwing out Raimi's origin sequence and starting all over again. Repeat after me, Hollywood: You don't have to revisit the origin every time. How important are origins, anyway? James Bond has been in 23 movies, and how many times has his "origin" been told? Exactly once, in 2006's Casino Royale.
This time, Andrew Garfield plays Peter as, well, a nerdy outcast with a deep-seated sense of responsibility. (You don't get to create a vastly different interpretation of your character if your character is owned by Disney and is worth billions of dollars.) His enemy is Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors, a one-armed scientist who, in an effort to create "a world without weakness," transforms himself into a huge lizard-creature—named The Lizard—that looks like an unfinished CGI effect. It's all a tepid rehash, which means there's absolutely no excuse for the filmmakers to waste about a full hour of our lives before they get Garfield into the spider-suit and send him out looking for a fight. There's just no reason to care...