The Amazing Spider-Man ★½

I got a lot of grief when this opened from Spider-Man fans for giving it a 2.5 star review.

I was WAY too generous.

Garfield and Stone do have legitimate chemistry. They're terrific together. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN does not make me excited for the sequel, but it does make me wish these two would star in an old school Tracy and Hepburn-style romantic comedy. That would be very interesting.

Y'know what's NOT interesting? This movie. It's ugly, sloppy, dumb, and slow, and a huge step down from all three of the Raimi movies (yes, even the third one). It's just one bad choice after another. There's a slo-mo skateboarding montage. There's characters who show up, do nothing, and vanish. (Irrfan Khan, come on down!) There's the general nature of Oscorp, which is supposedly this evil corporation with all these villainous plans, but can't get its shit together enough to prevent a high school kid from infiltrating its top-secret lab (I've had more trouble getting into public libraries than Peter has getting into the most secure science facility in the world).

Garfield is a good actor, but I'm still not sure he's right for this part. He plays Peter Parker as Luke Perry from 90210; not the outsider weirdo but the brooding, moody bad boy loner. He squints and mumbles and looks about 10 years too old to be in high school. He also seems a little too cocky and angry for the character's "with great power comes great responsibility" schtick. Some of that may be the writing (which, again, is not good) but Garfield doesn't elevate the material he's given.

I love Spider-Man so much, and have since I was a little boy. I hate not liking this movie. It actually makes me upset. This character deserves better.