The Amazing Spider-Man ★★★½

2018 Superhero Rewatch: In which I return to superhero movies I've seen before to see how time has treated them.

I remember liking this movie more than I did today.

And to be fair, there's a lot to like about it. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone work really well together, and her tougher, proactive Gwen Stacy is a nice change after three movies where Mary Jane just gets kidnapped in the final act over and over again. Using the Lizard as our villain isn't bad either -- if you're going to link Spider-Man's origin to one of his villains, the Lizard is a more logical choice than many others.

But there's an anger in this film I didn't recall. Part of it is Garfield's performance, part of it is the way Ben Parker is killed, but despite having a Spider-Man who is more prone to puns than the previous incarnation, overall the movie has a bitter edge to it that feels wrong to me. It's an improvement over the whiny Peter of Spider-Man 3, but that doesn't make it right. There's also an effort to lace in a conspiracy theory element in regards to Peter's parents. That isn't necessarily a bad idea, but considering how the second film killed the franchise, it feels like an unfulfilled promise.

More and more, it's clear that the Tom Holland reboot was a godsend to this character.