The Amazing Spider-Man 3D (2012) 12A, Director: Marc Webb

Do we really need a reboot of the Spider-Man franchise five years after Sam Raimi's last movie in 2007? Marc Webb's Amazing Spider-Man certainly makes a good case for it, bringing the webby one bang into the smartphone generation. It's fun, fast-paced and still authentic with Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker/Spidey irresistibly cute, awkward and struggling to come to terms with his superpowers when mixed up with his adolescent hormones.
The film spends a lot of time building up Parker's origins which is welcome - we learn of his parents fate, why he is living with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben (Sally Field and Martin Sheen, both excellent), his father's friend/foe Dr Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), as well as being the geeky and bullied pupil at Midtown Science High School where the wonderful Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) catches his eye. The chemistry between Garfield and Stone is one of the reasons Amazing Spidey works so well - Garfield's all 'I don't know how to talk to a pretty girl' floppy-haired sweet, whilst Stone lights up the screen with her huge doe eyes, smile and witty dialogue "Easy, bug boy".
Whilst poking around the scientific Oscorp corporation to find out what research his father was working on before his death, Parker encounters the spider that gives him his superpowers. The transformation of Parker into Spider-Man is fun to watch; he behaves like a moody teen either high or drunk, grabbing handfuls of food out of the fridge and freezer for his spider munchies, and doesn't realise his own strength as he pulls taps off sinks as he turns them on to brush his teeth, or squirts the toothpaste with a little too much gusto. He gets his own back on school bully Flash (Chris Zylka) by humiliating him on the basketball court, a true reaction to, well, revenge. In fact, his first outings in the spidey suit (more of that next) are arrogant and emotional following the murder of Uncle Ben. With great power comes great responsibility, and Parker has to learn this quickly.
And to the suit. Boy, does it look good. This Spiderman isn't buff - he's lean and slinky. Let's just say that Garfield fits the suit verrrrry well.
Rhys Ifans as goodie/baddie Dr Curt Connors/The Lizard is also a great surprise. It's a high profile role for him, for an actor who's always had the potential. The Lizard himself is a bit crap as a baddie - he just doesn't look good - but provides an exciting final fight with Spider-Man where 3D has us soaring across the New York skyscrapers and skyline with our hero. 3D here adds real value, and brings that extra clout to the new franchise and a new experience for spidey fans. It's bloody fantastic.
Building us up for a second installment, we're left wanting to see Garfield's Spider-Man again and to follow his relationship with Gwen. Let's have it even bigger, bolder and with a more devastating baddie next time.
4/5 sticky things