Can you reboot a franchise that once held the record for largest opening weekend in history? Can you create something original using a character who was first introduced to the world in 1962?
Peter Parker, age 4, (played by Max Charles) is playing hide and seek one night when he discovers someone has broken into his father’s study. His father, Richard (played by Campbell Scott) sees this and takes some important papers, his wife Mary (played by Embeth Davidtz) and his son to the home of his Aunt May (played by Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (played by Martin Sheen). Peter is left in that home for his own safety and never sees his parents again. At least a decade later, Peter (played as a teenager by Andrew Garfield), is being bullied by an athlete named Flash Thompson (played by Chris Zylka) and has a crush on a student named Gwen Stacey (played by Emma Stone). When Peter returns home at the end of the day, bruised and beaten by Flash, he finds papers in his father’s briefcase that show he once worked with a man named Dr. Curt Connors (played by Rhys Ifans). Connors works at a company named Oscorp, so Peter disguises himself as an intern to gain access to the lab and, hopefully, Connors. Little did he know, the tour for new interns was led by Gwen Stacey. She knows immediately that the ID badge that Peter’s wearing belongs to someone else, but allows him to continue on the tour regardless. Peter sneaks away from the group and finds a lab filled with genetically-modified spiders that are producing biocable. As is often the case with people who bother animals for no reason, Peter gets bitten. Security eventually finds him and escorts him out of the building. While on the subway, he discovers that he gained far more than knowledge from his visit.
Now, I saw the 2002 Spider-Man film starring Tobey Maguire and the 2004 sequel. I liked it initially, but over time, I grew tired of it. I thought 2004’s Daredevil was a much better film, despite mixed reviews from moviegoers and critics. Not to mention, I believe Kirsten Dunst gave a less-than-stellar performance as Parker’s love interest, Mary Jane Watson. Not to mention the irony of having blonde Kirsten Dunst dye her hair red to play Mary Jane Watson and then having redhead Emma Stone dye her hair blonde to play Gwen Stacey. Forgetting all that for a second, this was a much better film than the one we got from Sam Raimi. Director Marc Webb and company have created something with a much darker, more serious tone, a better story, and a solid conclusion. I enjoyed this film very much.