Is The Amazing Spider-Man Really Amazing?

Whenever I go see a movie based on a comic book or graphic novel, there are two sides of me that usually find themselves at odds with each other. On the one hand, there's the rational movie-goer, who just wants to see a good movie and be entertained for two hours. Then, there's the rabid fanboy who wants the source material to be honored as perfectly as possible and wants the movie to live up to the comic book I've been reading for over twenty years. Those two sides are definitely a bit at odds when it comes to The Amazing Spider-Man. And there will be spoilers, so if you don't want to know, beat feet on out of here before you see what comes after this lovely poster.

Okay. The irrational fanboy in me sort of hated this movie a bit. I don't see why they had to change the costume. Other than Superman, it's probably the most iconic costume ever, and they got it pretty perfect in the first trilogy. I don't see why we needed another origin movie. Everyone knows his origin. And I don't like the changes they made to the origin... no wrestling career, no overt "with great power comes great responsibility"... and I really don't like the hints that his father was studying spiders or whatever and that maybe tied into how he becomes Spider-Man. Really, the only thing that pleased the fanboy in me was the inclusion of web-shooters (and the inevitable broken web-shooters at that) and Gwen Stacy. I've always loved me some Gwen Stacy.

Now, the calm, rational movie-goer in me? Absolutely loved this movie. Seriously. The only thing wrong with it to that side of me was that the Lizard both looked and sounded really bad. I loved the music (the songs included, not the score itself). I loved the cast, especially Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben and Denis Leary as Captain Stacy. I absolutely adored the love story between Peter and Gwen. I loved the action scenes, the creative uses of his webbing, and the fact that this Spider-Man actually quipped. I really loved the way the character grows from good but troubled kid to hero, but still a flawed hero, as evident at the end where he breaks the one promise he'll spend the rest of his life wishing he kept. Honestly, the only reason I don't say this is the best Spider-Man movie I've ever seen is that sitting through another version of his origin was a drag; Spider-Man 2 is superior to this one because it's able to jump right into the story without worrying about backstory.

Still, I gave this four stars out of five. So yes, The Amazing Spider-Man really is pretty amazing.