Director: Marc Webb.
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, Sally Field.
WHAT'S more unnecessary than the American remakes of awesome Swedish films Let The Right One In and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo?
How about rebooting Spider-man just 10 years after Tobey Maguire pulled on the red and blue unitard for the first time and only five years since he hung it up?
But while all these films may be superfluous, they've all been good. Especially The Amazing Spider-man.
Naturally some things haven't changed in this attempt to go deeper and darker in re-spinning the saga of everyone's favourite neighbourhood webcrawler, and those familiar with Sam Raimi's trilogy will be awash with a sense of deja vu.
It's still about Peter Parker (Garfield), the intelligent but awkward teen who lives with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben, and who gets bitten by a radioactive spider and becomes the masked vigilante dubbed Spider-man.
Where things vary is in the love interest and the Big Bad. Instead of Mary Jane Watson, we have Parker's original comic book girlfriend Gwen Stacy (Stone), and the latest villain to step up from Spider-man's impressive rogues' gallery is The Lizard aka Dr Curtis Connors, a character that was set-up in Raimi's Spider Man 2 and 3 in preparation for his big transformation from the sadly dumped Spider-man 4.
The great untapped story thread of Raimi's series gets valuable screen-time in this reboot - if Parker lives with his aunt and uncle, what happened to his parents? This question is played with tantalisingly here and looks set to play a bigger part in the inevitable sequels, with hints also of a future appearance from The Green Goblin aka Norman Osborne.
What's great about this version from the aptly named Marc Webb - whose only previous job as director was helming the superb indie-rom-com 500 Days Of Summer - is that it punches with a lot more emotional weight than the Spidey films that went before.
Where Raimi perfectly captured the comic book sparkle, Webb digs deeper into who Parker is and how a modern teen with Parker's background would handle what is thrust upon him. The influence of Christopher Nolan's Batman movies and even the The Avengers universe, where the themes and psychology are richer than what was previously par for the course in a superhero movie, are in evidence here.
This reboot takes it's time getting through it's origin story - about an hour compared to Raimi's economic 30 minutes of set-up - and those familiar necessities will weigh down audiences who've seen it all before (the script works laughably hard to reword the axiom "with great power comes great responsibility").
But there's a lot to like here, beyond the grittier character development, inter-relationships and themes.
For one, it's a career-making turn for Garfield. Having played second fiddle to Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network and fifth fiddle to Heath Ledger in The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus, this is the Andrew Garfield's show. He nails the broad emotions, is utterly convincing as a the odd teen-turned-hero, and his chemistry with the charming Stone is excellent. The performances of Sheen and Ifans are also highlights.
Seeing The Lizard in action is a thrill and the action sequences are a treat, plus the wisecracking humour synonymous with the comics is here to enjoy.
Even though this reboot may be unnecessary, now I can't wait until The Amazing Spider-man 2.