Movie review: The Amazing Spider-Man

From the July 5, 2012 edition

When Christopher Nolan rebooted the Batman movie franchise, it was a gritty reinvention that had little in common with previous film series, kicked off by Tim Burton and killed by Joel Schumacher’s infamously bad and nipple-centric “Batman & Robin.”

The Spider-Man franchise, on the other, had Sam Raimi’s solid trilogy that just ended five years ago. Sure, the third installment was weak, but “Spider-Man 2” remains one of the best superhero movies to date.

So we’re getting a reboot for Spider-Man already? More like Why-der-Man, amiright?

This time it’s Andrew Garfield (“The Social Network”) slipping into the Spidey suit — and it suits him well. You’ll get a slight tweak on the familiar origin story — and Garfield’s Peter Parker is a little less dorky than Tobey Maguire’s — but you know the drill.

So what’s new? For starters, the love interest, as the quite lovable Emma Stone steps in to play Gwen Stacy. We also get a new villain in Dr. Curt Connors/The Lizard (Rhys Ifans).

Behind the helm is Marc Webb, heretofore best known for directing my beloved “(500) Days of Summer.” He hits the right notes with the love story and does a fine job with big-budget visuals.

In fact, the glorious IMAX 3D roller-coaster ride is a reason to see this in theaters, even as it feels so very familiar.

Is “The Amazing Spider-Man” amazing? Yes. But get ready to get caught in a web of recent nostalgia.