DVD Release Date: November 9, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: July 2, 2012
Rating: PG-13 for sequences of action and violence
Genre: Action
Run Time: 136 min.
Director: Marc Webb
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Rhys Ifans, Irrfan Khan

“With great power, comes great responsibility.”

That was one of the most memorable lines from 2002's Spider-Man, starring Tobey Maguire (Brothers). The film was a huge hit, spawning two successful sequels released in 2004 and 2007 respectively.

The studio behind the Spider-Man movie franchise, Sony Pictures, also has great power and great responsibility. It can green-light any film that it suspects will satisfy shareholders' profit expectations, and launch a franchise that will reap a bonanza in sequels and merchandising.

The company spent an estimated $215 million to simply reboot the same franchise it spawned all of a decade ago. The director (Marc Webb) is different, as is the star (Andrew Garfield), but The Amazing Spider-Man treads much of the same ground as Spider-Man. However, where Spider-Man was enjoyably filled with director Sam Raimi’s visual pizzazz, The Amazing Spider-Man spins a weaker web that feels overly familiar and more visually rote. It’s not difficult to sit through; the workmanship in front of and behind the camera is competent. But there’s too much of a "been-there, done-that" quality to this origin story to spark the enthusiasm that better summer popcorn movies can generate.

The Amazing Spider-Man opens with a nearly wordless sequence that is one of the film’s best: the discovery, by the young Peter Parker, of a break-in at the Parker home. No one is hurt, but Peter’s father, who has been researching cross-species genetics with his partner, Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), is highly agitated by the intrusion.

Years later, Peter is a high-school student being raised by his uncle and aunt (Martin Sheen and Sally Field). His parents have disappeared, and Peter is dealing with the ups and downs of high school: a potential love interest, Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone), and a bully who’s making Peter’s life difficult. Gwen is an intern at OsCorp, the firm where Dr. Connors is at work on a serum that might help re-grow human limbs. Peter, searching for more details about his father’s earlier work with Connors, sneaks into an OsCorp lab and is bitten by a spider.