Superhero movies have the distinct power to make us see our own weaknesses as opportunities. Each of the most powerful superheroes in our American cultural mythos - Batman, Superman, Ironman, and, yes, Spiderman - had at least one distinct tragedy that made them who they were. Batman had the death of his parents, Superman the destruction of Krypton and the loss of never knowing his parents, and Spiderman the death of Uncle Ben. They make the characters believable but, most importantly, let us see ourselves in the mirror of their psychological turmoil and, eventually, bring us to share in the resolution that they themselves achieve. Superheroes are great not because they lack flaws, but because they overcome them.
Looking at the recent reboot of the Spiderman franchise, I was impressed, first, by the amount of work that went into building character development. The majority of the first half of the movie falls into this camp. Action is isolated and generally serves this goal - something I dearly appreciate. I was also impressed by the way that the "moral" messages that come across - the psychological resolution that Peter Parker has to find - do not seem corny or hackneyed, as they can in other superhero films. More so, the movie had me fairly involved in the story at points, with a distinctive way in which the story snagged you in as it built up to its crescendo. On the negative side, however, there remain some significant plot holes in the story which hampered some of the believability of what was happening (eg, Peter Parker gets this technical know-how to build all his spider-gadgets...where?). Further, the movement of the movie was somewhat halting. Recalling the former series' Spiderman 2, I can't help but feel that the character development, although extensive in time, did not achieve as much in quality as did that former installment. Lastly, one wonders whether the remake was all that necessary to begin with, despite it's positive merits.
What did, in the end, stick with me was the emphasis on the point made at the beginning of this review: heroes are made not by being born without flaw, but by overcoming flaws. The most glowing comment I can make about The Amazing Spider Man is that this point was made clearly and well.
My Rating: 7.5 out of 10.