Thoughts: I can sum up The Amazing Spider-Man as follows: it is great for one watch, and I mean that in both senses of the phrase. Viewed after the initial, I'd say that the film would suffer under its surprisingly extended runtime (135min plus!) due to a honest to goodness lack of depth in its characters, its fairly tame and uninvolved villain, and its general reliance on snark. That said, the second sense is certainly clear in that it really is great for one watch, boasting impressive (but limited, sparse and fairly short) fight sequences, some genuinely thrilling and moving moments, and some fun dialogue and fairly sturdy performances.
Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is a geeky student whose parents disappeared when he was a child. Left to be raised by his Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen, having a great time), he pines for fellow peer Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone, OH YEAH!) and then gets all bit like by a radioactive spider. He then becomes Spider-Man, and his Uncle dies, and he learns about responsibility, and he fights The Lizard (Rhys Ifans) blah blah blah. You know the drill.
So yeah. It's good to see a Spidey fight like Spidey, yknow. That was a kicker in and of itself. He bounces around, slides, dips and dives, using his web-shooters almost all the time. Plus we get the '90s punk-rock "spaghetti" web, my favourite kind from the comics. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have pretty good chemistry I must say, and Garfield does a great Peter Parker: full of tics and little nuances. It's never boring, really, but I'm guessing it'd get kinda grating after a while on subsequent viewings. I recall a lot of reviewers saying that this particular portrayal of young Peter is produced as kind of an asshole, and I agree. But unlike them, I don't think that's a bad thing. He's a teen, for one, so emotional selfishness is pretty much what goes on, for the most part. Couple this with the geek outcast mentality (which I know all too well) and being used as punching bag every other day, and having your parents effectively ditch you at adolescence- well, I can see why he's an asshole. Then give that kid superpowers. See where I'm going? So yeah, not a problem for me.
But then again, the whole movie really is all flash, no fire. The villain, Doc Curt Connors, seems to be tied in almost as an afterthought. Sure, his arc is closely related, but it just feels... all out of place. At least the original trilogy felt more connected, with more at stake. Its almost like this cat (lizard) just gets into the mode for the hell of it. And to be damn honest- and this hurts me, really- Rhys Ifans does not give a good performance here. I don't know if its the script, or him, or what, but its just flat and uninspired. Ah well.
Regardless, the film is pretty enough and fun enough for a single viewing. Be wary of a blind purchase though, in my opinion.