‘Amazing Spider-Man’ first reviews say it has solid action and unexpected depth

It may not open until July 3, but U.K. critics have already sounded off on the upcoming reboot “The Amazing Spider-Man,” starring Brit Andrew Garfield at the wall crawler.

The first reviews are mostly mixed, but overall appear to lean toward positive. Those supporting the film seem to do so in a subdued way, without too much enthusiasm. Most critics agree that “The Social Network” co-star Garfield was a good choice, and that he makes a strong impression in his debut as Peter Parker. Emma Stone is also being praised for her work as Gwen Stacy, in particular over at Empire

The Guardian says, “Director Marc Webb is aided by a terrific performance from Andrew Garfield, who brings a genial unflappability that allows him to negotiate the often-ludicrous demands of the superhero plot line.”

The reviews also largely seem to dispel the notion that Webb (“500 Days of Summer”) was going to turn the story into a live-action video game full of MTV-era visuals. Instead, according to The Guardian, “Webb successfully treads a fine line between keeping the hardcore superhero-movie fans happy and injecting a dose of meaningful affect.” The review also praises the film’s 3D effects. 

SFX points out that the film relies less on noisy 3D effects, and more on story, explaining “The most amazing thing about this Spider-Man is how much heart and genuinely warm storytelling it has…It may not have the non-stop action and spectacle of ‘Avengers Assemble’ but it does have characters you can fall in love with, and bags of charm. You feel the series is in safe hands with Webb, Garfield and Stone.”

Yet some reviews contend that the film is too slow and plot-heavy. The London Evening Standard’s 2-star review complains that “Webb aims for a new realism, stripping away the brio of Sam Raimi’s 2002 version with Tobey Maguire. He also dispenses with much of the character and sass that always made this character fun,” adding “Webb’s film is slow on plot, [and] skimpy on character development.”

Although the paper gives it 4 out of 5 stars, some Marvel fans may be disturbed by the Telegraph’s observations comparing the film to a certain vampire-friendly franchise. “Ever since ‘Twilight’ tipped off Hollywood to the spending power of girls and their mothers, a range of increasingly expensive films aimed at that audience has materialised. Perhaps it was only a matter of time before a superhero suited up with them in mind, although it remains to be seen how die-hard Spider-fans will react to their hero courting a different – some would say rival – demographic.”

Are you excited for “The Amazing Spider-Man”? Do you think it can match Raimi’s first two films?