The Amazing Spider-Man can’t be compared to The Batman Begins. It feels like the new Spider-Man movie is a preparation for its sequel. It is visually impressive and not a bad movie. It tries to be dark but it lacks the emotional power. It is definitely not an upgrade to the original Spider-Man movie released in 2002.
Tobey Maguire looks much like Peter Parker in the comic book. He is small and looks nerdish enough to fit in the part. Andrew Garfield has an imposing physique. He brings a different feel into the character.
Kirsten Dunst is a good Mary Jane Watson but Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy is an upgrade as Spider-Man’s love interest.
Willem Dafoe as Dr. Norman Osborn uses a lot of facial expressions to look sinister. Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors relies on his English accent to be the bad guy. The character feels forced and flat. The Green Goblin and The Lizard are both interesting and convincing. But in terms of looks, the Goblin is far more believable than the Lizard, who looks cartoonish.
Cliff Robertson and Martin Sheen are both veteran actors who play Ben Parker. The way they attack the role is exactly the same. This can also be said about the actresses who play May Parker, Rosemary Harris in Spider-Man and Sally Field in The Amazing Spider-Man.
The other characters in both Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man also deliver impressive performances but they are not the same characters. J.K. Simmons plays the cartoonish newspaper editor who is looking for the wall crawling super hero. Denis Leary is the police chief, who is the father of Spider-Man’s love interest. Simmons looks like he is having fun with the role while Leary plays it straight up. James Franco is solid as Peter Parker’s friend in The Spider-Man while Irrfan Khan is food despite his limited screen time as the bad guy in The Amazing Spider-Man.