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Garfield a restless, reckless 'Spider-Man'

It's impossible to avoid the comparisons, so we may as well just get them out of the way early so we can move on.

“The Amazing Spider-Man” (蜘蛛人:驚奇再起) — a reboot? Prequel? New chapter? It's hard to decide what to call it — is pretty much different in every way from the staggeringly successful Marvel Comics-inspired trilogy that preceded it.

The basics are the same: A high school kid gets bitten by a scientifically modified spider, discovers he has newfound super powers, decides to use them as a vigilante crime fighter and takes to the streets of New York in an unforgivingly tight red-and-blue suit.

But in terms of tone, characters, performances and even visual effects, “The Amazing Spider-Man” feels like its own separate entity. It may not be as transporting or genre-altering an experience as those earlier films, especially the first two, but it finds a distinct voice. And a great deal of that has to do with the central performance from Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker.

In the hands of Tobey Maguire, who originated the role in “Spider-Man” a decade ago, Peter was nerdy, scrawny, and insecure — that's how his everyman relatability manifested itself. Garfield plays Peter as more of a misunderstood outsider, a rebel with a chip on his shoulder, a guy who wasn't afraid to stand up to the class bully even before he underwent his transformation. And that slightly arrogant attitude gives the whole movie a restless, reckless energy and a welcome sense of danger.

At the helm, Marc Webb is a very different sort of director. He may not have sounded like the most obvious choice for a hugely anticipated blockbuster based on his only previous feature, the romantic comedy charmer “(500) Days of Summer.” His big set pieces may lack some of the imagination that director Sam Raimi brought previously, but they'll do. More importantly, though, he conveys an emotional truth, a pervasive sense of humanity, which may be an even tougher feat in this kind of fantastical scenario.

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It's impossible to avoid the comparisons, so we may as well just get them out of the way early so we can move on.

“The Amazing Spider-Man” (蜘蛛人:驚奇再起) — a reboot? Prequel? New chapter? It's hard to decide what to call it — is pretty much different in every way from the staggeringly successful Marvel

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