i thought the amazing spider-man was pretty bad. andrew garfield is a really good peter parker (probably more appealing than tobey maguire, because he’s a lot funnier/better at quips) and emma stone is amazing in everything, buuuuuut in general it’s just a bad movie, mainly for structural reasons.
the amazing spider-man is lazy, it’s not different enough from the previous spider-man trilogy, and the story is weirdly edited/written in such a way that there are a whole bunch of plotholes and (unintentionally) unresolved issues left over at end of the movie. basically, i found it to be dull and unimaginative, and the villain and central conflict were really not very engaging to me either. also, the roles for women were shit. as i said, emma stone is great and she had a charming and fun role, but in the entire movie i think there were only 3 women with actual dialogue?? emma stone, aunt may, and a receptionist. probably someone else in the school as well, but i forget. anyhow, it suffered from the blockbuster movie problem of being overpopulated with dudes in every facet of society, with the two main female characters being a love-interest (no matter how GOOD a love-interest) and a mother-figure who never leaves the kitchen.
the other problem was the obsession with father figures, something i also found highly annoying in Man of Steel (altho Amazing Spider-Man was wayyy better than MoS). MoS and AS-M both had mother figures who inspired protective/loving feelings from the hero, but weren’t given much agency of their own. meanwhile, A TON of attention was paid to the hero angsting over the importance (and subsequent demise) of the dad/uncle. obviously it’s an integral part of spider-man’s origin story for his uncle to die, but a) martin sheen was totally underutilised in that role anyway, and b) what about aunt may?? in the long run, aunt may should have a WAY more important role in the story, but she barely had anything to do in this movie. it’s ok for her to be in the kitchen all the time, but only if we see her being a mentor, a wise elder, someone to respect and find interesting in her own right. there was no point in hiring an experienced and acclaimed actress for this role if she was just gonna appear onscreen for 10 collective minutes of looking worried and serving dinner.
oh yeah, and re: the origin story thing, i’m still of the opinion that this was pointless. i’ve argued with at least one of my friends about this before, because there’s this apparent belief that if you don’t spend the WHOLE movie telling the origin story, then it excludes newcomers from the experience. also, many fans love origin stories anyway. i kind of understand the second argument because origin stories CAN be super fun and interesting to watch, and in general i don’t have a problem with hearing the same story again. after all, i read fanfic, which is often tropey to the extent that you can read like 10 near-identical AUs and still find them all entertaining if they’re well-written. but with the amazing spider-man, it’s just not different enough from the earlier spider-man movie to be worthwhile, and it’s not a good enough retelling of the same story to hold my interest.
finally, with the big three (Spider-Man, Batman, and Superman), their origin stories are SUCH common knowledge that you could definitely get away with explaining the ENTIRE origin story in the pre-credits sequence. i remember when the movie was announced, they said that the focus would be on peter parker’s life as a teenager. now, i REALLY don’t think they succeeded in that, because the depiction of his highschool life was SO SIMILAR to the previous spider-man movie. basically, it was stuck in the 1950s, a kind of vintage Americana highschool existence with a jock bully, a shy nerd protagonist, and a pretty girl. andrew garfield is great at playing a shy nerd (for all that he is CLEARLY NOT A TEENAGER, lol), but i don’t believe that this kind of timeless nonspecific highschool universe really works for the spider-man story.
with superman, you kind of HAVE to imagine him existing in this sort of timeless alternate universe america, but i’d have preferred it WAY more if peter parker went to a realistically grim inner-city NYC public school that had a way more diverse mix of students, where there were people with experimental hair and piercings, where gwen stacy was a member of the Gay-Straight Alliance. spider-man is supposedly set in the “real world”, but there was nothing very “real” about this film. i don’t mean that it needs to be “gritty” or whatever, because “gritty” is bullshit, but his highschool life was BORING AS FUCK and nothing we haven’t seen before in a zillion other movies and TV shows. give me a peter parker who goes to a school where some kids are on food stamps. where the school bully isn’t some aryan jock in a letter jacket. where his love-interest isn’t a fresh-faced straight-A student who looks like the wholesome girlfriend from a 1960s romance comic.
this answer probably sounds more negative than i meant it, idk. i didn’t hate the amazing spider-man the way i hate man of steel or TDKR, but i did feel that the film was generally very lacklustre, and that Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, while both very good at playing their respective roles, were kind of wasted on the the storyline they were given. i felt like this movie could easily have been so much better and more interesting, but ultimately it was a disappointment.
edited to add: as soon as i read some of the Miles Morales Spider-Man comics, i instantly connected with him in a way i never managed with peter parker. IT’S TIME FOR A MILES MORALES MOVIE!!!!