An initial thought that may arise: "Wasn't Spidey a done deal?"
Maybe. See, Spider-Man's been around for over 50 years. That means some producer can't just come along and pretend there's a new 'interpretation' where Spidey grows silk from his wrists (Yes, I know the Disassembled comics showed this ability but Spidey was in a different state at that point - Grrr Comic Nerd Flame War brewing). Plus we have a whole bunch of Avengers floating around these days, all retaining as much historical accuracy as possible (btw: when will Thor actually turn into Dr Blake?).
Step 1: Establish the Web Slinger's wrist mounted web slingy thingies. Done.
Next we have what may just be a personal grudge of mine; I really wasn't down with Maguire's Spidey. By the third film he was barely able to suppress his superiority and smugness as Spider-Man. This suppression effort gave on-screen Peter Parker a permanent look that seemed to say "I'm really really fighting my flatuence."
Step 2: Get a guy in that a) doesn't cheese-out Spider-Man's one-liners, and b) actually looks, acts and sounds like Spidey. I'm over the moon to discover that our own UK homegrown talent was selected for this. Andrew Garfield's performance is endearing without becoming pandering. That's all there is to say: Garfield has owned the wall-crawler. Done.
Finally we have the story lines, supporting characters. Enter Stone, Sheen (yes Sheen!) and, the woman, the legend, Sally Field as Aunt May! It was like someone handing you chocolate, for free, and it turns out to be the most chocolatey chocolate ever! (and in this scenario, you generally like chocolate).
Ok that's the positives out of the way. There aren't many negatives but I have to mention them: CG, CG and CG. I really don't want to see a CG Spiderman, New York or anything else. When I want to see CG, I switch on my XBox. This is a major failing and was presumably pre-planned to help the post-conversion to 3D (I saw it in 2D).
Despite the 'glorified computer game' issues, the dark, low-key cinematography, suited the context of the script - A reboot and an exploration into Peter's origin. Plenty of doors are left open though but it was great to experience this meaty chunk of Spiderman history for now.
I've tried to balance my opinion here, as I'm quite fond of Marvel's creations but even then, The Amazing Spiderman is good stuff. Its not the rubbish I feared and it's not a masterpiece either; it is very 'spidery' (I watched it late and both me and the wife had strange 'spidery' dreams!) - including detailed attention to how Spidey now moves and fights, and I would go as far as saying it's very successful artistic endeavour that simultaneously reboots Spidey, apologises to fans for 'the Maguire years' and aligns style and content with more recent Marvel offerings. For non-Spidey movie-people - there is plenty of adventure and emotion and hollywood spoon-feeding to keep you going. In fact the pace is a little too fast to begin with but it settles down after the first hour.
[There is also a ending credit easter-egg but for the first time it really is a teaser - We have NO idea what it's about]
8/10 - although non-Marvel viewers may want to read that as 7/10