In a bid to investigate the mysterious death of his parents, high-school geek Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) sneaks into the lab where his father used to perform DNA-splicing experiments. While there, however, he is bitten by a genetically modified spider, which gives him remarkable arachnid-like qualities.
Dr Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) - the one-armed scientist who took over Richard Parker's work - wants the smart teen's help on a formula which could regenerate limbs. But when personal tragedy strikes, Peter assumes the guise of web-slinging superhero Spider-Man and takes to the streets of New York in search of vengeance. However, as Peter turns his attention to winning the heart of cute classmate Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), Connors' experiments are spawning a far more formidable enemy.
Just five years after Tobey Maguire hung up his Spidey suit, there was little call to reboot Sam Raimi's generally well-received trilogy, but with exhilarating action, emotional depth and a charismatic cast, Marc Webb's solid effort was met warmly by critics and fans alike.
Garfield and Stone have likeability by the bucketload and the (500) Days of Summer director handles their charming romance with skill - it's more surprising, perhaps, that the film's skyscraper-swinging action sequences are just as wonderfully realised.