I’m not sure why people are so fixated on whether The Amazing Spider-Man needed to be made. Alyssa Rosenberg, for instance, begins a terrifically insightful review by declaring, “The only people The Amazing Spider-Man is remotely necessary to is Columbia Pictures, which decided to reboot the franchise shortly after Tobey Maguire finished up his run in the webslinger’s unitard in order to hold on to its rights to the character.”
Which is fair enough, and the fact that we got a broadly similar version of this movie just ten years ago is obviously something of a curiosity. But making some intrinsic judgment about a movie’s necessity feels a little strange, especially when you’re not taking its actual quality into account.
This matters because The Amazing Spider-Man isn’t just good; it’s practically a case study in how a reboot can improve on the original. Which actually seems like a great reason to exist, and a lesson more movies could stand to learn.