Michael C. at Serious Film has a great franchise throwdown, comparing the villains, the love interests, the origins, et al. The original wins by TKO.
Eric Eisenberg has the same idea, but a different method leads to different results: He directly compares one Spidey to the next. I find his math questionable, particularly in judging who’s a better science geek. We never saw that Andrew Garfield was really all that smart; a brief web-development montage does not a genius make. He let his dad do the heavy lifting.
WhatCulture enjoyed the new take on Spider-man-as-an-outcast:
Are people really not tired of seeing Peter get picked on over and over again? Too often is the main protagonist bullied at school because he’s nerdy and doesn’t fit in no matter how hard he tries. True, The Amazing Spider-Man’s Peter is not a nerd in his own right, but he chooses not to be. He’s still socially awkward and does get bullied, but his rise to heroism is all the same and more modern to say the least.
But Maria Bustillos at the Awl explains why Andrew Garfield’s irreverent take on Peter Parker diminishes the character:
The myth of Spider-Man is that he’s an ordinary teenager who’s suddenly crushed by two terrible burdens: one, fate has brought him these superpowers, and two, he feels culpable in the death of his Uncle Ben. The whole pleasure of the story is in seeing him learn to bear his afflictions, and all that goes with them; to transcend the pain, but never forget it. You can always feel him looking back at the mistakes of his youth, choosing to do right because of the awful price he paid for his earlier moral failures.
PETER PARKER SPENDS 99% OF THE FILM BEING A BULLY. EVEN BEFORE HIS TRANSFORMATION, HE CONFRONTS FLASH. HE THEN HUMILIATES FLASH AND GETS CHEWED OUT BY UNCLE BEN FOR IT, BUT DOESN’T TAKE THAT TO HEART WHATSOEVER BECAUSE HE THEN GOES ON HIS ASSHOLE SPIDER-MAN STREAK. HE’S JUST ALWAYS FIGHTING AND GOING DOWN THE PATH OF REVENGE. THERE IS SOME IMPLICATION AT THE END THAT HE LEARNS THAT THIS IS NOT THE RIGHT PATH, BUT HULK JUST CAN’T GET AWAY FROM THAT ENDING WHERE HE SAYS HE’S NOT KEEPING HIS PROMISE… IT JUST SAYS SO MUCH ABOUT HIM NOT MOVING FORWARD AND NOT BEING MATURE. HE STARTS THE FILM PRETTY SELF-OBSESSED AND THEN HE ENDS THE FILM SELF-OBSESSED.