With a new, young, slightly cheaper cast and a director less inclined to do his own thing - previous Spidey director Sam Raimi's dismay at being forced to include Venom in Spidey 3 was indicative of the issues holding the franchise back - Sony are putting Spider-Man back into play for the long term.
But where Raimi sought to create a faithful interpretation of how he saw the comic, the aptly named Marc Webb aims more for the Twilight audience, dressing Garfield's Peter Parker up as a hooded, introspective skater. A lost and troubled teenager desperate to know why his parents left him, before apparently dying in a plane crash.
Drawn towards the mystery, Parker is led to his father's former lab partner, Dr Curt Connors (Ifans), a genetic scientist who sees cross-species DNA tinkering as the cure for most of life's ills.
But when Peter sneaks around Dr Connors' lab, he stumbles upon a complicated room full of spiders, and the rest, as you well know, is history.
For the first hour, Webb's Spider-Man is steady stuff. Although offering little improvement on the telling of the story, there's something neat about making the connection between Peter's missing parents, and his arachnoidal fate.
The fate of Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) is dealt with slightly differently, but to the same effect, as Parker dedicates his new-found skills to tracking down the tattooed villain who pulls the trigger on his kindly uncle.
The transformation sequences are amusing yet the pacing is a little muddled, with Peter going from suspicion of his new abiities to jumping off skyscrapers in one montage, and all but forgetting he's turning into a human spider as he woos high school chick Gwen (Emma Stone in the role of Parker's other love interest)... who just happens to be Dr Connors' lab assistant, and daughter of the chief of police George Stacey (Denis Leary), who's on the new vigilante's case.
Meanwhile, the villainy comes in the form of a CGI lizard, for Dr Connors, intent on proving his research will work for the as-yet-unseen billionaire Norman Osborne, takes his medicine too early, and turns into a monster.