If Raimi's films were the classic 60's Spider-Man, then this reboot is Ultimate Spider-Man.
In the 2000s, Marvel also printed a separate Ultimates line, with an alternate universe of modernized heroes distilled to their ultimate and amplified aspect. (And a canny stepping-on point for young readers less invested in the past classics.) After Sony sabotaged Spider-Man 3 and sacrificed Raimi for their mistakes, it was only fair to be dubious of a rushed reboot. But director Marc Webb responded with one of the best films of the genre.
Webb meshes all the best aspects that Raimi brought to Spider-Man I and II: strong character, one faceted villain, devotion to the material. But he refreshes it with deeper backstory on Peter, a grittier environment, realistic stuntwork, and a streetwise skater skulk. This flashforward owes much to Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley's "Ultimate Spidey" stories in tone and texture. But in one crucial regard it honors the best of the classic first decade with the arrival of Gwen.
With Gwen Stacy the film resets the timeline correctly. Gwen was first, before Mary Jane, and the center of a chain of events that would lead to one of the most shattering storylines in comics history. The film honors the classic late 60's Mod look of Gwen designed by John Romita, Sr., with the go-go boots, miniskirt, and headband, while commendably positing her as an equal agent and catalyst in the events. The chemistry between Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield is real and brings an electric lilt and gravity to all their scenes.
The most welcome advance is Spidey's smartass persona, something that even Raimi never nailed. Garfield goes for it physically and emotionally, and the tension between his slacker genius with a heart and Rhys Ifans' tormented villain with a conscience hotwires the film.