Har! There be some mild spoilers ahead, me hearties!
This film's crimes against continuity are so numerous that I don't know where to begin, so I won't spend a whole lot of time listing them. Suffice it so say, Peter Parker didn't know Gwen Stacy until his Freshman year of college (or Mary Jane for that matter either, civilians). Peter's mom and dad weren't Oscorp employees, they were spies or robots or something. (It depends on which ret-con you rule out.) Peter Parker never, ever unmasked as much in the first 350 issues of Amazing Spider-Man as he did in this film. What is the point in having a secret identity if you remove your mask every chance that you get? This film relies heavily on the Ultimate universe's continuity, and even gets that wrong. I am not sure what the answer is, though. Can a movie adhere strictly to a 50 year old comic book? The answer is apparently no. Look at how outdated his camera looked. It looked like the one in the old comics, but that camera is severely outdated. A teenage kid would use his iPhone or Droid.
So was there anything that I did enjoy about this movie? Oh, plenty. As a movie it was slick, seamless, and extremely enjoyable. I simply cannot unplug my continuity-sense when I watch these comic book adaptations. I have been a Spider-Man fan my entire life, so I admittedly take the character way too seriously. The battle scenes with the Lizard were, well, amazing. They were spectacularly choreographed, and were like a comic book page come to life. Just stunning. The actress who played Gwen Stacy was believable in appearance, right down to the knee boots, but her character was a bit out of sync with her four colored counterpart. Denis Leary as Captain Stacy? No thanks. He's not old enough to properly play the character, ditto Sally Field as Aunt May. They are fine actors, but not right for these roles. Andrew Garfield was a much better Peter Parker than Tobey McGuire ever was. They really dropped the ball not casting Topher Grace as Peter Parker the first time around. (He was in the running for the role for the 2002 film.) The guy who played Dr. Curt Connors (a/k/a the Lizard) was all wrong, albeit likable, in the role.
I enjoyed this more than any of the other three films, especially the horrid third one. I enjoyed seeing the lab-coat on the Lizard, even for a moment. I was glad to see mechanical web-shooters used. His Spider-Sense wasn't really displayed outside of the subway scene, and even then wasn't really pronounced. The aging Norman Osborn subplot will certainly be addressed in a sequel, undoubtedly resulting in him becoming the Green Goblin. Let's just hope that they don't f**k it up this time.
I still don't get why they felt the need to do a total reboot, when they could have simply ignored the previous films. Everyone gets the gist of how Spider-Man got his powers by now, so that felt a little tiresome.
So what is my verdict? I liked it...a lot. Was it perfect? No. Avengers good? No. Was it a Spider-Man movie that I can live with, and look forward to seeing sequels to? Oh yeah.
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