Gosh, where to begin…
Ok, first I’ll go over the positives. Points for casting Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. She’s cute and fun. Another point for the mechanical web-shooters instead of the bogus spinneret patches on the wrist. Spiders don’t shoot web from their wrists, and if Peter Parker was to develop a mutant biological analogue of a spinneret, it would more likely be on his ass. The Stan Lee cameo is fairly well-timed and funny. I kinda wonder what those massive 80’s-style headphones are plugged into when he walks away.
That’s it for the good parts. Onto the criticisms.
Yeah, this movie is pretty frickin’ bad. Just look at the numbers. It’s a 2-hour movie, which should be great. But he doesn’t get bitten until almost 22 minutes into it. It takes another 20-plus minutes for Uncle Ben to get shot by the criminal Pete lets flee the scene of a crime. The costume doesn’t appear until 52 minutes in. Doctor Connors doesn’t turn into the Lizard until the film is into the second hour, and then it takes him another 10 minutes to start wreaking havoc on the city. In other words, you don’t see any real superhero-versus-supervillain action for OVER AN HOUR.
Next up is the Corporate Jerk guy that makes Connors so angry. Essentially, he seems to be the guy responsible for driving Connors to desperate action. He gets his car hucked off the bridge, Spider-man saves him. Or maybe he doesn’t – his face seems to smash the windshield. Maybe he dies. That would explain, I guess, why he completely vanishes from the film after that point.
Second point of contention with the bridge scene – he gives the kid the mask, then saves him from the car with a quick shot of webbing. Next shot, he’s hauled the kid up the rope somehow, and he’s wearing his mask again. Not the kid. Spider-man. So at some point during the climb, he must have been like “Hey kid, go ahead and put that mask back on me or I’ll have to drop your ass in the river. My secret identity is more important than your safety right now.” Either that or he grew another limb or three.
Next up: Doctor Connors’ lab. The mutant rat. Apparently the brilliant scientist doesn’t recognize the need to at least toss a sheet over the class cage containing the mutant rat-lizard that has apparently turned into some kind of cannibal or something.
Eventually we got to the sewer scene, with all the tiny lizards. Parker fixes his camera to the wall and attaches a clever remote to make it snap a shot when he tweaks a line of webbing. Using some impressive logic, he sets up the whole chamber so that he will be alerted if anything moves in the drainage tunnels feeding into that central chamber. The plan shows forethought and deductive reasoning. But that all falls apart when the Lizard grabs the camera and flips it over, revealing that Peter Parker has affixed GIANT DYMO LABELS WITH HIS NAME ON THEM to the flash. Pete knows the cops are looking for him, and he is photographing himself doing the very thing that they want to arrest him for. How stupid and thoughtless is it, then, to plaster one’s name all over the potential evidence?
Speaking of brilliant, apparently Connors is so very intelligent as the Lizard that he can identify chemicals by their colour alone. Green + Yellow = short-delay explosion, so of course there are giant beakers of each just lying around on the school lab tables. Apparently he’s also a genius at physics and kinesiology and shit, too, because he figured out a way to throw a person through a solid wall without obliterating that person’s spine or internal organs.
I’m not sure if anyone knows this, but liquid nitrogen is actually magic. You can use it to smash towers and stuff. It turns them into glass, you see. That’s how science works – science is magic. But if you’re a big lizard dude, it only slows you down. If you’re a big lizard-dude, point-blank shotgun blasts basically bounce right off, but if you fell in some liquid nitrogen smoke-clouds, it turns your fingers into glass and shotgun blasts blow them right off, but that’s fine because you regenerate the fingers instantly anyway, even if you are turned into glass from liquid nitrogen. Because liquid nitrogen is magic.
Also, the anti-mutagenic blue formula only counters the mutagenic effects of green mutagenic potion, but not the effects of radioactive spider-bites. Because genetics and biology is also magic. And physics is magic. And chemistry. And psychiatry – if you have schizophrenia or dissociative identity disorder, you can have screaming arguments with The Voices In Your Head your other personalities because they manifest themselves right there in front of you. Because prison shrinks won’t bother to try to fix that with anti-psychotic meds or anything. Because science is magic.
I’m not going to say this was the worst superhero movie ever. Some other turd can carry that dubious honour. But this was supposed to be a “reboot” of the franchise – essentially, what the movie-makers did was take a franchise that didn’t need to be revamped and revamped it in the most lame-duck possible way. The Sam Raimi movies are still awesome. A reboot was absolutely not needed. It added nothing to the franchise except Emma Stone and Dennis Leary. Guys, you’re doing it wrong.