1) Dear Tobey Maguire: Remember how I fired Michael Keaton as Batman when I saw the Nolan movies? Yeah, chief, welcome to Unemployed Marvel Heroes, Population: You.

Seriously, you guys, Andrew Garfield was SO GOOD. I'm not just saying that because I really, really like Garfield--though I do, and I can admit I'm somewhat biased. He manages to make this a 2012 Peter Parker, who likes skateboarding and wearing two shirts under his hoodie and loves his aunt and uncle while he misses the fuck out of his dead parents and is just trying to get through high school. He's a giant dork! He likes photography! He cannot talk to Gwen to save his life in the first 30 minutes of the movie! And while the movie's pacing is--okay, it could cut like 20 minutes and be fine, but Garfield uses all the time he needs to make sure we get that Peter loves this; when he tells Gwen he's not scared by what he can do, he means it, and it comes across. I mean--fuck, wouldn't you want to be Spider-Man?

(Also, he manages to make Peter's astonishment at having sticky hands and being too strong for appliances believable. That fight on the subway is fucking fantastic.)

Emma Stone...does not get a lot to do, sadly, but I like Gwen Stacy a hell of a lot more than I ever did Mary-Jane Watson. She's smart, she's funny, she's brave; she's the one who makes the antidote that saves the city, not Peter. For fuck's sake, she BASHES THE LIZARD OVER THE HEAD WITH A CHAIR. Dear Gwen Stacy: welcome to the Marvel Universe. You and Pepper Potts are gonna get along just fine. (See also: Jane Foster, Betty Ross--have I mentioned that I love that Marvel straight-up just makes most of their badass ladies scientists? And the ones that aren't scientists can still kick your ass?)

I don't even want to talk about Chris Zylka, except I ended up really liking Flash Thompson and for that I want to punch him in the face. Stop it! You did more in three scenes in this movie than you did in an ENTIRE SEASON of The Secret Circle! What the ACTUAL HELL.

Rhys Ifans gets to go spectacularly batshit crazy, which is nice, and while he's not as impressive as Batshit Crazy Willem Dafoe--although who is, let's be honest--him gibbering to himself in the tunnels as he goes crazier and crazier was a nice touch. Also, for real, the Lizard having a Nolan-Joker-esque smile/jaw line? MESSED UP. (I will say that the overall design reminded me more of the Abomination than an actual lizard, but still! High five!)

Martin Sheen is always amazing, as is Sally Field; all the mentions of Norman Osborn dying serves as a nice set-up for any sequels (and you should do them, okay, and get Dafoe back, because DAFOE VS. GARFIELD, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?); Richard and Mary being part of some sort of shadowy conspiracy deal is...actually fits in with some comics continuity, though if they're never retconned as being spies, I will be perfectly happy. I'm actually okay with the changes to how Ben died; it still works to drive Peter's guilt without making him have a one-night career as a professional wrestler.

Denis Leary, you need to do more dramatic acting. Not that you're not funny as hell, but you killed it in this. (Also also: his sheer man-terror when Gwen's like "don't come in! I have cramps!" Ahahahahahahahahahaha it's not sexist if it's true, you guys.) (Though for real, Mrs. Stacy must have had money, because DID YOU SEE THAT APARTMENT? HOLY SHIT.)

And when C. Thomas Howell rallies all the construction guys to set up the girders so he can get to the Oscorp building, I teared up. It's the same part of my brain that starts crying with the subway sequence in Spider-Man 2. I just...I really like it when we see things like that (and the saving-the-kid bit on the bridge), and I remember: while sometimes Spider-Man saves the world, he's more concerned with saving single citizens every day. Sometimes that's more important.

Just--I don't know! I don't necessarily have anything profound to say. For a movie that I am still not a hundred percent sure they needed to reboot, this was better than I was in any way expecting it to be. Garfield really does a good job, both emotionally and with the necessary physicality, and I am now totes rooting for Emma Stone not to die on a bridge.

Also, now I want to write the fic where we manage to work him into MCU continuity, because him interning at S.I. and geeking out with Bruce and Tony? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH LET ME JUST ROLL AROUND IN THAT IDEA LIKE A PILE OF RIDICULOUSLY SMART PUPPIES.
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