Saturday, December 20, 2014

Revisiting the not-so- Amazing Spider-Man 2

There'll be spoilers here. I mean, whatever's left to be spoiled after one of the worst ad campaigns I can imagine. Literally EVERYTHING was given away in the commercials, even some scenes that didn't make it to the film. I suppose that's a spoiler too.

So I watched the Amazing Spider-Man 2 again tonight. I promise I'm not a masochist, really, but it's Spider-Man.

I didn't launch into a 36-hour retrospective on the meaning of life this time around, so I'm at least somewhat inured, but watching the climactic scene, THE SCENE, I couldn't help but bitch, "We will never get a good movie theater version of the death of Gwen Stacy."

That's a sin.

This movie should have been definitive.

If I was a kid, this is the movie that should have made my childhood, the one that determined the kind of person I was going to be; the one that I held up for all to see "this is me!"

And it should have been definitive for Spider-Man in the way that the death of Gwen Stacy was for Spider-Man in the comics. This should have given us the Spider-Man that everyone knows. I suppose it will still be, but it's such a disappointment. If Marvel gets the rights back, they've gone on record as saying it would be an established Spider-Man, not the high school one.

We almost had a shot of a good Gwen Stacy storyline with the Spectacular Spider-Man, and the wasted potential there of canceling a beloved show that was doing well just because of fucking rights still makes me sick to think about.

I suppose it's possible that Marvel could have an established Peter Parker as Spider-Man but still have him be in high school and finding out the kind of person he is and what it means to lose and sacrifice. But I find it unlikely. So what's the hope? 20 years later maybe a new reboot? Will I still be alive then?

Anyway, it should have been definitive. I wanted so badly for it to be definitive. Spider-Man is a part of me in the way that everyone's fandoms are a part of themselves, but Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a cancer. It's so terrible.

It's lazily terrible. There are plot holes and cartoonish characters and obvious continuity errors (really, 5 months has passed since she died but it's gone from early summer to at the fucking least spring? really? FUCK YOU)

We have Jim Carrey as E. Nigma, err, well, we have Jamie Foxx doing his impression of Jim Carrey being E. Nigma as Max Dillon and the titular (in some countries) Electro. LAZY. LAZY LAZY. Lazy character development, lazy character motivations, fucking insane character choices.

The Green Hobgoblin is given a death sentence, but well, his father lived for at least 40 years after the same death sentence, soo, why is he so bent out of shape? Most people don't live that long period. "You will not live past 60." Really?

Andrew Garfield is wonderful as Spider-Man and Emma Stone is similarly fantastic as Gwen Stacy, although placing herself into danger way the fuck more than you'd expect.

It's amusing at the Time Square scene that she is the only bystander that probably has some motivation to stay and watch the fight, while she is also the only bystander that is like, "why the fuck are other people staying and cheering instead of running away?"

Seriously, what the truck is wrong with the New Yorkers in this movie? Is that how New York actually is?

The entire film is one cartoonish coincidence and contrivance after another. Airports don't have back-up power? Gwen Stacy, who happens to be a genetics lab assistant, somehow knows the plans for the city's power grid? The Green Hobgoblin suit can heal death by mutant human-spider venom?

Oh my god, I forgot about the fucking web-hand. So stupid and overdone and LAZY.

If I had to sum up ASM2 in one word it would be LAZY.

Three words would be: lazy, cartoonish, and disappointing. A betrayal of trust.

I don't know what to do moving forward.

I've said this before, but I finally know what Star Wars fans felt like after watching the prequel trilogy. Such a disappointment.

If I wasn't backlogged on original fiction, I think this would be enough to drive me to write fan fiction.

If you suspend your reasoning, disbelief, and accept the fact that you're basically watching a cartoon where the director thinks kids are dumb as a brick, AND you fast-forward through any crap with Peter's parents, Max Dillon as E. Nigma, any part with Electro where he's not blowing stuff up, then there are elements of the movie to be enjoyed. This is how I watched it this time around, and I may even do it like this again now that I know what to fast-forward. I mean, I watched ASM at least a dozen times.

It's nice seeing Spider-Man save people. And it's nice seeing him get the crap beat out of him. And the character interactions between Gwen and Peter are always well-done, even if their relationship is more retarded than high school.

But you can't watch the movie without feeling its lack, the wasted potential, the dropped ball, the disgrace, and you inevitably need a palate cleanser.

I don't know if I can go back to watching the first ASM without this terrible taste in my soul from the second ASM; I never went back to watch X-Men 1 or 2 after the third one, and I never went back to watch Spider-Man 1 or 2 after the third one. Of course, that's because I never really liked those Spider-Man movies very much (I didn't dislike them though!).

Anyway, those are my thoughts. I hope I didn't repeat myself much from previous rants, but I had to get that off my chest. What are your thoughts?

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