The other “franchise” that is not in MARVEL hands (besides FOX-Men or Fantastic Four) has had many ups and downs over the past twelve years (rellay, it has been only twelve years) and this movie is no exception. This review also contains LIGHT spoilers.
I was okay with The Amazing Spider-Man back when it came out in 2012. I had no problem with the “ultimateification” of the character since I like the Ultimate Comics. I was okay with the basic changes to the overall concept because I am not a strict stickler to the source material. If you want a movie to be like the book, go read the fucking book.
What I wasn’t okay with was the obvious studio influence into the project, the “untold story” aspects of it, the schmalz and kitsch and the notion that we shold have gotten a different film but Sony had cuts made to further distance it from the other films and set up a franchise so instead we just got a mediocre film with terrible writing. It was an okay film, nothing fancy but it was clear to me that there was a good film hiding underneath all that dreck.
Not so with ASM2. Don’t get me wrong this one is not a bad film. But no matter what you did it could never be good either. It just is. This is to the amazing Spider-Man what Iron Man 2 was to Iron Man. It feels like a filler, closes some plot points nobody needed in the first place and only serves to set up a francise. Pretty much waht Pirates of the Carribbean 2 did but that one at least worked. This one doesn’t.
The main problem comes with the script. To me it is quite clear that Webb wanted to do a classic Spidey VS the Green Goblin story and then Sony said you can’t do that we already did that twelve years ago. So he wanted to do a Spide VS Harry as Green Goblin story to which sony replied yea you can’t do that either we did that six years ago. So Webb just said fuck it I do it anyway but we sell the film as an Electro story.
Now that would be all fine and well if Electro had anything to do in the film. We get TWO fight scenes between him and Spidey – one in the first half and one in the second – in between he is jut locked up in Ravencroft, lead by a male Dr. Kafka who is a sadistic asshole with a german accent so bad it made me cringe. So not much electro really.
The movie instead focuses on a hamfisted lovestory it tries to hammer down our throats between Peter and Gwen. It opens with them being together, then breaking up again (and apparently they broke up before that already) and then getting back together again for the finale. I know on/off relationships are what kids do but if you focus your movie on something like that at least mae it good and believable.
We also are treated with the reveal of the backstory of Peters parents as in, the movie opens with them, spends a lot of time with that secret and resolves it to absolutely ZERO effect. The entire “untold” story is pretty much what they did in the comics too but here it is just there to strech the running time in a film thatis already too long, despite having tons of scenes cut. I suspect the entire film was originally three hours long but they cut it down to two and a half. Funny enough obviously no electro scenes were cut but tons of Peter, Gwen and Harry scenes, which goes to show that this actually should have been about them, not the titular Electro.
So what is the central story? Well it’s a Peter and Gwen lovestory where Harry shows up to go all Green Gobin on everyone and then… Well you know what happens to Gwen when the Green Goblin shows up. It is also handled quite well in this film except one scene where, I kid you not, Peter shoots a web and it LITERALLY (and I know how to use that term) it transforms into a hand, as in to reach out. In slow motion, as if the filmmakers thought we dumb moviegoers wouldn’t otherwise understand the metaphor. The entire scene is set in an old clocktower withg ears turning and breaking apart and we are still treated as if we are too dumb to understand what’s going on.
That is also a big problem with the movie, everything is big booms and dumbed down for the Transformers generation. To complete the Iron Man analogy: This film is to the first what the second iron man was to the first but it is made like the third Iron Man. A dumbed down over the top version with stupid jokes that don’t work and lots of big boom and slow motion because that’s what the dumb Transofmers fan wants. And since Iron Man 3 made a bilion dollars it just proves my point, unfortunately.
Bottom line: This film is your average hollywood schmalzfest that is as quickly forgotten as it is consumed, in this case two and a half hours. As somebody who loves Spider-Man I really hope this film bombs hard so that we DON’T get another Spider related movie every year. Did I mention that I hate annualisation? I hate it in games and I hateit in movies. Sony and FOX should just stop trying to copy Marvel and instead focus on making god films. So far they are failing in that regard.