Am I taking crazy pills? Honestly. Was I the only person who took the red pill when it came to these movies? You would think I was criticizing Gandhi himself when I talk about my disappointment with Andrew Garfield. If I wasn’t an anonymous coward debating people on Reddit, there would be a good chance of receiving death threats.
Let me get some background information out of the way. I’m not a huge Spider Man fan. I’m not totally positive I spelled his name correctly just then. My knowledge of the character comes from three things:
- My best friend is a total SM fan boy.
- I loved all thr…two Sam Raimi adaptations
- As a youngin’ I watched the 1994 Spider-Man TV series
All I know after watching “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is that it’s not a great movie. It’s certainly not better than the first two Raimi adaptations. Just because Andrew Garfield is, in your opinion, a better “Spider-Man”, does not make these films watchable. Isn’t Peter Parker supposed to be a genius by the way? Tobey Maguire was at least believable in that aspect. In the movie I just saw, Peter was using Youtube to learn how electricity works. YOUTUBE. Not to mention he had to rely on Gwen Stacy to defeat Electro.
Ugh. Electro. Where to start? I’ll admit to disliking Jamie Foxx. “Django Unchained” would have been twice as good with Will Smith, Foxx stole the Academy Award from Dicaprio (and Cheadle to be fair) in 2005, and he starred in Stealth, one of the biggest disappointments in my life. But even I can’t fully blame him for the abomination that is Electro.
To start, he’s a rip off of The Riddler from Batman Forever. Not only that, I preferred Jim Carrey’s version! When Batman Forever does something better than your movie, you know you messed up. I actually understood the route they were trying to take with Electro. Max Dillon had mental health problems. And in today’s world this is a problem we face every day. I loved that a main villain is dealing with multiple social problems. The film just didn’t do the idea justice. I wish they would have focused more on the fact that Spider Man didn’t remember his name. THEN I could believe his turn as a heel. Max was convinced Spider-Man needed him. That’s what should have broke him. Finding out that he’s no different than any one else in Spider-Man’s eyes. Instead, it was jealousy towards the public’s love for Spider Man. That, and a cop shot a bullet at him. You can’t be angry that nobody notices you anymore when you’re being booed and shot at. Just because the Times Square TV’s aren’t on you doesn’t make you invisible.
But I can let that slide. What I cannot forigve, is the horrific dialogue he was given. Off the top of my head:
“Who are you?” “Don’t you know. I’m Electrooo” (This actually might have been the way Foxx delivered it. Sounded super cheesy)
“Let’s go catch a spider.” (Ugh)
“It’s my birthday. Time to light the candles.” (Really!?)
After seeing Never Nude Electro for most of the film we finally see him in his own suit. Where did it come from? How come it disappears when he does? How is it able to go into electrical units with him? I’m only bringing it up because “Man of Steel” got so much flack for not explaining more about Superman’s suit (deservedly so). I’m honestly too tired to go into the dubstep/heavy metal music that played when he first terrorized the city as Electro. I appreciate the attempt at a different type of villain, but they flat out missed.
It’s very difficult to establish something in one scene. It’s even more difficult to establish YEARS of friendship. Dane Dehaan has a bright future and I’ll enjoy seeing him throughout the future Spider-Man films. But give me Franco’s Harry Osborn any day. At least we had three films worth of best friendship to embrace. These are things you just can’t rush. You can’t expect me to connect with both of these characters based on….maybe twenty minutes of screen time? This is why television is jumping so far ahead of film. We get to witness multiple seasons of best friendship, parent/child relationships, boss/employee relations, etc. So when something big does happen the payoff is totally worth it.
The Peter/Gwen relationship was the strongest part of the film (as it should be. The movie was practically a romantic comedy). The (SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) death scene was done very well. Two complaints involving their relationship. First, they forced her into trying to help Spider-Man save the day. Out of no where she decided to become a hero. When Electro first shows up in Times Square, Gwen is perfectly fine with standing around watching the action (so is every one apparently. More on this later). Once the third act kicks in, she becomes Super Gwen. It just felt like an easy way to set up the death scene. Secondly, after all the “break up because your not safe” stuff we’ve seen a million times, Gwen informs Peter she’s moving to London. This literally solves all his problems. I’m just sick of this trope. If you want the consequence to be her death than I need to see more from Peter. Standing at her grave as the four seasons pass doesn’t do it for me. In the comics (according to fan boy best friend) he goes wild with rage and starts beating up Norman. Why couldn’t we have seen that? Maybe it’s nitpicking but I didn’t have man tears flowing down my face as intended (and this coming from a guy who cries during EVERY movie).
- Why wasn’t Peter more upset about Uncle Ben? He’s being haunted by Dennis Leary and crying over Richard Parker. UNCLE BEN IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN PETER PARKERS LIFE. Uncle Ben’s death was a vital part of Spider-Man all throughout the Raimi trilogy. This probably pissed me off the most.
- Do people line up to watch shoot out’s in New York City? I’m sorry, but if a blue electrical monster was attacking, I’d be Usain Bolt. The same goes with Rhino. He’s spraying bullets and people are watching. Do New Yorkers live life on the edge? Seriously, it didn’t take any one else out of the film?
- I didn’t mind only having Rhino in the beginning and end of the film. Rhino was never a huge villain, more of a thug. And clearly a set up to The Sinister Six film. That still doesn’t explain why you cast Paul Giamatti. He looked and sounded ridiculous.
- Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t Peter Parker supposed to be nerdy. Andrew Garfield comes across as the most popular person in high school. Readers are supposed to identify with his self obsessions with rejection, inadequacy, and loneliness (from Wikipedia). I didn’t feel any of that. He felt more like the cool kid who sarcastically made fun of me. He made out with Gwen Stacy on his graduation stage! That’s bad ass. And yet Tobey Maguire was a terrible Spider-Man…alas.
I don’t enjoy coming across as this hater. There is no joy taken from this I promise you. But I feel the need to point out these things. Even if I’m wrong (and I’m sure I am more than once), at least I’m bringing it up instead of declaring these films untouchable. I’m not talking about critics. Clearly they agree with me. It’s the dude in the comic store who asked if I liked it (and did everything but spit in my face when I said “meh”). It’s for all the people who thought Norman Osborn looked silly with Goblin Disease. I love comic book movies. There are none I regret seeing (Michael Bay’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” replies: Challenge Accepted). But the one word I’ll never use to describe “ASM2” is amazing.