In Too Deep’s 500th Blog: Is Amazing Spider-Man 2 Really That Bad?
Hello and welcome to In Too Deep 500th Blog, where I over-analyse a certain section of pop culture for the five hundredth time.
Three years, eight months and twenty-nine days ago, I posted a little blog defending One More Day cos why the hell not. Now, one thousand, three hundred and sixty eight days later, I’m defending another Spider-Man property in honour of this milestone. Because I have two rather major bombshells to drop. Firstly, I think the Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the best Spider-Man film out of all of them. And secondly, I’m upset that Marvel got the rights back to Spider-Man. So without further ado, lets go and defend the web-slinger in this momentous occasion, one hundred and ninety five weeks in the making.
So first off, The Amazing Spider-Man 2. I honestly think it’s a really, really good movie. Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker grew on me (I didn’t like where the character started, but I think he was better in the second film), with the actor showing a great love for the role. And, unlike Toby Maguire, I think Andrew portrays a teenager/young man much better. Toby Maguire always seemed way too old for me. I like Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. The chemistry between her and Peter Parker really works (helped by the fact that the actors were dating at the time) and helps sell it as being genuine. The fact that Gwen Stacy helps Peter, rather than just being an a-typical damsel in distress. But most of all, Gwen is a far more interesting character than Mary Jane who, and lets be honest, only existed to be captured in the first three movies. She never really had much of a character beyond that. I liked Electro, with the whole ‘fan who turns villain’ an interesting idea that hadn’t been explored in superhero movies recently. The scene where Spider-Man talks to Electro and tries to calm the poor guy down, after he’s terrified… Where is that in modern superhero movies? Where are the superheroes that actually try to help out people trapped in unfortunate circumstance, who got mutated against their will? While the Marvel superheroes are too busy posing or trying to connect to their enemy cos their foe is a family member, here is Spider-Man, actively trying to do the right thing. Actually trying to be a hero. And when Electro turns evil, it feels justified. He has been attacked and hurt, it’d turn anyone into a bad guy. It’s more justified than some villains, who just wake up and decide to be evil. I like Harry Osborn and his role in turning into a bad guy (even if Spider-Man not giving Norman Osborn his blood in the hopes of curing him was a bit stupid). God helped me I even liked Rhino and enjoyed his brief appearance, even if we saw everything we were gonna see of him in the trailers. But Spider-Man’s witty jokes and snarking… That wasn’t in the original trilogy, but it works wonders here. We actually get a much better re-telling of the Spider-Man character, one who cracks jokes when in danger to try and keep himself calm. But what I like most of all was where the franchise was going. I’m gonna say it: I hate the fact that Marvel brought Spider-Man because it denied us the chance to finally see the Sinister Six on screen.
See, Sony saw what Marvel were doing and decided to do the same thing. But, since they only had one superhero, they decided instead to focus on the other side of the coin. Have a film series built around the supervillains, having them be built up instead. A sort of reverse Avengers. And honestly, I was pumped to see it, if for the simple reason that it’d be something different. We’ve never really seen a film series where all the villains teamed up after being introduced in their own movies. Superheroes, yes, but never supervillains. It was a new and original idea, one that offered a host of interesting ideas. How would a group of supervillains cope with each other? How quickly would they turn on each other? What would the dynamic be like? We’ve seen hints of it in DC’s The Flash TV series, where Captain Cold has teamed up with a few other baddies. It’d be interesting to see that in a feature film. It would be different… but instead, we’re just gonna get another Spider-Man film. Thankfully not an origin story, as I originally feared, but still the movie we’ve seen before. We’ve seen the Spider-Man movie, we’ve seen it at least twice. We’ve seen two versions and, honestly, the second version was better because they were so willing to try something new. It wasn’t always successful, but it was new. Exploring the mysteries of Richard and Mary Parker would have been worth watching, just to see where they were going with all of it. Having a mythos built up around it would have been so worth the pay-off. As it stands, Amazing Spider-Man 2 is very much like Iron Man 2 in that regard. The biggest complaint of Iron Man 2 was that it was mostly there to just set up the rest of the Marvel universe, with Iron Man getting little to nothing to do. The same thing happened here, but audiences decided against it. It was a real shame because, if this had taken off, we may have seen something completely new. We would have seen villains, proper villains, classic villains from one of the best Rouges Gallery, take on one superhero. It would have been great… but sadly, we have Peter Parker in the Marvel universe instead. But there is one other reason why I’m upset that Marvel got Spider-Man back.
When I saw the line-up of all the Marvel movies, I was excited. Mostly because we were going to get a Black Panther movie and a Captain Marvel movie. They would have been great, and I was looking forward to them… which were both pushed back so we could get another Spider-Man movie. Now I didn’t lose hope just yet, cos Marvel still had one ace up their sleeve. Had they had Spider-Man played by Miles Morales, the Ultimate Universe incarnate and not a white guy, that would have sparked my interest. That would be both new and a welcome piece of diversity. But that diversity got denied, with Black Panther and Captain Marvel being pushed back so we could get yet another white guy playing the same hero we had before. And I was looking forward to Marvel doing something different. I pointed out in my Captain America: The Winter Soldier blog how it was rare that only one character out of the five lead characters was a white guy, so having more films featuring minorities would be an interesting change of pace. But instead we’re gonna get what we always get: The same old Spider-Man swinging around and making jokes, but doing nothing new or bringing anything interesting to the table. Spider-Man will be an entirely risk free project, since Marvel knows they’re in safe hands and don’t need to take the same sort of gamble they took with Guardians of the Galaxy. Spider-Man will be very safe and, as a consequence, probably one of the more conceptually uninteresting films. With the likes of Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel and the Inhumans all waiting in the wings, having Spider-Man, a character who we’ve seen many times before, doesn’t appeal to me. At the end of the day, give me Sony’s Spider-Man back. It may not have been perfect, and may people didn’t like it, but I thought it was great. This Spider-Man was the best version of Spider-Man. This mythos was doing the most interesting things, things the movies hadn’t touched on before and won’t touch on again. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was great because it was different, and it was promising new and exciting things to come, things that hadn’t been done before. And between a bad but experimental series of films, and a tried and tested method where little will be at risk, nor will much be challenged… Yeah, I know which one I’d pick.
So there you have it. 32,832 hours,1,969,920 minutes or 118,195,200 seconds after I started it, I come full circle back to Spider-Man by defending something that everyone seemed to universally agreed was bad. If you disagree with anything, or have anything to add, feel free to leave a comment. Till next time.