The Not Very Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Posted: December 1, 2014 in Movie Reviews
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The Amazing Spider-Man.  A little story for you first.

I grew up on Spider-Man.  He was the perfect childhood superhero.  He was still a hero, but super-sensitive and super-nice in addition to his super-Spideyness.  I loved Spider-Man (keyword is loved, though, at least right now).  He has probably one of the most money-making franchises ever, since he is also the most popular superhero.  Everyone knew Spider-Man, who he was, and his movies.  Spider-Man pretty much got me into comics and comic book movies.  Since I grew up on Tobey Maguire, I had high hopes for Sony and that they were planning to do.  Surely they had some idea of what they wanted to do with the most famous superhero in the world, often hailed as the most relatable?  It could only be expected they’d get someone who embodies the role perfectly, someone who unquestionably takes up the Spider-Man mantle and do as well if not better than Tobey Maguire, with Sony picking the best of the best storylines to give Spider-Man, our much loved hero, the justice he deserves.

Yeah, so um, that never happened.

That super Spider-Hair, though.

I went into this trying to have an open mind about Garfield, but then I realized he was that wanna-be executive in The Social Network who was just really god damn whiny.  Literally, throughout the entire movie I wanted Garfield to shut up, because his whining was high pitched and annoying enough to break a window or to get you to want to break a window because he was so annoying (your TV would work too, but a window is probably cheaper).  I really tried to like Garfield, but he just proved to be even more irritating once I tried to like him.  I tried so hard to like Garfield because I wanted to see Spider-Man become famous for his movies again in between Captain America, X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, and Batman when DC finally realized “Wow!  We have this Bat-guy and we should make movies about him that don’t feature corny spandex… and that Superman guy if we dump the corny “is it a bird, plane, UFO, meteorite, NASA space shuttle? No!  It’s Superman!” phrase!  Regardless, I just could not like him, and even the worst movie could outshine this one.

So while DC is having some kind of spiritual awakening or movie epiphany, realizing they can be just like Marvel and Iron Man (sidenote:  I don’t hate DC, I love Batman, and Catwoman is my favorite female character ever, but they are extremely late to the party in the theater here), Sony is going to give this Spider-Man thing another go.  Raimi says he’s done, Tobey says he’s done, and Sony re-casts Spider-Man.  Surely there must be some actor that can embody Spidey as well as Maguire did… and Sony would find them.. right?  And there would be a good story, too.. Is this too much, so far, Sony?  I know, pressure.  Expectations.  It’ll be alright.

I’d cry too if my successor did this to the thing I built.

Oh, God, you poor Spider-Man fans, you.  First you endure The Amazing Spider-Man 1, and then the Amazing Spider-Man 2, both of which are decidedly not amazing.

This series (or movie) does not even belong on the same shelf as Tobey Maguire and Raimi’s representation.  Actually, it should not even be on your shelf because that would require you to buy it and it truly is that bad to just not buy it.  Garfield confirmed the myth he cannot speak without sounding like a 5th grader who doesn’t get the toy they wanted or as though he is pre-puberty, or both, since 5th graders are pre-puberty.  Also, this question has been asked many times, but Garfield is 31, and he is playing an angsty high schooler.  I totally get wanting to be young again, the fountain of youth and whatnot, but let’s be realistic with ourselves Garfield and Sony.

But, okay, they receive an A for effort and an F for everything else.

Garfield did not disappoint, and by that I mean he completely fulfilled his whiny expectations I had set for him throughout The Not Amazing Spider-Man 2.  Throughout the movie he was consistently whiny and complained.  Garfield playing Peter Parker didn’t come off as a nerdy kid, a social outcast, or someone we can relate to like every other version of Spider-Man does.  He came off as That Guy who is unreasonably angry at the world despite being popular in school (he is known for his photography, which means he is popular).  He consistently came off as the cocky guy who locks himself in his room and blasts rock music, dying for vengeance on the world for what it did wrong to him.  He’s so obvious, in fact, the mean version of Aunt May only realizes something is wrong because he took meat loaf from the fridge.  To top it off, someone obviously kills Uncle Ben, and that only gets even worse, but even before it he still walked around hish high school with a constant pouty-face.  Overall, hipsters could totally relate to Spider-Man this time around, and this representation of Parker completely goes against what Spidey stands for. He was complete with the giant glasses, skinny jeans and emo attitude.  And that skateboard, too.

Did I mention the skateboard really shows off his physical features? (No, I didn’t, because I am not being paid by Sony.)

As a result, it completely attracts the attention of Gwen Stacy somehow, and throughout the rest of the film, we see absolutely nothing other than Parker and Stacy being in love with an occasional villain or two getting featured and maybe a few fight scenes if we’re lucky.  I have nothing against love stories or chick flicks, but given they are actually dating with a director who likes love stories, I can see how this easily got out of hand (let’s hope they never break up because they will hate this movie).

I very much enjoy the romantic overtones of many superhero films, but this was pretty ridiculous.  The greater majority of the movie was just watching them swoon over each other.  It’s okay to have Love in the Time of Electro, but seriously, can you actually focus on Electro even a little?  While adorable, it was really just way too much.  Way too much.  We were supposed to be fighting one of 15 villains in the movie or something, who had equally corny lines in the movie (remember to wish Electro happy birthday), assuming they had lines at all, since Green Goblin had one scene.

There were so many villains, you may as well have just gotten the DC ones to join in.  I mean, it’s not like it made any sense anyway, really, and it just made the plot messy and hard to follow.  Even if you managed to follow it, you were probably confused.  Everything just got muddled.  Nothing made sense in the end.  I don’t even remember their specific parts, aside from that one Times Square encounter with Electro; I only remember that because of how terribly annoying and cocky Spider-Man was during it, which is only a testament to how terrible his representation was.  It just didn’t make any sense how all of these villains were running around seemingly unrelated (but were actually all related, apparently), and then Green Goblin just wanted Spidey-blood and Rhino had a terrible accent.  The villains were so forgettable I don’t even remember their parts, and I think at least Electro is worthy of a better representation and genesis within a movie.  Every villain felt like they were running around without a purpose, with nothing getting fully developed and everything being undeveloped, except obviously Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy’s relationship.  We got that.

Speaking of Gwen Stacy…

She’s probably a psychic medium.

I’m referring to her Valedictorian speech.  If they made that foreshadowing any more obvious, they would’ve just had Gwen Stacy become a psychic prophet.  That whole speech made me cringe because of how obvious it was, and it needed to be done differently to effectively foreshadow without it being put on a highway sized sign in glowing lights. You know, assuming she didn’t die in a cinematically awful manner that wasn’t true to the comic books at all, I think we have a career choice, here.

That was probably one of the most awful death scene I have ever seen in a movie, and I know die-hard Spider-Man fans were slowly dying themselves inside when it happened.   They thought, for sure, one of the most iconic Spider-Man moments was finally going to get to the big screen, and then… well, not really, since it was different from that iconic Spider-Man moment.  Spider-Man freaking out, crying, whining, did not make him relatable or sensitive:  It just made him annoying, like I have been reiterating throughout this entire blog post, but that is an attribute of Garfield as a whole (who is clearly my favorite actor).  Gwen Stacy was a stereotypical girl and stereotypical girlfriend, and her maintaining her strong demeanor we see in the beginning would’ve been nice, but I have been tearing this movie apart for the last 3 hours so even a decent movie is a better request.  I will admit Emma Stone’s acting is probably the best part of the entire movie, and the only thing that is really and truly nearing any form of decency.

It’s not as if the graphics were at all decent, and I can’t comment on the soundtracks because I don’t remember that much of them.  All I know is I cringe when music (as in singing) is featured in any movie, and I remember that happening.

I can’t understand how people liked the graphics.  They were good sort of, but they had the feeling as if you were playing a video game.  If it was a video game, that would be great, but it was a movie.  Not a video game. It’s great to feel like Spider-Man as he calling attention to himself as he’s screaming through the air making corny jokes, but we shouldn’t need to get that view of Spider-Man for us to feel like we are in the movie; the movie should be able to do that all by itself.  They really took that notion a bit too far.  I realize it’s going against tradition and that is a good thing, but you can go against tradition and still make it good.

Overall, I am happy Sony is realizing their mistakes and Spider-Man may be recasted (and they’re pushing off any more Not Amazing Spider-Man movies), because Garfield does not capture Spider-Man at all.  I grew up with Spider-Man, I even read some of his comics before I read any other comics, and that isn’t what Spider-Man is.

I can only hope the next Spider-Man is out there waiting for us, waiting to be discovered.

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