Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Not exactly a great start for summer movies.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the sequel to the re-boot/re-imagining/re-make that was called The Amazing Spider-Man. And it sucked! Nothing in that movie worked in the slightest. The only thing the movie was able to do was hide all of its flaws, fooling a lot of people into thinking that the movie was better than it actually was. I don't think I really minded the first Amazing Spider-Man the first time watching it, but, every time I've tried to go back and watch it again, I just couldn't do it. The new Peter Parker they've created is a gelatinous blob of a mess, they create a bunch of plot threads they just left hanging by the end of the movie, and all of these problems start making it increasingly clear that the only reason why these movies exist is because Sony just can't bear to let their profitably precious Spider-Man franchise go.

But, it almost started to look like they were about to work it all out...only to reveal new information that just shattered any kind of expectation that this movie might not be bad. A new and improved costume for Spider-Man this time? Great! But a new look for Electro and The Green Goblin that look worse than The Lizard did in the last movie? Not great. Trailers teasing about a Sinister Six movie that might actually be interesting? Hey, that could be pretty good! But having the movie show us everything we already saw in the trailer? It almost kind of makes it seem like the guys are having there movies being driven by anticipation rather than making a movie that actually works as a movie. A mystery story about Peter actually being destined to be Spider-Man by his parents? Eh, actually, that part was pretty dumb to begin with and it gets worse in this movie, but it sort of showed signs of almost getting kind of interesting.

So, there's a story in this movie somewhere, I think, but the problem is that they set up so many things in this movie and they absolutely go nowhere. You'd think that Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci were behind the screenplay to this movie and that...oh wait, those were exactly the guys behind this movie. Anyways, the stuff that happens in this movie is as follows: Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy are having relationship problems as Peter Parker is having to deal with balancing a normal life and being Spider-Man at the same time. Gwen is annoyed because she doesn't like it when Peter gets distracted to go out and save lives because...there wouldn't be any conflict between them or something, I dunno. Also, Peter is being haunted by the death of Gwen's Father in the last movie. Peter sees illusions of Gwen's Father to make Peter feel drama, which occurs a couple of times in the beginning of the movie and then one time at the end of the movie, reminding the audience, pretty forcibly, that "Hey! Wasn't this supposed to be important?"

Also, since this is a super hero movie, we also need super bad guys in order to fight the super hero, because that's probably what most people were paying to see. It definitely wasn't for the romance scenes and chemistry between Peter and Gwen, as they are somehow even worse than any of the scenes with Anakin and Padme from the Star Wars Prequels. But at least the scenes from Star Wars were at least entertainingly bad. So, in the midst of an action scene in the beginning of the movie, Spider-Man saves the life of this guy named Max. Max was a guy who felt like a nobody loser because people around him treated him that way, but Spider-Man saving his life, and also giving a small uplifting speech about how Max is more special than he thinks he is, causes Max to feel a little overly special and obsessed with Spider-Man. When Max falls into a fish tank full of radio active eels that were there for some reason, he turns into Electro where he soon has an action scene with Spider-Man after he feels betrayed for...some reason.

Also, Harry Osbourne gets thrown into the story as well, wanting a cure for a disease that killed his dad because Harry seems to be suffering from the same disease. He thinks that Spider-Man's blood might help, but Spider-Man won't let him have his blood out of fear that it might kill Harry or something like that. So, Harry goes off to find a cure for himself that turns him into The Green Goblin. Getting this cure involved a team-up with Electro, the hooded Smurf, so that these two villains can have an epic fight with Spider-Man.

So, yeah. A lot of stuff happens in this movie, and they did an okay job of balancing it all through out the film as well. Too bad none of these plot lines ever go anywhere or have any sort of decent kind of closure. I'm not joking, once the epic battle ends, nobody really learns anything by the end of the story.

I'm going to have to get into spoilers on this part to explain why nothing in the plot really works. So, just highlight the blank area in brackets to see my take on the whole ending. [Spoilers: So, once Spider-Man defeats Electro, he literally vanishes into thin air and that's the end of his story-line in this movie. You'd think they would somehow tie in his obsession with Spider-Man that caused him to go haywire in the first place, but then it's not hard to figure out that they just wanted him as a bad-guy and they weren't sure how to tie him into the actual story without getting super-dumb on his part. Also, Spider-Man fights The Green Goblin and, by the end of that fight, Spider-Man knocks him out and than Harry as The Green Goblin is never seen again through the rest of the movie, even though they set up a lot about a history of Peter and Harry being friends and stuff. There's just no payoff to any of the story-lines involving anyone in this movie. Also, a tragic event happens that causes Spider-Man to not want to be Spider-Man anymore, but than he becomes Spider-Man again in the span of 5 minutes :End of Spoilers]

Oh yeah, also, if you were really excited about seeing The Rhino fighting Spider-Man, you can just go back and watch the trailers to see all of the scenes he appears in this movie. I am not joking! Rhino is just there to set up the events for the next movie that's inevitably coming out. And, pretty much just like every other damn thing about this movie, it doesn't really tie-in with the overall, over-arching story that doesn't exist. It's just a bunch of stuff that happens, making this movie feel like it's friggin' 500 hours long.

Say what you want about Spider-Man 3, from Sam Raimi, as it was doing the same thing with juggling a bunch of plot threads and trying to tie them all together by the very end, but at least it all came together in the end. Maybe some of the ways things ended in that movie turned out to be a little dopey, but at least there was actual closer. There's nothing like that in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, even though there are quite a bit of things that happen in this movie.

And, one more thing. Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker. I just hate it. This has a lot to do with how he's been written as a character, but, even as Spider-Man where he is supposed to be clever and snarky, he just ended up coming off as a douche to where there was never a time where I didn't want to beat on his stupid smug-ass face. It was as if Shawn Spencer from Psych suddenly became less funny and lost all sense of self-awareness and decided to become a mopey, teenage kid that dresses up as Spider-Man every once in a while. Him whistling The Spider-Man Theme Song from the 60s while easily taking down a low-leveled Henchman, talking out loud to a bunch of loose chemicals as he gathers them up as if he know he's being watched by an audience, and saying a lot of the things he says as just Peter Parker is just so cringe-inducing.The fact that some people are actually finding this new iteration of Peter Parker as "cool" is...well, a bit unsettling.

This movie sucks. I was honestly about to come out and say that even though this movie is pretty bad, it still actually ended up better than the last movie. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized how this movie suffers from all of the same kind of problems from its predecessor. Loose story-lines that never get tied together by the end, a new Peter Parker that just doesn't work(both as a character and as iteration of Peter Parker), and the design of these new villains are just so bad. I'm honestly convinced that the people behind The Amazing Spider-Man movies are placing bets to see how bad they can make each movie while still being able to get enough people to watch them. While there are minor improvements to this new film, it has so many setbacks that make this movie almost kind of worse, especially under the restrained circumstances of being a movie that exists solely for the purpose of a greedy movie studio keeping a franchise.

But, if that's the case, then these guys seem to know exactly what they are doing when it comes to these movies. And that, in the midst of a lot of things, just kind of sucks.

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