Why The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Could Be The Definitive Spider-Man Film

Why The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Could Be The Definitive Spider-Man Film

Reasons why The Amazing Spider-Man 2 could get it perfect

So from what I can judge, reactions to Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man were very, very mixed. Some people preferred it to the Raimi version, some people thought it was a piece of s**t and others are just “meh” towards anything Spider-Man related arguably due to the character’s over-exposure these days. Being probably one of the biggest Spider-Man fans on the planet, I personally can’t get enough of Spidey on the big screen but I feel that a movie incarnation has yet to be perfected, although I do think that the first two Raimi films and Marc Webb’s reboot all came very close to hitting the nail on the head.

My personal stance on Spider-Man as a character is that he is the greatest superhero ever created without a doubt. This comes down to one factor for me: he’s relatable. When Stan and Steve first debuted the Webhead, readers immediately took to him because underneath his mask he was just a regular guy with regular problems like them, unlike characters like Superman that were essentially archetypes. I know that everyone loves Batman because of his dark, tortured, badass persona but come on, even if he has no superpowers he’s a billionaire playboy at the peak of physical perfection with a genius intellect and unlimited wealth and resources, who can relate to that? I see Batman as the cool kid at school that everyone idolizes whereas Spider-Man is the underdog that constantly gets overshadowed. That analogy was certainly represented at the box office last year, as while The Amazing Spider-Man was a success, it wasn’t the highest grossing superhero film of 2012, getting overshadowed by the admittedly awesome The Avengers and the somewhat overrated (in my opinion) The Dark Knight Rises.

Say what you will about Marc Webb’s reboot but I feel that it’s the best Spider-Man film to date. This is because it retained all the elements that the Raimi films got right while also adding new elements that those films were lacking. For example, they made Spidey a wise-ass like he is in the comics (hallelujah!) and the addition of mechanical webshooters allowed Peter to display his intelligence and ingenuity. The reboot also generally handled the characters a lot better than the Raimi films did, particularly the love interest; Gwen Stacy was intelligent and could handle herself without needing Spider-Man to save her all the time, whereas Mary Jane, while having some depth to her character, was much more of a typical damsel in distress. Also, Peter's transition into a hero is fleshed out a lot more, giving us more understanding of his character and motivations. All the other characterizations were spot on as well and the casting was pitch perfect. Unfortunately, The Amazing Spider-Man had a lot of things going against it; not least of which was the terrible marketing campaign that spoiled far too much and promised an “untold story” that the film ultimately didn’t deliver. In addition to this, the rushed script development meant that the villain and overall story were a little generic and the fact that the Raimi films were still fresh in audience’s minds made people feel like they were being fed the same stuff.

So why do I think that the sequel to ASM could turn out to be the ultimate Spider-Man film (I may have intended a pun there)? Well from what we’ve seen from it so far, it definitely appears to be on exactly the right track. For starters, the new costume design seems to be pleasing fans across the board. When I first saw the new suit, I had very mixed feelings. I felt that although it was more faithful to the design seen in the comics than any movie suit so far it was a huge step backwards stylistically. A lot of people disliked the suit from The Amazing Spider-Man because of how different it was but I thought that the new modern take worked really well and the texture of the suit made it look incredible on screen. With the sequel, it seems as though the studio have reacted towards the negative criticism the first suit attracted and have forced Webb to go back to a much more traditional design, harkening back to the Raimi years. It doesn’t look to me like much imagination went into this design, although one thing I find interesting is the fact that the new design incorporates the much larger eyes that are often seen in the comics, especially in the Ultimate series. Whether or not they’ll look too cartoony on screen remains to be seen but they look pretty cool in the set photos. Overall, while I still feel that the suit from the first film looked way cooler, the new Spidey definitely resembles the one we all know and love from years gone by (despite the fact that his new radically different duds will create a rather distracting continuity issue).

Now onto the cast and characters: well the first major new addition we heard about was Jamie Foxx, hot from his marvelous performance in Django, as the supervillain Electro; a very interesting choice. While the character of Electro in the comics has never been particularly interesting and has usually been a throwaway villain who works for other, more prominent baddies, I think Foxx is a really good actor and should be able to make the character his own (and it’s been made apparent that he’ll be based on the Ultimate version of the character so thankfully he won’t be wearing that silly green and yellow outfit). Another earlier piece of casting information was that Martin Sheen would be returning as Uncle Ben, which raises a few questions: will his appearance be in flashback or will he return from the grave? (I think it’s safe to assume flashback) How will it fit into the story? Well as they say, only time will tell.

The next piece of casting news that raised eyebrows was the casting of Shailene Woodley as none other than Mary Jane Watson. This got fans thinking that her character would be set up to be Peter’s next love interest after Gwen inevitably kicks the bucket. Interestingly, Woodley’s shoot only lasted for a few weeks meaning that her part will be pretty small. This is probably a good thing as it means that the plot hopefully won’t get too caught up in the love triangle business, which was one of the many problems people had with Raimi’s Spider-Man 3. Then we heard that another blast from the past character from the Spidey mythos was being cast in the new film-verse, Harry Osborn, and that he was to be played by Chronicles’s Dane Dehaan. Admittedly I’ve not actually seen Chronicle but his character looked pretty brooding in the trailers which could work well for Harry Osborn, especially if they explore Harry’s tortured, self destructive side as seen in his drug addiction arc in the comics. It was rumored for a while (due to a misinterpreted Marc Webb tweet) that Harry would become Venom in this film but this has since been debunked, which I was glad to hear as I’d hate for the film series to start taking cues from the terrible Ultimate Spider-Man animated series (don’t know if any of you have seen it but it really is an abomination of children’s entertainment).

Then things started to get rather intriguing. Paul Giamatti was reportedly cast as the Rhino, which caused some people’s heads to explode. While people generally view Giamatti as a brilliant actor, some question his suitability for the role as the dimwitted, thuggish villain (although a theory that I support is that he’ll be playing a Rhino similar to the Ultimate version, which would offer a very different take on the character). Apart from the pretty novel casting choice however, this info got people concerned that the second film could end up suffering from villain overload just as Spider-Man 3 did. These fears were only made worse when Oscar winner Chris Cooper was cast as Norman Osborn, adding a possible appearance of the Green Goblin to the mix. Thankfully though, it has since been made clear that Norman will not become the Goblin in the second film so we’ll only have two villains to focus on, and it’s likely that the Rhino will simply be a throwaway villain that Spidey tackles before Electro arrives on the scene. We’ve also got Colm Feore (how the hell do you pronounce that name??) and Felicity Jones cast in as yet unspecified roles which adds an air of mystery, although they will most likely be very minor parts (Felicity Jones couldn’t be playing Black Cat, could she?) In any case, with such stellar actors being added to an already impressive lineup, I think it’s safe to say that we’ll be seeing a lot of first class performances in this flick.

Performances aside however, the aspect that should hopefully make this film will be the story. While very few plot details have been released so far, what we do know is that it will be around the time of Peter’s graduation from High School and he will be battling Oscorp employee Max Dillon when he becomes Electro after some kind of accident. Up until recently that was all we knew, but someone reporting on ComicBookMovie.com has revealed a supposedly legit plot detail that while many of us would have probably seen coming is still a pretty major spoiler: apparently Gwen is gonna be pushing up daisies (dead) by the end of the film. My first thought was, “what?! Surely it’s too soon, shouldn’t they be saving that for the third one?” However, I think if they construct the narrative well enough, it could add some real depth to Spider-Man’s onscreen journey and capture the more tragic side of his story seen a lot in the comics. Also, very interestingly, if she does get killed off in this film it means that the Green Goblin won’t be the one to kill her (at least not directly as Norman may very well be pulling strings from behind the scenes). This is yet another indication to me that Webb is taking a lot of cues from the Ultimate comics as Gwen was killed by a different villain in that series as well (Carnage, to be precise, although I’m 99.99999999% certain he won’t be in ASM2).

To sum up, I love what Webb did with The Amazing Spider-Man; although it wasn’t exactly an untold story, I personally feel that he told it better than Raimi did as he explored parts of the hero’s personality and psyche that are integral to his character and that were not fleshed out enough in the original films. And now that the retold origin story is out of the way and he’s got freedom to explore new ground I think he has the potential to deliver us a web-slinging masterpiece (as long as he doesn’t f**k up by copying Spider-Man 2). So what can we expect from ASM 2 if all goes well? I’m holding out hope that we’ll get a movie adaptation that is very faithful to the source material and will give us the fully-fledged Spider-Man character we’ve always wanted to see on film.

Whatever the second installment in this refreshed Spidey franchise holds in store for us, one thing is certain: we could not have asked for a more appropriately named director.

Please let me know what you think in the comments.
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LEEE777 - 3/30/2013, 3:21 AM
At least the got the SPIDEY Costume near right this time!

Hope it does well, but it'll be no SPIDER-MAN 2... Oh yeah it will be but you know what I mean : D
LEEE777 - 3/30/2013, 3:24 AM
P.S. If Gwen's not killed by Green Goblin and instead someone else though and CARNAGE turns up before even VENOM (VENOM solo R movie please still) I'm off this new (cough) reboot franchise for good.

Alphadog - 3/30/2013, 4:01 AM
I think the potential of this movie is in the fact that it has so many villains. Spider-man comics are better when he is losing and now that he is graduating he has so many problems on his personal life.
Odin - 3/30/2013, 5:48 AM
I didn't care for TASM but I have hops for the sequel.
anthonyEstark - 3/30/2013, 6:22 AM
Did you make the comparison of the suits? Cause I like it.
Lindsey35 - 3/30/2013, 6:54 AM
Awesome article. You brought up a lot of good facts about both TASM and its upcoming sequel. Really great article.

I think any movie has potential to being really great. But with Spidey the case, this could very well be the best Spider-Man movie to date. TASM is my personal favorite CBM ever, but there was a few things that did get on my nerves (mainly Peter lying so much)but I think TASM2 is going to top everything. I hope so anyway (so all these haters can eat their words).

I believe it will go over-the-top (in an awesome way) with amazing (pun intended) special effects and just blow everyone's mind. Everybody thinks Electro is a lame villain, but I'm sure Webb's got something up his sleeve to make him interesting, and I think this movie is, literally, going to be explosive.
Lindsey35 - 3/30/2013, 6:55 AM
The only thing that may get on my nerves is if MJ disappears half-way through the movie like Dr, Ratha (however you spell it!) did.
Lindsey35 - 3/30/2013, 7:01 AM
And I am SO EXCITED to see how Webb will take his turn with Harry.

And just think...

Harry + Peter = childhood friends.


Richard and Marry working for Osborn while Peter and Harry build friendship = ?


That totally takes this up a notch!
Lindsey35 - 3/30/2013, 7:46 AM
LEVITKUZ I think Paul Giamatti and that other actress will be playing J.J and Betty Brant= small parts.

Also, Woodley only filmed a few weeks. I think this won't be as cluttered as everyone thinks it's gonna be. I also don't think Harry will play a very big part either (while daddy is *cough* 'sick' and pulling strings behind the curtain) but will have some hints for a bigger role in part 3...

Just my two cents.
Lindsey35 - 3/30/2013, 8:01 AM

Where/When has it been confirmed? I thought the Rhino stuff was only a rumor? And Felicity Jones was born for the Betty Brant role, IMHO.
marvel72 - 3/30/2013, 8:19 AM
it has the potential to be the best spidey film but its gonna take a lot to be better than the classic spider-man 2.
OrgasmicPotatoe - 3/30/2013, 8:24 AM
Claims that the movie is overcrowded are ridiculous, to me. It's not as if each of these characters were going to be too big anyway. Large roles will undoubtedly go to Peter, Gwen, Electro, Harry and maybe Aunt May and Osborn. Everyone else is going to be secondary.

This movie definitely have the potential to be excellent.
Lindsey35 - 3/30/2013, 8:28 AM
Lindsey35 - 3/30/2013, 8:29 AM
and so what? What if the Rhino is just an opening fight sequence? Or just a short scene altogether? WE DON'T KNOW.
EdgyOutsider - 3/30/2013, 8:44 AM
The best thing they have done is change Electro's character. Now, he's interesting. My problems with this movie is I want to like it but its a character overload, Rhino is a villain and if the spoilers from the other day is true, it's just going to be a Dark Knight knock off.
TheSuperguy - 3/30/2013, 10:03 AM
The more I think about it, the more I think...yeah, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 could be THE definitive Spider-Man movie.
Tainted87 - 3/30/2013, 10:08 AM
Hey man, give yourself a thumbnail so more people will read this editorial.

I'm not a TASM fan AT ALL, but this was a great read, and it's obvious you put some work into it. Good job SpiderFrank!

Now, onto the subject matter...
I say this all the time, and whenever I see this anywhere, I just can't help but unload on it.
Apart from the pretty novel casting choice however, this info got people concerned that the second film could end up suffering from villain overload just as Spider-Man 3 did.

There is no such thing. Villains are people who do bad things to people for [ultimately] selfish reasons. This time, I won't point towards Batman Begins, because that example seems isolated, as if no one else has been able to duplicate that measure of success (when you know otherwise, but still). Nope, this time I'm going to point towards an epic that has been around for more than a hundred years and has influenced a great deal of modern fiction. Incidentally, no one thought to include it among CBMs, even though it actually did have a comic book (just not a series).

Les Misérables (1862 published, 1897-2012 film)

I can't really summarize the story - it's too long, and there are too many characters to decide who is really important, and who isn't worth mentioning. But essentially, just about everyone has a moment of nastiness to SOMEONE - there really is no clear and defined right or wrong.

Jean Valjean goes to prison for 19 years because he stole a loaf of bread to save his sister's family. In prison, he serves hard labor, fights with other prisoners, and tries unsuccessfully to escape (hence, 19 instead of 5). Upon his release, he is classified a "dangerous man", and no one will take him in or give him work... except a kindly bishop. What does Jean Valjean do to said bishop? He makes off with his silver that night.

Jean Valjean is the "hero" of the story.

There's Fantine, who has a child out of wedlock being raised by a con-artist couple called the Thenardiers. She is fired from her job at a factory (owned by Jean Valjean, who has taken a new identity), and thrown out onto the street because the foreman found this disagreeable. Thinking her daughter ill through letters of correspondence from the Thenardiers, Fantine is desperate to send them money, and gradually sells everything she has to offer - from her hair, to her teeth, to her body. Fantine gets tuberculosis, and while defending herself on the street, she is arrested by Inspector Javert.

Javert himself has BALLS. His mother was a prostitute, his father was a thief. He was born inside a prison and had a childhood of poverty. He grew OUT of what would have been a life of crime by turning to the authorities, devoting his life to upholding the law instead. He oversaw some of Jean Valjean's labor, and by some unhappy coincidence, was transferred to the town that Valjean had become the mayor of. Javert witnesses a great feat of strength when Valjean saves the life of one of his workers, and suspects the mayor of being the con who broke his parole, although he doesn't outright accuse him.

The two butt heads when Fantine is arrested, as Jean Valjean feels responsible for her fate, and Javert has a particular disdain for prostitutes. Fantine is sent to a hospital rather than a prison. As a dramatic turn of events, news from Paris comes in that "Jean Valjean" has been arrested. Javert is distraught and embarrassed by this, thinking that not only has he been wrong, but he has slandered a public official. His sense of duty demands that he be punished for "disgrace". The real Jean Valjean however, dismisses this, and goes so far as to call Javert an honorable man.

Yet Jean Valjean cannot live with himself if he is to let an innocent man go to jail for the rest of his life in his place. But Fantine's daughter would be left behind, as well as the fate of hundreds of workers. If he speaks, they are condemned. If he stays silent, he is damned.

Jean Valjean presents himself before the court at the innocent man's trial, before quickly returning to the ailing Fantine. Javert is understandably super pissed off at this point, what a fool he's been made out to be, and how delighted Valjean must be that he got the better of him. Valjean promises Fantine that he'll look after her daughter, Cosette, just before she dies. The chase begins.

And that is but half the story.

The point of this overly long drivel is that a story is not defined by how many bad guys there are. Spider-man 3 suffered because Sandman was a flat character who no one cared about, and Venom was underdeveloped for the sake of fully exploring the MJ/Peter/Harry ordeal. You could have more than the Sinister Six and a movie would still be alright, so long as the important characters make the audience react in some way to them. Whether it's loving them or hating them, laughing at them, or sympathizing with them, these characters must provoke some reaction.
soda9 - 3/30/2013, 1:15 PM
Great read, man! So excited for the sequel and to see Dane's Harry! Really hope they go into depth with him a little in this film and then a lot in ASM 3.
Jollem - 3/30/2013, 4:30 PM
nice article, Mr. Frank
DrDoom - 3/31/2013, 3:37 PM
You put a lot of work into this, which I commend.

But this movie CAN'T be the definitive Spider-Man film. With Webb directing and Garfield back, it CAN'T.
Danielm2048 - 4/1/2013, 2:41 AM
Good article,loved the first one.
I hope the second will be good and i think it will.
theowl - 4/1/2013, 3:14 AM
LEEE777 yes, please! not another spider-man 2... LEVITIKUZ and I still think J.K simmons will play jamson. i think it'l be a surprice
theowl - 4/1/2013, 3:16 AM
@DrDoom dude... just dont
DrDoom - 4/1/2013, 10:20 AM
Don't tell me what to do.

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