What Was Wrong With 'THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN' & What I Want From The Sequel. (SPOILERS)
Hey guys, Hotshot101 here. So the newest Spidey flick that will be released in 2014 'Amazing Spider-man 2' has some buzz going for it nowadays. Especially since the leaked comic-con trailer found it's way online a while ago. It's predecessor 'The Amazing Spider-man' has recieved a mixed response on this site with some loving it while others hated it. So I decided to look back on the 2012 reboot that started this franchise and write down what I thought that movie got terribly wrong and what the sequel should aim to do. Remember, these are my own thoughts and are in no way meant to offend anybody else's opinion. This article is full of SPOILERS for anyone who hasn't seen the movie.
These are my thoughts on where I feel the Spidey reboot messed up and what should be done with the up coming sequel.
What went wrong with 'The Amazing Spider-man'?
1. Believability of Peter Parker:
Peter Parker's most famous characteristic has always been that he wasn't like any other superhero from his time. Why? He wasn't some muscular super powered news reporter, god, billionaire or alien. Nope, he was just an ordinary kid. A nobody__no, LESS than a nobody. This genius high school loser was always pushed around, ignored by girls and didn't have 2 friends to put together to make a third. That's pretty much why back in his début in Amazing Fantasy#15, readers sympathised and related with him more than almost any other comic book character. Then after being bitten by a radio active Spider, he gained amazing superhuman abilities but his attitude was almost the same, he was still a nerdy kid inside. The original film trilogy directed by Sam Raimi did a great job of bringing this Peter Parker to the big screen in a way that was accurate to the source material while still being believable enough for the audience. This was mostly thanks to the shy, nerdy and awkward Tobey Maguire who perfectly embodied the nerdy teenager Peter Parker.
Looks just like the original Steve Ditko variation.
Now, getting to the point, one of the major flaws I found in Amazing Spider-man was that Peter Parker(Andrew Garfield) did not embody or resemble the teenager who everyone loved in Amazing Fantasy#15 or for the modern readers, Ultimate Spider-man#1. The reason for that isn't really Andrew's acting, but more of a question:WHY was he an outcast? This Peter Parker was meant to be a more modern nerd, but I really doubt that making him attractive, highly athletic, rebellious, intelligent, well-dressed and nice to everyone helped show his is nerdy side. There was no aspect of him that was even remotely nerdy and any 'awkwardness' he had, worked to his advantage. I did not believe for one second that this was Peter Parker.
The only reason this guy was beat up or unpopular was because the plot demanded it. It was just like they was trying to force it on us, "LOOK! HE'S SOOOO SUPER-RELATABLE!LOOK AT HIM!" This is Peter Parker for the TWEEN generation.
2.Peter's character development:
Every Spider-man story everywhere has started with this. Peter is this lonely guy who's bitter at the world for mistreating him. When he gets his amazing Spider abilities, he uses it to his own advantage in the start like any normal teenager would. So what's so interesting about this story? Well it's what happens next. Peter decides to let a thief escape right in front of him when he could've easily subdued him. "It's not my problem." This thief eventually shoots down Ben Parker. Peter's only father figure and one of the only people he cared about. After realising what he's done. Peter feels nothing but shame and regret, but then he has an epiphany.
Say it with me now kids, WITH GREAT POWER, COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY. THIS is the basis of every Spider man story ever told. This is the moment where Peter goes from Spider-'boy' to Spider-'man'. Peter stops thinking about only his own benefit which he always did before this moment, and he starts using his powers responsibly to help his fellow man. He becomes, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN!
I feel that last year's Spidey flick missed out on this vital part of Peter's character development. This Peter Parker already had a habit of helping those in need as shown by his standing up to Flash...TWICE. So what changed in him? What did he learn? To put aside personal gain to act responsibly? Not that they showed this. He went on a manhunt, decided to drop it and help people again. The end. I never felt that Uncle Ben's death was a major game changer for Peter's personality here.Peter didn't go on any mission to repay a debt to his uncle which has always been the basis of his existence in pretty much every incarnation. Especially with that final line. They did a good job of showing Peter's motivations and thoughts but in the end, anything he may have learned was forgotten and he was back to square one. Thus, they messed up here, BIG TIME. Now don't give me that whole "He'll learn in the sequel" speech. That won't improve this since they should at least start with him moving forward from square one.(SPOILER) Am I supposed to cheer at the fact that he just spit on dead man's grave for his hormones? (SPOILER)
3.Tone/Theme of the movie:
The movie ignored the whole 'Friendly neighbourhood" thing and went too dark for a Spidey flick. The whole 'only comes out at night' made it feel too much like Daredevil or Batman. Spidey is supposed to be this colour figure of hope, not a dark avenger of the night. Plus the his humor didn't really brighten up the movie it was supposed to, especially with the car jacker scene. I know Spidey quips a lot, especially when fighting enemies, but unlike Deadpool, he does it at the right time and right place:
He quips just to annoy or even further tick off his enemies while in combat.That car jacker scene didn't work because:
a)Uncle Ben just died and he was on a angry manhunt. That car thief he apprehended was a possible suspect, he's the last person would joke around with. Peter wouldn't quip in that situation, he'd be pissed.
b)The scene was poorly placed. So Uncle Ben just died, the tone is dark as hell as it should be at that particular time, and Peter suddenly develops a sense of humor for the first time right there and then? It felt out of place in the movie, removed me from the story and it was pretty forced.
c)Spidey's sense of humor was too Deadpoolish. Even Spidey knows not to take a joke too far. It was like they just wanted it out of the way:"HEY LOOK! THIS SPIDEY JOKES! HE'S SUPER COMEDIC! DOESN'T MATTER HOW DOUCHEY HE APPEARS RATHER THAN CHARMING! IT'S THE FACT THAT HE JOKES THAT MAKES HIM THE PERFECT SPIDEY!" The audience was not allowed to generally grasp Spidey's attitude, instead it was all thrown at their faces in one scene. The guy had surrendered, was begging for mercy, he was zero threat. I was okay with him joking around UNTIL he kept torturing after he was webbed up. I get that you want to make Spidey joke, so throw some mild quippage in some scenes that weren't supposed to be too serious.
Come one guys, was I supposed to cheer that Spidey was torturing that guy? Or that he was dissing the police? They got the humor right in the other scenes, but this one was WAYY too much. Even though the Sam Raimi trilogy had less quipage, when it was there, it worked.
4.Peter didn't suffer:
I'll keep this one short. Peter's uncle died, he's moody for 2 minutes, gets over it and fights crime. His relationship with his girlfriend stays strong throughout, despite his promise to the captain and the only problem he has with Aunt May is that he thinks she nags too much. Peter gets off too easy with everything he does in this film without learning something from it. That is the exact opposite of Spider-man's message in general.
I think that the onscreen and off screen chemistry between the two leads:Peter and Gwen(Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone) is great. They make a great couple and my only complaint with the romance is that it's....boring. Spidey struggling with his love life and superhero responsibilities has always made for a good read over the years. These two did NOT give me a reason to root for their relationship. The hottest girl in school falls for the creepy stalker. Then after a total of 2 and a half minutes of screen time together, they're madly in love. He asks her out in one scene, next time we see them togther, they're madly in love. Any threat to their relationship is wiped away easily. Dual identity is a threat to their relationship? Peter tells her the truth in a scene that is also very out of character. (SPOILER)Her dad gave his life to save him and just asked that he stay away from her so that she'd be safe? "Screw that, HORMONES!" *movie ends with them expecting you to cheer.*(END OF SPOILER) Why should I care about these two being together? They spend the entire movie in love and constantly making out with zero threat. At least in the old movies, Peter and MJ knew each other from childhood and they struggled before getting together. That made their relationship worth something.
The whole struggleless romance with two perfectly beautiful leads felt like Twilight.
I guess this movie felt too much like it was made for Tweens on TUMBLR than for long-time Spidey fans. That's just my opinion though. That's the end of my rant.
Now onto the upcoming sequel. Judging by the trailer, it looks like they learned a lot from their mistakes and are doing somethings better like the more friendly neighbourhood tone and new suit:
This movie looks much better than the first so far so I'll get to what I expect:
1.Originality: One problem with the reboot last year was that it was too familiar. Too much of the story was familiar. I hope that now the origin story is done, the familiarity with old movies won't be too much. That whole 'Laundry' sheriff scene could not be a more obvious reference to Spider-man 2 and was pretty cheesy and unfunny. It should be removed. So far the story has been explained as :"He can't be Spider man anymore", just like Spider-man 2. It's too early for me to judge it but I hope they don't rip off Spider man 2. "Stops bus with his bare hands."
2.Balance the sub-plots: We've heard news of multiple villains like Electro, Rhino, Green Goblin and maybe some mention of the sinister six. The problem with Spider-man 3 was that there was too much thrown in there. Too many villains and sub-plots and not enough focus was given to any of them. I hope this movie doesn't fall prey to the same problmem.
3.Balance the tone: The movie's tone looks much better but it shouldn't be like Ironman 2 which wasn't serious enough. I hope the movie takes itself seriously enough so that the story can flow with Peter actually learning something but not be too gritty like the first one.
4.Spidey's quippage timing: So far in the trailer, we've seen Spidey's humor done right. He was cocky at the right time and actually helped Max up the way Spidey would."Lick that. You're not a Nobody. YOU ARE SOMEBODY. You're my eyes and ears out here Max!" Basically, keep him cocky but make sure he takes the situation seriously when he needs to. NO carjacker scene reminder.
Well these are my thoughts on the old film and upcoming sequel.It's simply my own opinion and I'll say it again, not meant to offend anybody else's opinion of the movie. I think Amazing Spider-man is still a pretty solid movie. If done right, "Amazing Spider-man 2" Still has the potential to be the greatest Spidey flick yet(Especially if Jim Carrey is really in it.) As usual, sound off your thoughts in the comments section.
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