Dear Amazing Spider-Man 2,
Please know that when I say this, it comes from a place of love. Know that I’m saying this as someone who only wants the very best for you. And please know that I’m not angry. Really, I’m not.
And despite what others may say, I don’t hate you. No, I don’t.
It’s just that…well…
…I’m disappointed in you.
I mean, I had such high hopes for you! I really thought that you’d be so much better than your predecessor. And I even liked the first ASM!
When others were questioning why they were rebooting the franchise, after Sam Raimi had already done a capable job of bringing our friendly neighborhood you-know-what to the screen, I didn’t complain.
When others were saying that the first ASM was a pointless repetition, I defended it. I said that it showed the potential for a new take on the character, one that was closer to the comics, deeper and more nuanced.
And that’s where you hurt me the most.
I mean, it wasn’t that you took every cliché in storytelling and used it in the script. It wasn’t that you piled coincidence on top of coincidence just for the sake of the plot. Or that you telegraphed every twist and revelation from a mile away.
It wasn’t that the villains had some of the flimsiest rationales for being “evil” and hating Spider-Man.
It wasn’t even that you made New Yorkers look like the dumbest people on the planet! Seriously, since when do people stand around and watch two super powered beings fight and blow stuff up around them without running for cover? Isn’t it human nature to run for shelter during a tornado or hurricane? Why wouldn’t the people in Times Square run indoors when they saw a super-villain unleashing energy blasts all around them? Would they stand out in the middle of a lightning storm too?
Oh, and how is it that when bullets start to fly, New Yorkers act like a fight broke out in the school yard and just stand back and watch? Wouldn’t it stand to reason that they’d fear getting shot and get as far away as they could?
Anyway, that’s not how you let me down the most. My greatest disappointment came when you made Peter Parker even more emo than in the first film! And you even take him into “Anakin Skywalker obsessed with Padme in a creepy way” territory with Gwen Stacy. Oh, and I’m pretty sure that following someone around the city all day qualifies as stalking.
Spider-Man is supposed to be a wise-cracking, life-loving hero! But in this movie he has more mood swings than my grandma off her anti-depressants! Not too mention being constantly haunted by the image of a character that died in the last film. Foreshadowing much?
Okay, I know that your director Mark Webb is a nice young man and has made some decent films in the past. So maybe I shouldn’t put it all on him. I’m more inclined to blame those two hooligans Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman. It’s not enough that they ruined Star Trek, but now they get their grubby, Cheeto-dust coated fingers on my favorite superhero? I guess I should be grateful that they didn’t have Gwen Stacy just show up in her underwear for no apparent reason.
Oh, I should be glad Damon Lindelof wasn’t in the writer’s room you say? Okay.
Still, even without the guy who ruined both LOST and "Prometheus" on board, you could have given me more than an overbearing, overlong movie with absolutely no surprises; with scenes that made you laugh when they really weren’t supposed to; and symbolism that was as subtle as a drunk douchebag trying to pick up a girl at John Barleycorn.
Come on, when you think about it, the one “surprise” of the film was foreshadowed in the first ten minutes. Anyone with half a brain saw it coming.
I guess in the end, it was all about the hero.
Not the villains, who were played by very talented actors that were underused and gave wasted performances.
(My heart really, really hurts for Paul Giamatti. Really.)
Or the girlfriend who was just another plot device to give Spider-Man something to anguish over.
Speaking of Gwen Stacy, are you telling me that she’s the only person in all of New York City that could recognize a switch that says “ON/OFF”? And since when does a high school graduate who is studying biochemistry know all there is to know about power grids? Anyway, I digress.
In the end it was all about the hero, and how he ended up getting a film that really didn't do him justice. I mean, come on, even Captain America got a better movie!
I’m sorry, I know how you hate it when I bring up your successful cousin.
Please just do better next time. I know you can.
Hey, maybe you can call that Joss Whedon fellow to help you out? I hear he really knows how to make a superhero movie.
Elliott Serrano, #1 Spider-Man Fan
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 gets a GEEK FACTOR RATING of 1 WEB SHOOTER CARTRIDGE (out of 4)
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2
Directed by: Marc Webb
Screen Story and Screenplay by: Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Jeff Pinkner
Based on the Marvel Comic Book by: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
Starring: Andrew Garfield
with Paul Giamatti
and Sally Field