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Amazing Spider-Man 2: Not So Amazing

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I went into the second installment of the too soon reboot, with moderate expectations. Spider-man is my favorite hero, has always been, likely will always be. Even if there are moments when I wonder why I’m consuming the media, a horrific musical comes to mind.  ASM2 was long, convoluted and didn’t use its excess time to actually deal with things; instead, it just sort of flung more villains and name dropping at us.  I’ve seen all the stories running around for a Sinister Six  set of movies and other things in the Spider-man universe, and, if that’s the case, I may have to bow out of the big screen Spider-man universe.

I know the point of movies is to make money, usually by being entertaining/engaging and getting butts into seats. This is the first movie I have seen in a long time where the entire point seems to be, “look at this person/thing/name we threw at you (give us your money), you must come see the next dozen or so movies so it all makes sense (give us all your money). Oh and here’s a fight sequence also, five more plots dangling for sequels (give us your money).” I’m really intrigued at seeing Week Two numbers for this movie.

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As per usual from this point on here be spoilers.

The movie wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t particularly good.  We start at Peter and Gwen’s high school graduation and Peter (of course) being late stopping some major crime.  We get an idea of how Spider-man works, we meet Jamie Foxx’s Max Dillion who, alternatively to his comic book origins, seems to be much smarter than originally designed. Why does this matter? Because at no point after becoming Electro does he remember he has a functioning brain. We’re supposed to buy his obsession-turned-hatred means he wants to destroy the city. Why? Why not just destroy Spider-man with the city as collateral damage? You want everyone to experience a “world without Spider-man?” Then get rid of Spider-man. Though, I will admit to having a happy moment watching Times Square being destroyed. I guess I really do hate wading through that place.

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I wish Electro’s social awkwardness, and the fact that he honestly was willing to give up, weren’t throw away segments. He actually agrees to go off with Spider-man until a happy sniper takes a shot, despite the fact that dozens of officers shooting at him had no effect. But 1 +1 = F in this movie quite often, so…whatever. Also, no one wonders what happens to him once he is taken away? Or was he legally sent to Ravencroft? Hail Hydra?

Speaking of things that don’t add up. Harry Osborn. Harry, Harry, Harry.  What in the ever-loving hell is your plotline? Seriously?  What? You are 18/19 in the course of this movie. Your dying father was in his 50’s? Please explain to me how this terrible familial genetic condition is already taking over your body? Especially as we see past footage of your father lacking any visible symptoms/gross green rashes on his neck. Please. Also, based on some vague notes about spider venom, you decide Spider-man is your cure. Okay… And when you find this leftover venom, you don’t think twice about shooting yourself up? I know you’re not a genius Harry but, maybe see what it does to a blood sample first? You really don’t think your dad may have checked out the venom angle? SINCE THEY WERE HIS SPIDERS?  But no, we are over two hours into this movie, we need another villain and we need it fast.

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Also Peter and Harry’s friendship storyline is just strange. Did he know his parents were dead when they met? I got the feeling he learned that in Amazing Spider-man and just thought he was abandoned. While still not a great thing to do to a kid, it kinda pops a hole into the whole, you help me though the death of my parents thing.  But again, we need to introduce another villain, we have franchise work to shoe horn in.

Gwen, Gwen, I’ve been worried about you since I saw the outfit in a trailer. From the conversation outside the Dim Sum place we get that there has been yo-yoing breaking up and getting back together from Peter. Interesting, or not really, as Gwen’s exact argument is usually what I think of the we can’t be together to protect you angle, with an added dash of I made a promise to a dead man.  Maybe there needs to be a superhero advice column, to explain why that plan never works.

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The last 20 or so minutes of this movie. Rhino? Rhino?! Really? Well I suppose you can’t end in a cemetery and a monologue. We did that already.  So we get one of the only coherent bits of the passing of time in the entire movie. I have one question for everyone on time passing. DOES PETER GO TO COLLEGE? I have no idea. Do You? And we get it for Rhino? Seriously?

Things that no one talks about despite the fact that this movie is hours long?

–          Is Aunt May in the know? Seriously? Peter hides his costume by putting it in his closet in the open. Her advice is surprisingly spot on if she’s talking to Spider-man and a bit weird if she’s talking to her normal nephew Peter. Especially that scene about secret keeping.

–          How exactly does Harry have his super evil resources if he was framed at Oscorp before going venom mad? Also, magically vanishing disease?

–          How much should I be reading into your name Felicia?

–          The reaction to Gwen using office search for Max Dillion: Overreaction much? You know what would have been simple? ‘This employee has been terminated.’ Quietly interrogate Gwen later.

–          Does Peter go to college? Does he do anything but stalk Gwen and swing around? I suppose this segment is during summer vacation but I have no clue.

–          Alistair Smythe? Really Now…

Spider-man, you’re becoming the Transformers of superhero movies. No matter how awesome your swinging around looks, I need more than ooo shiny and comic book references. Adding more villains does not a plot make (see Spider-man 3). I’m off to read the first 100 or so issues of Ultimate Spider-man. Why? They are on my bookshelf, and they were what brought me back to comics. And I need the reminder that reboots can be fantastic.

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