It is absolutely no secret at all that I wasn't a fan of the first Spiderman reboot movie. I think that the very fact that it was made out of a necessity for Sony to keep the Spiderman rights returning back to marvel, says straight away the film is going to be half assed, and guess what? It was. That is not to say that I had negative preconceptions about this sequel, after all, now that Sony have safely kept marvel getting their, supremely creative, hands on this property we can hope for a much better film that is created for the love of the characters and the story rather than exclusively for business interests. Well maybe amazing Spiderman 2 was made more for entertainment and less to keep marvel away from a top tier character, but that doesn't mean that this is a good film in any sense of the word.
My main problem with this rebooted franchise is that, apart from using the names of characters and loosely creating a universe based on some sort of approximation of what it is in the comics, these films are just not true to the source material. I get that I must allow for artistic license and that the film makers like to reinterpret stuff in their own vision, I really do get that. But I feel that if the same approach was taken with, for example, the Harry Potter films, Harry would be a blond haired kid from Chicago with a bad attitude and a crescent moon scar on his elbow, that went to Pigboils college of paganism and magic, in space. Maybe that example is slightly exaggerated, but my point still stands. As a comic book fan I want to see the characters that I have read about for many years come to life on screen just like any Harry Potter, hunger games, Twilight or middle earth fan likes to see. This is something that the original trilogy was able to achieve, doing fan service while still reinterpreting the material. Exploring relationships between Peter Parker and anchor characters like J.Jonah Jameson and Norman Osborne, is almost like the bread and butter of the Spiderman story, but these are the Characters that are sadly missing from this franchise, and, if you will allow me to use the Harry Potter metaphor again, to demonstrate how important these characters are to the myphos of Spiderman, it would be like the Harry Potter movies missing Snape, a secondary character, yes, but so, so vital to the story.
Fan boy whining aside, AS2 had many other issues, one of the most prominent is the painfully long 142-minute runtime that is saturated with a pointless on again, off again romantic subplot between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy. I know that Spiderman can do angst with the best of them but this whole subplot could have easily fit into a 90-minute film with some serious and much needed trimming down. The run time ultimately leads to some pacing issues, I felt myself falling asleep several times when I watched this, and that had never ever happened to me before when watching a new marvel movie for the first time, I love marvel! I should not be falling asleep! That is not a good sign!
Now onto the character motivations, I found myself constantly asking myself during this film "why?" I could not fathom, for the most part, the reasons or motivations of anybody doing anything, especially the villains, there are better motivations for characters in Spider-Man 3 and that is saying something!
The sound and music of the film is something else that I took issue with, I don't usually comment on the sound of a film, even if it is really good, because I believe it is at its best when it is unnoticeable. Sound and music should covertly enhance the film, not intrude and interrupt as it does in AS2, the music doesn't work at all, maybe that is just a personal preference, but I don't think AS2 will be winning any awards for sound in the near future.
And now we come to one of my biggest pet peeves, inconsistent physics! How can webbing be strong as steel in one instance but be cut with a knife in another? How can a superhero be able to catch a police car but not be able to punch through a windscreen? Lazy writing that's how.
This isn't the worst film in the world, unfortunately, I have seen worse, but what it is, is a lazily put together story with an a-list superhero. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are great and have brilliant chemistry, the visual effects are great and I don't think that I have ever seen Spidey look so good web slinging. Unfortunately, all of these redeeming features do not lift this film anywhere near the greatness of anything produced in house by marvel studios and that makes me really sad because Spidey is my favourite character to read, as I'm sure, he is for many people but he has quickly turned into my least favourite character to watch and somehow Sony have managed to make this sequel just that little bit worse than the previous film.
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