I torrented The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and watched it. I have thoughts about it. They are below this picture of Lil Bub.
Questions, not rhetorical
What is Spider-Man?
My answer is that Spider-Man is an identity used by Peter Parker, among other people, to be a superhero, after these individuals have been given superpowers.
Who is Peter Parker?
My answer, once again, is that Peter Parker is a smart kid (but not the smartest kid) at his science magnet high school in New York City. His parents died when he was young, he was raised by his uncle and aunt, and one day when doing something extracurricular because he's a smart kid at a smart high school, he gets bit by a spider. The spider venom gives him powers, his uncle dies because he doesn't use his powers responsibly, he learns, through loss, that he has to be responsible with his powers to protect the people he cares about.
Does this movie like either of those two answers?
Nope. In this film series, apparently, Spider-Man is only Peter Parker, and Peter Parker is the only person who could become Spider-Man because of a reason given in this film that is … nonsense? Let's say nonsense and move on.
Likewise, at the beginning of the film, Peter graduates from high school. And that's not unlike Peter, Peter has to eventually graduate from high school. But there is no indication, whatsoever, that he does the science anymore. He is, I guess, going to go to college? But then five months happen in the movie's timeline and there's no sense that he does. Also he can't figure out how to be responsible with his powers, because the plot demands that he be all over the place.
Emma Stone continues to do great work as Gwen Stacy, a woman who is for unknown purposes still hanging out with Peter Parker. In a film of more than two hours, she makes the movie pass the Bechdel test by talking (for a few seconds on-screen, and then more off-screen) to a fellow woman about a topic that is not a guy. Good work movie!
The call out to Amazing Spider-Man #121 was well-received by Darklighter, and I really wish I could also "like" this scene in some manner. But the film doesn't know how to handle the Peter-Gwen relationship, primarily because the film doesn't know how to handle Peter, and never bothers to make Gwen much of an independent agent (which is actually amusing because she states in the film, upon making an unwise choice, "This is my choice!" but the audience only knows that because... she says so.)
In this film, Peter is ridiculously, annoyingly spontaneous on multiple occasions. To cover one of these plots, I'll discuss Peter and Gwen's relationship. In his first scene of interacting with her, he is kissing her, on stage, in public, at their graduation. Then later that day he suddenly remembers that he promised her dad that he should stay away from her, and prompts her to break up with him. Since she has a life, she is on the (ridiculously) fast-track to Oxford, while he is living in NYC working part-time to barely help his aunt afford living. When he finds out that she is literally flying to England literally the same day she interviewed for attending there as an undergraduate student (Oxford is too good of a school to let students take a few days to pack or anything before leaving for summer internships), he suddenly tells her that he will go with her to England. WHAAAAAAAAAAAA?
Who is this spontaneous Peter Parker? This is not gifted science student Peter, this is not dedicated "son" Peter, this is not nerdy over-thinking Peter, this is … some new guy, who doesn't really seem to be Peter Parker, because the writers of the film, as pointed out very elegantly, don't get who Peter Parker is.
I could go on here about bad things in this movie for a while. Like, many more hundreds of words. I'll pick an example: when NYC loses power, two passenger airlines almost crash into each other because air traffic control doesn't work anymore, and it's cloudy so they don't see one another until they almost collide. This plot element has nothing to do with Spider-Man. At all. But it's in there to eat up time in a film that has terrible pacing.
But I don't want to talk about where this goes wrong. I want to talk about where to go from here.
The Orci and Kurtzman
Roberto Orci is one of the writers on this film. So is Alex Kurtzman. You know their names because you have seen at least one of the following movies which they co-wrote: The Island, The Legend of Zorro, Mission: Impossible III, Transformers, Watchmen (they're claimed to be uncredited script 'polishers' for this film), Star Trek, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Cowboys & Aliens, People Like Us, Star Trek Into Darkness, Edge of Tomorrow. All of those films are at least partially their creation, and some of those films are among the most high-profile genre films of the past decade. …some of those films are also among the worst genre films of the past decade, which is worrisome because they are the creative force behind the Spider-Man franchise.
There is a planned The Amazing Spider-Man 3, set for 2016. There is a planned Venom, set maybe for 2017. Mr. Orci and Mr. Kurtzman are on both of those films as co-writers, which might mean that the Spider-Man franchise continues to make movies that don't get who Peter Parker is, nor how to make movies about him that aren't over-burdened with completely unnecessary plot elements.
I'm not suggesting boycotts of these movies. I do highly suggest that if the fandom wants good Spider-Man films that they keep waiting for them to show up.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a film that was written by one person and then that script got re-written by two guys who don't get who Peter Parker is, and then the director took that script and made it into a 130 minute long movie about lots of random stuff.
But at least Mr. Fiers is in it!!!
One thing I forgot to mention is that whoever is in charge of making trailers for these Spider-Man franchise movies needs to get fired, canned, and then sacked. That image of Mr. Fiers with Doc Ock armor and Vulture wings? That is a thing to keep under wraps, that is not a thing to put into trailers.
Iron Man succeeded at starting to build a franchise because the Nick Fury end scene was OUT OF NOWHERE. I'm gonna put that here because it's 6 years later (...as of yesterday, actually) and it still kicks ass.
That wasn't in the trailers. That's a scene Marvel kept hidden so that when fans watched the movie opening weekend, they told their friends to see the film with a gleeful smile on their faces.
The only people leaving The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with a gleeful smile are people happy to get the heck out of the movie.