Spider-Mangled

A big film trailer popped up online today. As if it hadn’t been teased and built-up enough. Please stop advertising your advertisements, film studios, it smacks of desperation.

I’ll freely admit that I liked THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN when I first saw it. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone had great chemistry, the film world felt different enough to Sam Raimi’s vision that preceded it, and the whole thing was pretty fun.

Sadly, every time I’ve re-watched it, I’ve picked it apart more, and have noticed some really big problems. The Lizard was a massive let-down as a villain, looking visually unfinished and with clumsily developed motivations. What was he trying to do and why did he veer so erratically from resentful genius to reptile Hitler? The biggest problem I had, though, was all the dangling plot threads. I get that director Mark Webb, the writers and especially the Studio want to build to something big, and they want enough intrigue to tempt audiences back to watch sequel after sequel. But by laying so much groundwork for a new franchise, they nearly killed its first instalment. It didn’t make me want to come back for more, it irritated me that the story was unfinished!

Anyway, on to THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2. The first proper trailer has lots of action, and gives us a general flavour of what is to come. Terrifyingly, the first thing that springs to mind watching the trailer is SPIDER-MAN 3. Basically, there’s too many villains, way too much going on, and perhaps too much caving in to studio wants. If you had Electro (Jamie Foxx) on his own, then fine. If you had Electro and started to hint at Harry Osbourne’s (Dane DeHaan) darker side, then fine. But Electro, Harry Osbourne on a glider (presumably acting as an extension of his father) and The Rhino? It’s too much. You won’t be able to do any character justice without making the film 3 hours long, and if you do that it’ll be longer and more muddled than the first one. Why does the new Green Goblin look exactly the same as James Franco’s in Spidey 3? Why hire Paul Giamatti to play a villain if you’re just going to shove him in a tin can? Why does Electro look like a man-shaped jellyfish in a wetsuit? Why are you dragging out this really dull story about what Peter’s dad was up to so much. Just…why?

I sure hope those special effects aren’t finished, either, because at the moment it looks worse than SPIDER-MAN 2. If Team Spidey really are building towards The Sinister Six, they’re going to have to develop an aesthetic style, and fast. Maybe they’ll have to hire a director who doesn’t blend into the background as much as Webb?

I’m not looking forward to this one. It’s going to be visually and narratively overblown, that’s a certainty. Let’s hope it’s coherent, at the very least. And if we could have some answers this time as well, that would be nice. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

I'm not paid to write about film - I do it because I love it. Favourites include Sam Mendes, Guillermo del Toro, Bong Joon-ho, Steven Spielberg, Danny Boyle, Spike Jonze, Rian Johnson and the Coen Brothers. All reviews and articles are original works owned by me. They represent one man's opinion, and I'm more than happy to engage in civilised debate if you disagree.
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