One of the best things to happen to fans of genre films, comics and novels in recent years has been the steady dissipation of the idea that cartoons and live-action adaptations of them are necessarily un-grave. But that does not mean that all the stories of science fiction, fantasy and superheroes are necessarily literature. "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," which hits theaters today, is the perfect example of a film that slides into the promise of a big payday.
What makes it worse is that the film is the second in the franchise to miss a good opportunity to tell a story not only of the most striking villains of NYC, but its deeper injustices. Superhero movies do not always have to be about important issues, but rather almost stop trying if the people involved with the credit they want by relevance, without taking responsibility for the management of ideas with substance and seriousness.
The writing and plotting in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" is horrible in a way that gives "drawing" a bad name. The characters are constantly coming to England at any time due to the mechanics of the plot require, or tell people not to do the "twisted" things, because that's apparently what the kids say these days. The relationships that have expired decades ago suddenly as strings of characters together fire together.
Lead film writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci announced last week that it would go away on film projects, although roads continue doing television together. It's a shame they did not recognize the decline of his creative association before submitting to "The Amazing Spider-Man 2."
But in one respect, the film has a problem that transcends Kurtzman and Orci's script and the stupidity of his special effects. Like "Spider-Man 3", released in 2007, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" loads up super-villains, at the expense of the most interesting ideas and stories.
The Spider-Man franchise has always been less political and more personal than the Batman trilogy by Christopher Nolan, movies or supervised by Joss Whedon Marvel. But that does not mean it lacks a very specific perspective on New York. Parenting modest Peter Parker is a contrast to the wealth of Harry Osborn. Blue collar heroes as crane operators and air traffic controllers have a tendency to appear in large climax.
In "Spider-Man 3", Peter (Tobey Maguire at the time) had a reckoning with Flint Marko (Thomas Hayden Church), the man who killed his Uncle Ben, and subsequently acquired superpowers. Towards the end of the film, we learn that Peter and Marko Ben stole out of financial desperation, driven by their difficulty finding steady work after a period in jail, and that the shooting was an accident. But "Spider-Man 3" did not have time to explore these ideas, Peter duels between the Green Goblin and Venom. It was far worse than a superhero, and as a film in New York, as a result.
The pattern is repeated in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." The most promising antagonist in the film is Max (Jamie Foxx), a put-upon engineer Oscorp. His life is transformed by a chance encounter with Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield now), that saves an incoming car, and tells Max, "You're nobody. You are somebody." For Spider-Man, is pounding. For Max, this is a talisman against the rage he feels for Oscorp steal your generator designs, a head (BJ Novak), he and his crushing loneliness disrespectful.
Max's trip to anyone super-villain could have been a fascinating exploration of race in New York. Before processing, Max is exploited by a large corporation. After he was changed, Max stumbles through the streets of New York in a hoodie, looking either physically or mentally ill. And when he is caught, he becomes a subject of medical research for unscrupulous doctor. Any of these situations could have been an interesting way of how black New Yorkers are treated by large companies when they are employed, when the police are homeless or sick, or medical facility when sick.
Gestures "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" in these ideas occasionally. Max, who is fascinated by the possibility of being recognized and acknowledged, is wonder struck when a news camera projects your image on screen in Times Square. He dreams of the destruction of the power grid that was generated with their designs, but no credit or financial reward. And Max tells the doctor that imprisons him that "Everyone will know what it is to live in my world, a world without electricity. A world without Spider-Man."
The idea is obvious clan kingly, both in relation to the work of Max and his lack of social capital. But give the movie as a whole, the presence of any kind of idea on all counts for a lot. "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" has two other antagonists to treat as well as a story for Peter's father and a romantic subplot that turns Peter into a stalker and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) in a frivolous person . It is so crowded that one of the most iconic comic moments important on that link spoiler, resulted in what should have been a large scale, has almost no room to breathe. Everything in the film drowns.
"The Amazing Spider-Man 2" exists primarily to keep the rights to the character back to Marvel. But in a media environment where Marvel and DC have established both intermittent stronger standards for superhero movies, even a piece of commercial theater like this should try to balance superior. Peter Parker and his city both deserve better.