The sequel to the Amazing Spider-man has been recently released over the weekend and if you haven't seen it yet I definitely recommend it. The film has had mixed reviews from both fans and critics but in my opinion the movie over all was exceptional, and in my opinion did a great job of building on the original and still surpassed my expectations. The movie wasn't perfect, and I'll get to the things I disliked, but over all it was a very wonderful story.
First of all I know that it's a common thing to compare the Amazing Spider-man and it's new sequel to the original trilogy with Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. I think when comparing the two it's important to remember that the original Spider-man films, even though they were not all that long ago, they were still the beginning of a new generation of superhero films. The difference being that in the early 2000s with both the Spider-man and X-Men, success the world saw that the superhero film had great potential that was previously squandered with silly lines, campy villains and cheesy stories best examples is what we saw in Batman and Robin, and Batman Forever, two of the immediate predecessor superhero movies, even though, I know, they were a completely different production companies the unfortunate negative responses from these films caused Marvel to lease out many of their character's rights for use on the big screen, including Spider-Man to Sony Studios. It is important to note that at this time Marvel saw no possible future in superhero films, and even if they did they were about to go bankrupt and didn't have the money they would need to make a successful film, and with the world seeing the superhero genre as campy, cheesy and boring no one in their right mind would have lent Marvel the money to make a successful movie. Lucky for us Sony and Fox both saw huge potential and taking that risk that they did to show us how wonderful the superhero genre could be, and with that success we've seen a great new generation of superhero films from many different studios, but it's important to understand all of this history to see what the studios were seeing at the time the first Spider-Man came out in 2002.
The biggest difference between the original and the new Amazing Spider-Man stories, and probably the biggest question from my non-comic book loving friends is "Who is Gwen Stacy, why wasn't she in the Tobey Maguire ones?" Well my not-so-nerdy friends she actually was, she was just in a smaller part in only the third film. Yeah that third film. The one they stuffed full of so many characters that she's easily forgotten, that and you were probably so disappointed that you only saw it once.
Comic book nerds were disappointed that Mary Jane was introduced first thing and for some reason Gwen Stacey was introduced in the third to create the love triangle. After seeing Amazing Spider-Man 2 we all now know the true origin story of Spider-Man and how Gwen, and Mary Jane all fit into the continuity. I do believe the biggest reason originally for jumping straight to Mary Jane and skipping over Gwen Stacy was because, like I was saying, superhero movies were still tentative successes, and introducing Gwen Stacy in the first film would mean that somewhere down the line they'd have to kill her off, because as we all know in the comics Gwen Stacy is thrown from Green Goblin's glider to her death. I do believe that Sony was "playing it safe", they were unsure of how well audiences would handle the death of the female lead, so instead they just introduced the girl that we knew Spider-Man would end up with anyway. This way they could avoid some darker themes of our hero not being able to save the person he loved most. I completely understand why the writers and everyone involved with Spider-Man back in 2002 was convinced this was the best way to go, they knew viewers would feel betrayed and angry by killing off the hero's love interest. Heck we already killed off his Uncle Ben! In some ways I am really happy that they didn't do this in the original trilogy, it gave us more of an opportunity to have a different story in the new Amazing Spider-Man universe. I'm afraid that we're already going to be repeating ourselves so it's nice that this one huge part of the story much different.
Amazing Spider-Man saw Uncle Ben and Captain Stacey both die when Spider-Man had the potential to save them but couldn't as if he hadn't been through enough he lost his sweetheart in Amazing Spider-Man 2. It's hard to see someone go through so much crap, but at the same time it makes great storytelling, and we'll be all that more excited when he and Mary Jane end up getting together. It'll feel all that more rewarding. I really enjoy dangerous stories, and unlike the first Amazing Spider-Man the sequel has made me excited for the rest of the franchise.
The film was stuffed full of villains, and everyone saw this as terrible potential for failure when we remembered Spider-Man 3 full of Sandman, Green Goblin and Venom. This sequel had Green Goblin (again), Rhino and Electro. As fearful as it seemed it actually wasn't too bad. Turns out Rhino was only in the last two minutes of the movie as a way to introduce him as part of the future of the franchise. Electro was the main villain, and his visual effects were beautiful and the final fight between he and Spider-Man was wonderful, the only thing that bothered me was his cliche background story. An under appreciated OsCorp employee, no friends, worships Spider-Man so when his powers erupt and he can't control the electricity shooting out of him, Spider-Man shows up and not remembering the man to his satisfaction Electro decides to be evil. Cheesy and predictable. Kind of disappointing.
Green Goblin was different than the original trilogy. In the original trilogy he was an evil CEO who thought the board was taking apart his company and selling it in pieces. He didn't like that idea so he took some of the experiments he'd been working on to turn himself into the Green Goblin, and killed the board. Side effects of the serum he used turned him clinically insane. The new version of the Goblin is actually Norman's son Harry, who after finding out of a genetic disease he carries, and his father's death (supposedly) because of said disease he took the spider venom that turned Peter Parker into Spider-Man out of the secret OsCorp freezer, and instead deformed his own body, turning him mentally insane. Not a huge difference, but still glad they changed it around some.
I love the mask and outfit a lot better in the original Spider-Man, but Dane DeHaan does an amazing job in all his scenes, but especially after changing into the Goblin he has this super creepy vibe that just works!
Like I said earlier this film, more than the first, has made me excited for the rest of the franchise. I like that they're taking risks, and doing things a little differently. The ending scene of this film has to do with Harry Osborn in the hospital for the mentally insane. He's talking to the mysterious man from the ending of the first Amazing Spider-Man. Harry and the man discussed their dreams in finding and killing Spider-Man, and with Harry now knowing that it's actually Peter Parker he stands a pretty good chance! The mysterious man says something about putting together a team, and Harry replies "but I want to keep it small", an obvious nod to the future of the Sinister Six. We then see this man walking down an OsCorp hallway past several teases at who these six will be. We already know of the Goblin, but we see Doctor Octopus' arms, Vulture's wings, Rhino's mechanical suit. So we know of four of the six already. The others could be Lizard back from the first film, Electro who may not be as dead as he looked after his battle wither Spider-Man, Norman Osborn who also may have faked his death, or other obvious Spider-Man villains include characters like Mysterio, Kraven, Sandman, or even possibly Venom.
Another one of the small teases in the film was Harry Osborn's assistant Felicia. They barely mentioned her name, and she isn't in a ton of the film but I really hope it's a nod to a future where we'll see Black Cat.
HOPES FOR THE FUTURE
So here are my hopes on how they handle some of the loose threads, and things that I hope are upcoming:
1. Mary Jane Watson - we know she'll be introduced eventually. She kind of has to be, and I'm looking forward to see a new take on her, but I want it to be just that. I want a new take on her, not the Kirsten Dunst version, and definitely someone with a different personality than Emma Stone's wonderful Gwen Stacey. We can't just have a red-haired clone of that character. I'm hoping for something small and sweet in the next film like her and Peter work together at the Daily Bugle but he's still recovering from the loss of Gwen and maybe MJ is working through her own loss, a boyfriend who died in Afghanistan or something. Something they can bond over and become friends but I don't want a forced romance.
2. Venom - We're getting a Venom movie sometime before Spider-Man 4 when the villains all come together at once to destroy Spider-Man. Who would be a good villain for Venom? Carnage! I really am hoping that Venom is not a part of the Sinister Six. I really want him to be the anti-hero, not a natural hero like Spider-Man, but someone who is desperately trying to find that part within himself past all the darkness.
3. Sinister Six - I know we're getting a movie with just the villains (presumably without any Spider-Man) I think this will be very exciting, there are lots of guessing on who the other members of the band will be, but so far we know it will consist of Green Goblin, Dr. Octopus, Vulture and Rhino, and we know it will be written by Drew Goddard who is known for his work on World War Z, LOST, Alias and Buffy. He's also on the short list to write the Netflix original series Daredevil.
4. Epic End Battle - There is obviously no way Spider-Man could take on these four all at once, never mind adding another two to the battle. Spider-Man needs some allies, a sidekick or two. I'm thinking this will be Venom, and Black Cat. I'm even wondering if we'll see some redemption for one or two of the villains, maybe Peter's old friend Harry Osborn?
I'm excited to hear your comments on what you're looking forward to in future Spider-Man movies. Tell me your thoughts! I love hearing all your theories.