ByJoseph Stephen Welch II, writer at
Joseph Stephen Welch II

Before you read this let me say how this came to be. So my Advanced English teacher decided for a last project we should do a essay on a controversial topic. 6-7 pages. We had to run the topic by her for approval. I did not do so. I wanted to write about something I was passionate about. My friend Steven was going to do wrestling but she turned that down. So I thought "If I bring this to her it is not getting done" So without out her approval I wrote the essay. She ended up giving it an A so I could finish off my year with a 3.8 GPA. So without further a do....

Excuse spelling errors

Is [The Amazing Spider-Man 2](movie:508593) a good movie? You might think “Who cares? It's just a brainless superhero movie” but this film has comic book fans and straight up movie fans outraged. People are tearing this film a part online calling it “rushed” and “has no plot to it” but other people love it to pieces. I mean people are praising this film calling it “fresh and new” and “The best Spider-man film to date”. This film has split comic book fans and just plain old movie fans down the middle. So is it a good movie or a bad movie?Now isn’t that the question of the day?

First I am going to bring up the question "What makes a good movie good?" Well that is up for debate. What one person finds good another person might find bad. There is one thing I think we can all agree with though. Sometimes a movie can be so good/bad everybody hates/loves it. Movie's like Citizen Kane and GhostBusters all the way to films like Batman and Robin and Disaster Movie. So what makes those films good and the others bad? WellI think it has to do with not just what you have fun with but what you can get into. Movie's are supposed to be an escapism. If you don't atleast once just focus on the screen and you forget about everyone around you in a film. You are not doing it wrong. The movie makers are.

Second I am going to bring up how superhero movies are not just brainless action films anymore. People don't look down on these films anymore. With films such as “The Dark Knight” and [The Avengers](movie:9040) superhero movies are growing and becoming quality entertainment. Even winning some people an Oscar here and there. Superhero films are being taken seriously and not just being thought of as bright and colorful films for little kids in their superhero pajamas. They are being thought of as deep thinking films with action thrown in there and great characters that grow during the franchise and become adults.

Now that that’s out of the way time to go into both sides of the argument starting with "Why do people hate this film so much?" Like I said people are destroying the film online but why exactly? Is it only one thing that made them mad or was it the whole thing? Well let’s find out. "The Amazing Spider-man 2 throws everything at the wall to see what sticks, but most of it just goes "splat." (Dowell 1) Now why do I think he said that? Well probably because how many things are going on in the movie. There are so many things happening left and right that not all of them can stick with the audience. For example "The Rhino" was built up to be a fairly big part of the movie with the famed actor Paul Giamati playing him. In the film however he gets 4 minutes of screen time really. The movie tries to throw everything at you all the way from characters that are being teased for the future like Felicity Jones's character "Felicia" who ends up becoming the infamous "Black Cat" from the comic books as well "Alistair Smythe" played by B.J. Novak. These characters are thrown in the movie to do a thing I like calling "Fan-Boy pleasing". It's when a superhero film or a film of the caliber of say "Star Trek" or "Star Wars" dangle something in front of your face to get you to be like "Ooh! That is that guy from the comic book! Oh my god he exists in this universe!" and try to distract you from the films faults. This happens a lot in "The Amazing Spider-man 2" partially Gwen’s demise. This was built up so much by fans that by the time of the films release EVERYONE knew she was going to bite the dust in the film. Here is when the fan-boy pleasing comes in. They have "The Green Goblin" be the reason she dies like in the comics. The fault that lies here is that since they needed "The Green Goblin" to kill her but they also wanted to establish "Harry Osborn" as "Peter's" long lost friend as well as show his fall into "The Green Goblin" as well. You see where I am going here? They needed to have all of this happening with "Harry" so they can get to "Gwen's" death put at the price of having "Harry’s" motivation to kill Gwen and hurt "Peter" seems very unclear. It is just like "Hey Peter! I like you wait no I don't" and it is just sudden. That is what I think Gary Dowell of "Dark Horizons" was referring to.

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There are many more complaints about this film. Such as "A badly scripted jumble of subplots whose jostling for screen time only serves to obscure the character who is supposed to be center stage." (Burgin 1) Why do I think Michael Burgin said this? Well it is pretty self explanatory. He felt that since the film had to start all these plots and characters from the ground up that "Peter" doesn't really get a whole lot of time where you can see how good Andrew Garfield can act. Granted there are some scenes that show how truly great of an actor he is. For example when "Peter" realizes "Gwen" has died because he couldn't keep her away even though her father told him to stay away from her to protect her. Don't get me wrong it haunts him before her death for a while as they have a on again off again relationship because he can not live with himself. Near the end though before her death he gets an attitude as "She will be safe" "She's my path" and since he lets her back in his life the fate is brutal. Andrew sells it. He gets down there and tries to cope saying things like "It's okay, it's okay we'll get you help" but as soon as he realizes she is dead his emotions take over and he is a mess. He can't control himself. He cries, he screams in agony he has lost his first true love and he can't take it. Even quitting being Spider-man for a little over a year. Still, we didn't get enough moments of this. They had to give time to establish these villains and give Gwen more conflict as well as the stuff with "Oscorp" and so on. This is why people say the films a mess.

Now the one rant I really want to delve into is from Andrew Wheeler from Rotten Tomatoes. He say's “The Amazing Spider-man 2 brings all of that back for a second go-around. It has the same wonderful performances from Garfield and Stone, giving the movie all its light and air. It also has the same dull nonsense about Peter's parents and the same awkward villainy weighing it down at the ankles, only this time, more so." (Wheeler 1) The reason I want to get into this is because his points are great but he doesn't bash the film. One point I want to look into is him saying “It also has the same dull nonsense about Peter's parents". Now I have to disagree with that. Why? Because in this movie they made Peter's parents fascinating. They gave them a whole mini story within the film (which could contribute to people saying it is too cluttered) but the good thing here is that it is interesting. Learning that Peter's parents worked for Oscorp was cool but we didn't think too much of it. Until we learn the reason Peter's parents left was because they new Norman Osborn played by Christopher Cooper was out to get them. Norman has a disease which they never really name or anything but all we know is it is killing him. So Richard Parker (Peter's dad) starts to dabble in a thing called "Cross-species genetics" which actually exists in this world today and he actually gets pretty far in it and he starts to breed spiders. The results aren't just good there great! And Norman's life expectancy goes up. Then Richard finds out something. Oscorp plans to use his research to create weapons and hurt people. So he kills the Spiders knowing he needed to leave left. We find out another thing though. He bred the spiders from his own DNA. So it won’t work on anyone who doesn't have his DNA. Here is where Peter comes in. It works for him because he shares his dads DNA. That is why when Harry finds this out he asks Peter for Spider-mans blood seeing that Oscorp after Dr. Connors incident in the first film shut down all cross species genetics research to "Retain investor confidence" but as soon as "Harry" finds out there is a serum that could heal him in Oscorp and it flies from there. That isn't dull. That isn't nonsense. That is intriguing and interesting and you just want to know more. I highly disagree with Andrew on that.

There is one negative review I strangely agree with. James Kendrick of "Q Network Film Desk". "hard not to feel like it is working primarily as yet another set-up, building the foundation for future films at the expense of the central narrative"(Kendrick 1) I agree whole heartedly on this. Many people have been saying it and they are right. "The Amazing Spider-man 2" just feels like set up which it is. Sony (The Company who currently owns the film rights to Spider-man) is not making movies. They are building franchises. Which you know it is good to plan ahead but when a 2 hour movie that has so much excitement and hype behind only feels like it is trying to make you excited about the next one something is wrong. Sony used this film as a promotional tool so when it comes time for that [Sinister Six](movie:1274281) and "Venom" movie they make sure you have bought your ticket. That is not how you make a film. I know I am no expert on making films but when you make one you don’t think of what will happen in the sequels you think about what will happen later in the film. If you are planning so far ahead that you lose focus of your current film you are planning to far. Take it step by step. Finish a full movie and then go on to find out what will happen in the sequels. I don’t know why but Sony making this movie basically build up irritates me to the farthest degree. It means that instead of trying to make a great superhero film that the fans can except and love they are worried about how much money it will make and how there future projects will do at the box office its all just money, money, money not love, love, love. Why did Andrew Garfield accept being Spiderman? Because he loved the character since he was a kid and wanted to make sure it would be great. Why did Jamie Foxx accept the being Electro? Because his daughter loved spider-man to death and he wanted to make sure it would be something great. Now I am going to move on with this because I am just dragging on with this rant.

Now that I have gone really in depth with why people dislike this movie how about the latter? Why do people like this movie? You might think "This film has been destroyed is there anything good about it?" Yes, a lot of things actually so lets just repeat the same formula and get this started.

"The Webb films have, in turn, not only retold Spider-Man's story, but unveiled secrets buried in this fictional world. From the role of Peter's father and the true nature of his colorful villains due in the Goddard film, these filmmakers are looking to tell a new story with these characters" (O'Cuana 1) I agree but also disagree with this. Why? Because though I do feel the same way about how the film has unveiled secrets in that world heck! I gave you a full flipping synopsis about how that has worked out but I disagree with her about the villains. Now first let me touch on Sam Raimi's Spider-man films real quick. The way the villains were handled in Spider-man and Spider-man 2 was great. You got to know the characters before hand and they did a great job and you could tell they were having an absolute blast. They were well done extremely quotable and all around fun. This is where I think "The Amazing Spider-man 2" and its predecessor fell short. First let’s cover the first film "The Amazing Spider-man's" villain Dr. Curt Connors AKA "The Lizard" played by Rhys Ifans. Now a lot of people love this film and so do I. The one common complaint everyone has though is with "The Lizard" because they cut most of the scenes out that made him seem more hmm human. There were scenes that humanized Dr. Connors so when he became "The Lizard" you would care and want him to be cured but Sony cut most of those scenes out. So all the audience cared about was "Okay Spider-man needs to stop that guy and lock him up" instead of thinking "Okay Spider-man needs to stop Lizard but save Curt Connors I mean he has a family and he isn't a bad person". They cut out all the scenes so instead of coming across as a very sympathetic character he came across as a mad scientist who wanted everyone to turn into lizard people. I was very disappointed on the way he was handled in "The Amazing Spider-man”. I mean in the comics as well as the cartoons (mainly "Spider-man The Animated Series)portrayed Dr. Connors as a human who wanted to cure the world of most of it's problems. The film didnt really portray that sadly. Now let’s move on to the main focus of this paper "The Amazing Spider-man 2" and now its villains. Now a lot of people are making fun of Jamie Foxx's character of Electro in the film. Calling the film because of that "The best Batman Forever reboot ever". I have to disagree with that and agree with that. Why? Because when Jamie Foxx is playing “Max Dillon” he is totally hamming it up on screen almost acting exact to Jim Carrey’s performance in “Batman Forever”. This Gives the character a goofy but creepy all the same character. He loves Spider-man. When I mean loves I mean LOVES Spider-man. His apartment is covered in just Spider-man. To the point where he acts as if he is interacting with Spidey even though he is alone in his apartment. I thought this was great. Now people are really complaining about “Electro” and his motivations. The question is what were they? I think one would agree that when an audience especially and American audience goes to a movie, they don’t want to think about something deeply. They just want to watch it, not think about it. Now at first glance his motivations were that there were none; but that isn’t true. In the beginning of the film they establish “Max” as an eccentric loner who is incredibly anti-social but still wants everyone to acknowledge him. This becomes apparent when we see “Max” talking to “Smythe”. It becomes clear that “Max” designed the power grid but is getting no acknowledgement for it. They stole his idea. So he wants people to notice him and give him applause. Then he meets Spider-man and Spider-man says to “Max” after he says “I’m nobody” and Spider-man replies “Hey listen to me, you’re not nobody. You’re somebody!” So now he worships Spider-man. Then at the meeting in Times Square after “Max” has transformed into “Electro” and Spider-man is trying to “talk him down” so to speak. Electro though, now thinks Spider-man lied to him. Then Spider-man yells “NO ONE SHOOTS AT MAX” to the police. Then they all shoot at him and he gets angry. In his mind Spider-man has now lied to him and shot at him and that he hates him. So if Spider-man hates him, he’ll hate Spider-man. As we know what seems to be the case in most films, he hates him and hate leads to him wanting to kill him. Electro’s motivations are clear you just have to look in to it a little deeper. Since I have already went over “The Goblins motivations I will just gloss over them. Harry is dying, see's Oscorp worked with SPiders and healing, figures out Spider-man was bit by one if the genetically mutated spiders, see's Peter takes photos for SPider-man, asks Peter to get Spider-mans blood, Spider-man says he doesn't know if it would work it could kill him, harry thinks he is being selfish, freaks out, finds out that Oscorp has a syrum, uses it, makes his disease spread, first motivation is he want to kill spider-man for no reason, finds him, figures out Spider-man is Pete, steals Gwen, kills her and that is when his ark stops. Rumors say there was a scene that was cut in which we see why Harry wanted to really kill Spider-man after he attacks Oscorp. Wow a really important scene cut? classic Sony. The Rhino’s motivation was that he was an angry Russian who wanted plutonium and Spider-man stopped him. That. Is. It. I agree with him saying that they are telling a new story in this series. They are explaining what happens to his parents and why he lives with his Aunt and Uncle and how the radio-active Spider bite didn’t just kill him. I like how they dived into that and I can not wait to see how it is carried on in the sequel.

Now a MAJOR topic of conversation or dare I say argument. Which films are the better made films? Spider-man 1-3 of Sam Raimi’s universe nick named “The Raimi-verse” or The Amazing Spider-man 1-2? Now this does factor greatly into my topic because how do you know you’ll like a movie without having anything to bounce off of? First let’s compare the film makers Marc Webb and Sam Raimi. Right off the bat this is going to be quick. The only film Marc Webb made before he started his Spider-man franchise was “500 Days of summer” which was wide known as a good film with a great relationship with in it. He brings that to his Spider-man franchise with flying colors. The relationship between “Peter” and “Gwen” is undeniably well handled. You believe that these 2 love each other but just can’t be together because of “Peter’s promise to her father and he can’t live with himself if he even gets close to her. Now we need to talk about the one, the only, Sam Raimi. Now this is going to be a lot longer because Raimi’s career in films has lasted since the late 70’s. He is well known for his “Evil Dead” series. His work on that carries over to his work with Spider-man. One major example is with the hospital scene in Spider-man 2. You can see that Raimi is really going for a scary movie type of feel. Unfortunately it doesn’t really fit correctly with the films overall light and colorful feel. Sam Raimi has dabbled in almost everything and if you like him you’ll love his Spider-man series. Bruce Campbell’s cameos aren’t have bad either. Nor are Stan Lee's either.

Now we get to the major debate. The question to end all questions. Who is the better “Spider-man”?. Is it Andre Garfield or Tobey Maguire?. I love both to death I mean I grew up with Tobey as Spider-man but I related more to Andrew's Spidey. Lets first start off with the positives of both of them. People like that Andrew captured the confidence and joking, quick witted superhero that was in the original comics. People love Tobey because he was the geeky awkward teen of the old Spider-man comics. There are a couple of negatives that coincide with the 2 actors portrayal of the character. People said Andrew’s cockiness sometimes got a little grating. People say Tobey was given way to many crying scenes and way to many scenes of him being all around a big “dork”. “Despite both capturing the problems of being Spider-man” (mainly Tobey in Spider-man 2) “Andrew evolved into being more of a man” (Walker 25:00) When Maguire really didn’t. “Every time Andrew takes a step forward it seems like Maguire is taking 2 steps back” (Walker 25:34). Whenever Andrew learned something in the films he grew as a character. Whenever Tobey learned something it effected for about 5 minutes then he just acted like the way he was before without a care in the world. “ I never felt he came all that far in the end of the series” (Walker 25:52). “Garfield, though making similar mistakes seems to learn more and more about the responsibilities of being a hero” (Walker 25:58). This leads to the argument that, though “The Amazing Spider-man 2’s” flaws Andrew really showed us how Peter would evolve as well as Spider-man in fact. Take this under consideration to people who think Maguire is the better Spider-man abd has the better films and that the new ones are terrible like say" Set some time after Peter has become Spider-Man, the movie allows the character to begin questioning his own motives for being a hero and has him struggling with the desire for a normal life where he can be with MJ and live happily ever after. It affects him on a deep, psychological level, to the point where his powers actually begin to fade and malfunction, but when he finally puts a strong focus on what he wants he discovers who he really is: Spider-Man. (Eisenberg 3)That was based off of Tobey's preformance in Spider-man 2. Not any of the others. People forget how dorky he was in spider-man and how bad he was in Spider-man 3. Andrew shows him questioning himself ever since the first film. It shows his inner conflict of being a all around teenager who wants to be selfish but feels like he has something he needs to give to people even though he doesnt want to. This is mainly showed in the first movie but even in the movie we are talking about currenrlt "The Amazing Spider-man 2" it shows how though he has fun with being "Spider-man" he also feels inner conflict always have Gwen in danger even though he promised her father he would stay away. He ended up being the reason she died. He put her in harms way by letting her back in his life and at the end "The Green Goblin" puts 2 and 2 together and realizes Spider-man is Peter Parker and to get back at Peter for not helping him he kills the thing he loves most. Gwen Stacy. I have to say Andrew Garfield is "The Superior Spider-man" in this case.

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So Is The Amazing Spider-man 2 a good film? I think that is up for you to decide. I like the film despite its faults but everyone has different tastes. You could like one movie and hate another. All in all I say The Amazing Spider-man 2 and the whole franchise in general is definetly worth a watch and worth your money. Marc Webb does an amazing job of showing us how Spider-man and Peter would be in a modern age. Sam Raimi though I like his films really only showed what Peter was like the 60's. I say if you like superhero movies and just movies in general you will have a lot of fun with this "Amazing" sequel known only as The Amazing Spider-man 2


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