Listen up film-addicts. Feel free to spend your hard earned money on The Amazing Spider Man 2. I get it. It’s new, bright and showy. It’s the official blast off the top of summer movies. Every spring, the summer movies come to the forefront and kick off a long season of loud, shiny, and popcorn fueled entertainment. This year, it’s the latest therapy session for the fragile Marvel hero with webs coming out of his hands. Here are a few reasons I won’t be seeing the film in theaters.
It’s unconventional for a critic to put down a blockbuster film before seeing it and on the weekend it opens up. However, we here at film-addict like to go against the common grind and share something unique.
I am tired of Spider Man and his insecurities. With Batman and Superman, there’s a neurosis that is cool, powerful and relatable. With Tony Stark, Steve Rogers and Bruce Banner, there is an underlying drama that is irresistible. When it comes to Spider Man and Peter Parker, there simply isn’t enough juice to keep the franchise running for me.
My biggest problem with the Sam Raimi-Tobey Maguire trilogy was my outright disdain for Maguire. Whenever he comes on screen, I get turned off. The face, presence and ability all just do nothing for me. I am sure he is a fine little sweet gambler in real life, but on screen he is blank. Spider Man 2 was very well done but the third film was a silly, overlong and all together useless waste of time and money. I thought it would end there in 2007 with Maguire, the black suit, the death of Topher Grace as a legit actor and Thomas Haden Church’s waste of talent. I was wrong.
In 2012, Marc Webb brought us the exact same story of Peter Parker to the big screen with a better actor in Andrew Garfield, a better leading lady in Emma Stone and a very similar take on the hero. He is a lonely young man, gets bitten by a spider, retains his daddy issues, learns to fly via the web(from the spider and not the internet) and fights a moderately boring villain. Blah blah, cue the sleeping pill.
This weekend, Spider Man is back with no new material. He still doesn’t know what to think of his super powers and makes new friends and villains. Stone and Garfield are there but then we have Jamie Foxx cashing a paycheck as Electro and Paul Giamatti as a bald maniac. Dane Dehaan subs in for James Franco as the tortured Harry Osborne. What are these great actors doing here? Get out of this.
The biggest problem is this. Where has Spider Man gone in 5 films when it comes to story? When you leave the theater, tell me if you learned anything new about the guy? In the comics, Parker has become a public crime fighting figure and joined up with the Avengers. In the movies, he is still a poor wounded animal looking for home.
Sony Pictures isn’t getting my money this time. I will wait for Redbox. I will skip 2 hours and 21 minutes of boring looking cinema(followed by a quizzical drive home) and chase down an indie like Dom Hemingway or Locke(opening in the coming weeks in select cities).
Alert me when Marvel/Spider Man/Sony stop running in circles and stealing our hard earned cash. In 12 years and 5 films, what has cinema told us about Peter Parker?