The Less-Than-Amazing Spider-Man?

A very rendered Spider-Man hangs (upside down, I guess?) watching over his city... which is decidedly below him so he's looking up at a pretty cloud? (Courtesy Sony Pictures)

Reaction this weekend to the Amazing Spider-Man sequel has been extremely polarized, with much of the negative criticism focusing on the over-population of characters in the film (mainly the villains, which many speculate is just set-up for the Sinister Six film).

Normally, I'd be the first person in line for a Spider-Man sequel but admittedly, I've been a little on the fence about seeing the film too. I didn't see the first film in the theaters, opting to catch it later from the comfort of my home and was underwhelmed by the experience. While the characterizations of Peter, Gwen, and Aunt May were spot-on the focus of the story and the uneven tone caught me completely off-guard. Plus, that film also had a big villain problem. Even sitting here trying to reflect on the origins and motivations of Curt Collins/Lizard, I couldn't tell you a single detail, which speaks worlds for how memorable it might have been.

I think the biggest problem with the Spider-Man series is that it hasn't adapted in the same way that many of the big tentpole superhero films have (with the most recent Captain America: The Winter Soldier being the biggest example). Many superhero films have opted to first aim to be a great genre film with intriguing characters that just so happen to have some superhero elements scattered throughout. Whereas it feels like the Spider-Man films keep holding to the model of superhero first, origins of things second, oh and then we should put a story in there somewhere.

I will end up seeing ASM2 at some point, most likely in the same way that I saw the first film: from the comfort of my home watching the Blu-ray edition. But I'm hoping that some sort of immediacy is placed on the character and his film franchise in the future that makes me want to go see it opening weekend. A character of Spider-Man's stature deserves that.

Posted on May 5, 2014 and filed under Movies.