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Spoiler Alert: It's All Starting to Blend Together
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Spoiler Alert: It’s All Starting to Blend Together

He’s saved the day countless times, fought a villain who may or may not have had a connection to his own beginnings. He now faces a greater foe than he has ever faced, will he win the day? will he be able to keep those he cares about safe? What sacrifices must be made to save the day once again? If this sounds like the plot to many a comic book based sequel, that is because it normally is.



Since the worldwide release of the The Amazing Spider-Man 2, fans and journalists alike have been chiming in, giving their thoughts on the film. A lot has been made of the use of multiple villains and a lot has been said on how much many think this affected the film negatively. There are multiple ways to go about skinning this thing but if we are to be honest, if we are to give it a fair shake we have to delve deep into the things are complaining about.

Now here’s a simple quote from how I described The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to a few friends

A hero who has risen to fame through countless acts of vigilantism is now no longer pursued by the cops and in fact kinda works with em, though he and his brand of justice is still highly debated by the people of the city, he did save them from a chemical attack so he is given the benefit of the doubt… He also saved a little blonde kid. Now crime in the city has kinda gone down and a new threat is coming in the form of a villain who’s transformation is almost completely glossed over. And a character will be introduced who will like our hero but who later transforms into a villain that has no logical reason to hate the hero but that will anyway and will try to kill him… Someone will likely fall to their death. The hero will likely lose his love interest… Yep, no, she is definitely dying. A wonderful score by Hans Zimmer will accompany the plot filled with lots of not so subtle foreshadowing with at least one shot of our hero holding his mask, at least one good shot of our hero crying, and the plot will be a string of decisions that rely heavily on coincidental actions of other characters to bring the events full circle.

Now there are countless ways you could take the above but some of you might recognize those plot points and when I wrote it, I was not describing The Amazing Spider-Man 2. I was describing The Dark Knight. I did so to make the point that these films have many of the very same elements, problems and all, yet, many feel the need to chastise the one while they highly praised the other. You see, my only point is there are many ways one can complain about any film, I for one have my reasons for disliking Nolan’s Dark Knight franchise, and so even I find it ironic that this Spider-Man film I truly enjoyed, has so many of the same elements and problems.


The things you’ll hear most complained about are the Gwen Stacy plot, the use of the multiple villains and the overall use of individuals coincidentally stumbling upon things that are meant to be found. But to that I say this… “Now name a single fictional movie you have ever seen that is not a sequence of coincidences, and plot points clearly set up by the writer/s in order to set up a certain chain of events that lead to the climax of the film.”

This is the thing with writing, as a writer it bothers me all the time. It is hard enough to build a plot and have every single thing happen without pushing things a certain way. There’s a reason why Batman ‘always finds a way’, there’s a reason why no matter how dire things get, the heroes always win the day, there’s a reason why villains begin doing monologues the moment they have the hero dead to rights – It’s the very same reason why a character overhears a conversation or is just in the right place at the right time, in order to get information they need and it’s the same reason why in thriller and horror movies, no matter how illogical it is, the killer always finds the victim who is not the main character. There’s a reason why last second saves exist, conflict and solution. That is all the nature of much of story telling, creating conflict and solution. So why do audiences all of a sudden choose to be so picky about what they think works and what they think doesn’t? I’ll tell you why.

Over saturation is causing a rift in the love. 


It is tough enough to enjoy a story you’ve heard a million times. It’s all become so predictable and boring. Writers and directors are doing their best to buck trends and carve new paths. We see a great example of a lot of elements with the existence of these reboot films so close and fresh in the memory for many who saw Raimi’s versions. But for every logical breakdown of why something might not be enjoyable, we find a lot of comments that logically don’t make sense.  There are a lot of self professed hardcore fans out there who will tell you they love the depiction of a character that is nowhere near true to the original writing and representation as done by those involved from the inception. Many such fans whine about every change to what they were used to. This occurred with the rebooted James Bond films starring Daniel Craig, the harder edged films were seen as not being true to the character when in fact they are the closest to the material. The same can be said for The Amazing Spider-Man as portrayed in the current slate of films starring Andrew Garfield.

Another trend is nostalgia affecting fan outlook, if you take many of the properties many people today grew up with and replay them for any amount of fans, the 2 reactions you get tend to be the realistic reception that it is all corny, bad and just not anywhere near as fun as remembered, and the second is a somewhat unrealistic state of denial, where all the same flaws one might call out in a film or tv series today, exist and usually in many more worse ways, yet people will ignore it in the things they grew up with and loved as if somehow there is a difference in the problems that makes something today that much more unappealing than its counterpart from years past. In a thread on recently many were discussing the new designs of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, in one particular post, a commentor simply added the following


You see that is the nature of the beast, technology makes so much possible, yet others wish to hold on to tradition and will sulk at and hate on anything that is new and in any way different. Meanwhile, many of us are more open and accepting of change, growth and change do go hand in hand after all.

There is another thing that jumps out at me and that is how people connect similarities in things they hated in older material to justify hate for new material. This is not a bad thing, it can be a logical way to fairly judge, but for instance, many are complaining that the fact there are 3 villains in the new Spider-Man film immediately make it a mess of a film, yet have any of those making this complaint stopped to think that they may just be negatively associating a Spider-Man film having multiple villains and being bad because of it, with Spider-Man 3? I mean yes, Spider-Man 3 was a horrible film, but for multiple reasons, one of which was the execution of its villains. But The Amazing Spider-Man 2, while having multiple villains and while it may not take the time out to flesh out their back stories and motivations, while it barely uses one of them, its use of each villain is far better handled in service of the story being told.


My final thoughts I leave you with on The Amazing Spider-Man 2 are the following

– The Focus of the story is saying goodbye to Gwen
– From the onset, every other conversation and situation is reminding you she is going to die and you need to make your peace with it
– Watering down or editing out the Gwen and Peter interactions would be a bad decision when the entire thing is a setup of Peter’s one fear of losing her coming to fruition.
– The use of Rhino while seemingly unnecessary was a great homage to that unlike a certain Dark Knight, Spidey does get back to doing what he does sooner than later. He answers the call because with great power… ahh you get the point
– Also, Rhino did not need to be in a large part of this film as he is a B Spidey villain and not much of an actual threat
– Harry and Norman’s relationship, we don’t need further exposition on, and Norman still being alive can be addressed in the next film.
– Harry’s transformation seemed rushed and unfortunately logically you can see that this is due to whatever scenes were cut out that expand more on how much he learns about the secret projects.
– Electro is not under used, he is a powerful villain but like most villain’s his flaw is that he overestimates himself and under estimates the hero, something writers have yet to find a way around in any true sense. With the exception of Ozymandias in Watchmen
– They gave you Peter Parker being the funny Spider-Man he has always been
– Great action sequences and a focused story, yet all the nerd rage is directed at the lack of a focus on the villains when that clearly was not the film’s intention, it is not about Harry or Max, or Norman or Oscorp, it is about Peter coming to terms with loss and saying goodbye to Gwen

One might say that the Marvel films have bucked some of the trends, but you need only look to Thor: The Dark World and Iron Man 3 to see the similarities arise again. This sort of convenient story telling, and focus on characters a hero cares about will exist for years to come. If not for anything else, because companies are in business to make money, main characters will not be killed off, unless there is a character to replace them, so the characters they care about will always be at risk as the story can easily go on without them. Yet at the same time, the hero’s triumph will always rely on a few spots of luck, coincidence and villain handicapping by way of writer interference. Welcome to story telling 101.

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