I took a long time getting to this since I heard so much bad about it. Still, I love Spider-man action sequences and finally thought: “Well, may as well see it for myself.”
So that was a great Superman movie.
(no seriously, listen to some of the soundtrack and see if it doesn’t sound just like what you’d expect in a supes movie – heck at one point Spidey even carries a car like Superman)
So a new geek law: No movie will be good in which Harry Osborne becomes the green goblin.
Seriously the comparisons between this and Spidey 3 are apt in that both are not as bad as a lot of people remember, but they’re not great movies either. Barely mediocre really and all for the same reason. A reason that describes every Spider-man film since #3 actually: “Not a bad first draft.” Good ideas are there, but it is not executed well. The most obvious is that Peter goes and finds his dad’s secret lab, AFTER he has turned down Harry Osborne. As it is, why does Peter turn his friend down? No real reason without the viewer constructing a large set of suppositions (aka: a plot hole). Have him discover the secret lab FIRST, THEN Peter has a logical character reason to do that.
Which is funny because in all the reviews I’ve seen of this film, nobody seems to have pointed out that a few cuts would have made it fit much better. (although I’ve seen 2 repeated points brought up that, it turns out, are addressed in the movie – looking at you cinema sins & redlettermedia – none of you guys mentioned the “voices in electro’s head bit”?)
Like Aunt May’s subplot? Why not trim it and have her be the one to push Peter to be with Gwen? (after all, she’s a nice girl and May wouldn’t want Peter to spend his life alone) Her invoking the memory of Uncle Ben and their time together would have been a nice counterpart to the memory of
Ghost Dad Captain Stacey. Max’s story is that he just wants a friend. Osborne is feeling friendless. Why not bring them together sooner? Instead of having Max transformed just because of a random mishap, why not while he’s doing a favor for Harry? Why does Harry have to go through Peter to get to Spidey AGAIN? In Spidey 2 it made some sense from the way things were framed. In ASM2? Why not just put in an offer in the Bugle? When Gwen is hanging by a thread in the clock tower, why doesn’t she try swinging over to one of the ledges on the side? (Mary Jane could do that much in Spidey1 and this was just after Gwen had gone on a whole speech about “taking care of herself.”) What the heck was Electro arrested for the first time? Almost all his actions in time square could legally be defined as self-defense! (Seriously, the lawsuit Electro could bring against the city… he could cause more damage with that than his electricity shenanigans.) And what is Harry arrested for?
There was still a few things I liked about it. Most of the action sequences, especially the ones where he’s saving people and his relationships with ordinary folks.
All in all my general principle stands: ASM movies are great at capturing individual Spidey moments within them, while the original Rami movies are the best at capturing the entirety of Spidey. By this point I’m ready for Spider-man to return to Marvel Studios if for no other reason than their movies have at least proven to have READ the script and had EDITORS look over it.
But Mark Webb can go work on Superman.
(Actually if a fan out there wants to take the above ideas and recut the film into a more logical structure, all I ask is a link so I can appreciate your work.)