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I’m going to be spoilery so go see Amazing SpiderMan 2. I personally forbid you from reading any further if you haven’t seen it. Not that I have any power over that. At the end of the day you have to make your own decisions. Just in case you don’t want spoilers but are one of those people who can’t control themselves and feel compelled to read past warnings I’m going to ramble a bit before I get to any real spoilers. Also I’m a rambler, do with that what you must.

It’s too much to ask that a story be the same when it is told in a different medium. It is even too much to ask that a story is the same when told in the same medium to different people. Even the same person approaching the story at different times will see it differently. It isn’t too much to ask that the spirit of the story remains across mediums. Yes, spirit is hard to codify. Impossible to universalize. Difficult to understand and reproduce. We can tell when they don’t even try though. (Cough Shamelion’s Last Airbender movie cough hack.) Adaptation is a form of scholarship, when you make a movie about something you are also making a statement about it. The whole point is to show the initiated a new side to it we haven’t seen and to advertise the rest of the story to those new to it. Also the point is to make money, don’t forget the money.

Now, SpiderMan is huge, it’s a concept and a story that has more words and pictures about it than most other things. When you go and make a SpiderMan something you are adding to an already large body of work. It is multi-faceted and has had many authors. The only reason we can say it is the same thing is it shares the title. I find it funny when people talk about cannon as if it were a real thing when it comes to things like this. There is no one real SpiderMan. Different versions hold different treasures for different people.

ASM 2 is the most SpiderMan movie ever made. The scholarship into the earliest issues of ASM shows. They hit on all the points that made SpideMan a top tier hero from the earliest days of Marvel. He’s not just strong he’s a scientist. He’s not just a nerd but he’s also good with women. (That was a part sorely lacking from the Maguire movies.) He climbs walls and builds gadgets. His fighting style is half psychological half tactical. He has to save the world and struggle to pay the bills. He’s both warrior and detective. Andrew Garfield’s interpretation is spot on for the SpiderMan who lives in my head.

Jamie Foxx gives a whole new angle to Max Dillon. It’s great that he was already fixated on SpiderMan before gaining powers. The original Max Dillon was a jerk of a lineman who wouldn’t climb a power pole to save a man’s life till they paid him to. Then after gaining powers decides to rob banks, because why not? I love that this interpretation is a terminally lonely dude who is so lonely that he doesn’t know how to interact with people anymore. I feel for him because I’m much the same way. A good villain is a tragedy.

It did disappoint me that what put him over the edge was a sniper with an itchy trigger finger. Those don’t really come in that variety. Snipers are the most disciplined shooters in the world. It’s a terribly overused trope. I’d rather have had SpiderMan make the mistake, being caught in a lie or making an ill timed aggressive move. It would have been better for the hero/villain symmetry.

A major issue the movie has which didn’t bother me in the least is the fifth act tacked on to a four act structure. The movie really ends when Electro is defeated. That’s the yay moment where we can all go home happy. For many kids the movie Bambi ends with Mom hitting the eject button at a certain happy point. The second the screen turns green is when the setup for the Sinister Six movie starts. I don’t blame them for doing it this way, it gets some major plot points out of the way so they can hit the ground running next time. I think this will be less of an issue when a person can sit down and watch them together. (Unless they screw up the Sinister Six which is going to be tricky considering Too Many Villains Disease.)

Also I don’t think this particular movie suffers from TMVD as I have read from other sources. It has two villains and a bunch of henchmen. The Rhino is just a henchman and was there in the end to show us that SpiderMan got his groove back.

Gwen Stacy didn’t have to die.

Emma Stone has the speed and delivery to keep up with Garfield which was important in their exposition scenes. I want more of her being Gwen. I want more Gwen running around being smarter than SpiderMan keeping him grounded in reality.

People who love the early SpiderMan comics have a Gwen shaped hole in their hearts. Now hopefully they pulled it off well enough in these movies that people who loves these movies will have a similar one. Not because I think it is good to have holes in your heart, but no I do think it is good to have holes in your heart. Good holes I mean, not the surgery-needing kind, metaphorical ones make you a person who cares about things and people.

Anyways, ASM 2 is my favorite movie so far this year and I foresee it being one of my favorites in the future. 2 has turned out to be a good number for Spidey. You have to understand that I’m a hardcore SpiderFan. “With great power comes great responsibility” is in my code of honor. Know that I am seeing this through the eyes of love, and love forgives.

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