“The Emotional Spider-Man 2”

OR, “You’ll Believe a (Spider-)Man Can Cry!”

Spoilers Ensue. Please don’t give me crap if you read the article but didn’t want to be spoiled. Only read if you’ve seen the movie or give zero fucks.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” Opened this past weekend to a strong, but hardly record-breaking, 92 million dollars. On Thursday, three of the TFP Fangirls went to go see it together, enthused for another Marvel movie, especially after the awesomeness that was “Captain America: the Winter Soldier.”

We walked out a bit… confused.

Spider-Man movies, including the Tobey Maguire films of yore, have always been entertaining, at least. Andrew Garfield’s second appearance as the Web Head was not different. In fact, his Peter Parker and Spidey gave some particularly entertaining one-liners, comebacks, and banter.

But he was also batshit crazy.

And he wasn’t the only one.

This movie had the most non-female feeling ever felt in a movie. Between Peter pining for Gwen, breaking up with her for her safety and because of his promise to her father as he lie dying (in the first installment of the franchise), reconnecting on a bromantic level with his best friend even though they hadn’t seen each other since the age of ten (and hey, aren’t we all the same person we were at that age?), and dealing with three villains, one of them being that former friend.

And let’s talk about those villains, shall we? We have the Rhino, briefly, at the beginning and the end of the movie. His barbed-wire forehead tattoo’s ridiculousness aside, the man was a waste of Paul Giamatti. He mostly shouts and snarls and rempages. It’s a decent performance, as is pretty much every one of them, but it hardly makes a dent in the movie. It does indicate a link between Harry Osborn and the Rhino, and subsequently a metric shit ton of other villains.

Maybe a whole Sinister Six thing.

But, in the meantime, Electro… Oh, Electro. He starts out as Max, the Mr. Cellophane of OsCorp. All he wants is to be noticed. And then he is. By his friendly, neighbourhood Spider-Man.

And, as in any healthy relationship, obsession ensues.

Then, on his birthday, where he actually gets noticed quite a bit, first negatively by his boss (Allistair Smythe, BTW) and then positively by a friendly and polite and approachable and why-isn’t-SHE-the-person-you-develop-a-crush-on Gwen Stacey, he experiences the accident which turns him into the villainous electric pseudo-zombie Electro.

Basically, even the electric ells are creeping all over a brother.

Cut to Harry Osborn, who is back from boarding school to witness the death of his father from an apparently super-aggressive genetic disease that Harry himself is just beginning to show the symptoms of. Norman gives him a cure-ish drug that will prolong his life, but Harry becomes obsessed with searching through the “Special Projects” files of Oscorp for a more permanent solution, and stumbles upon a correlation that leads him to figure that the real cure for him will be found via Spider-Man’s blood.

Spider-Man refuses him, and so he turns to Electro… And this story about superhumans and electric zombies and bullshit comic book science gets a little bit weird.

Harry breaks into the prison where Electro is being held, despite being ejected as head of Oscorp by the machinations of an underling, with nothing more than a taser and the magic ninja skills they apparently teach at boarding school. When Electro asks why he should help him, Harry shouts, over and OVER again, that he NEEDS him.


And Electro’s response?

“You need me..?”

And that’s enough for him.

And they make their pact to get to Spider-Man as they kill Dr. Kafka (because writing) in the background.

“People let me tell ya ’bout my best friend…”

And I’m not even going to address the sheer idiocy of the Times Square battle that got Electro caught and thrown in the block or the music score for Spider-Man which was just so full of triumphant horns that I didn’t know how to feel about any given heroic act.

And, oh, Spider-Man’s heroism. Driving throughout the movie by what, exactly? Well, we all know that it’s that whole thing about guilt over the death of his Uncle Ben. Great power, great responsibility, all of that jazz. But at the beginning of this movie, he’s seeing Captain Stacey’s ghost or some shit, all of the time, in waking life, at the worst possible times. Oh, and Gwen seems to be both aware of and okay with these sporadic and commonplace hallucinations. But should we treat them?


Let him be crazy AND a super-powered vigilante. That’s not an extremely bad idea at all, right?

But he breaks up with her, and she’s pissed, but he HAS to, because he promised her dad… But he’s still going to watch her from the rooftops.

He’s fucking stalking her.

Despite HIS insistence that they break up, that she not be seen with him, for her SAFETY, he’s going to follow this bitch around.

Worse yet, his stalker-y behaviour is welcomed by Gwen when she realises what he’s been doing. She thinks it’s endearing or cute or some bullshit, when she really ought to be wondering how this young man who swings around in his pyjamas all day, punching bad guys and shirking the law, who just dumped her, then kissed her, then told her they couldn’t be together, then started creeping all over her life in his alter, masked ego– PROVIDING a tie between her and Spider-Man, so how does this help protect her?!–

How is this a healthy relationship?

Well, part of her must realise that it isn’t, because she opts to take a research opportunity in London…

Until Spider-Man, not PETER, but fucking SPIDER-MAN writes “I LOVE YOU” in webs all across the… IDK, maybe the Brooklyn Bridge? Whatever, geography doesn’t matter here, because he writes it and then swings by in costume and scoops her up to make out with her on top of another(?) bridge right as she steps out of a cab to get a better look at this sweet-ish gesture.

I dunno. I seemed a little Tom Cruise/I’m In Love With Katie Holmes to me. Not something I’d personally see as romantic. More something to start the process towards a restraining order over.

But, yeah, let’s just totally show everybody and they mom that there is DEFINITELY a distinct and deep relationship between this blonde girl that all of the people with their camera phones out to take pictures of the great, big “I LOVE YOU” web will also get shots of and Spider-Man.

But, y’know what..? Maybe I’m just over-analyzing. Maybe I’m complaining. I mean, non of this is ever going to matter anyways, right?

Because Gwen dies.

Oh, and she dies completely pointlessly because Harry kills her as the Green Goblin… In the suit. The suit that heals the user. That he had to put on because he decided to try for the Spider Venom in the OsCorp basement. Because Spider-Man wouldn’t just give him his blood, because it wouldn’t even work for Harry…


And now Gwen Stacey, the strong, independent, and fucking USEFUL female character, who wasn’t crazy or obsessive or overly emotional, who had a bright, arachnic-free future ahead of her is dead.


But then… No. See, first of all, yes, this is also just a movie. But the main demographic for this is men. Young men. Young, often still very much impressionable men. And the idea that this stalker type behaviour, the rampant obsession and neediness is not only acceptable but is also romantic is a problem.

Hell, if Spider-Man couldn’ve let her go, she would’ve gone to London. Or she at least would have made ti to the airport, waiting for this whole Electro thing to clear up (or for Spider-Man to fail and die or whatever) and THEN get on her damned plane.

But shit could have totally worked out differently.

If only the men folk weren’t all a bunch of fucking creepsters. And it’s ALL of the men. Like, actually all of them. Even the electric eels. Even the super lamely named Dr. Kafka. Even Gwen’s dead dad’s ghost!

And even Peter, for several changing seasons, at Gwen’s grave. And over his parents, with his own wall of weird (eerily similar to Electro’s own Spider-Shrine), covered in pictures and newspaper clippings and red electrical tape and interspersed with entirely too many pictures of Gwen for it to be NOT too much.

While Aunt May simultaneously is working and going to school and packing up Uncle Ben’s stuff because she has this thing where she can cope and stuff.

Oh, also…

The dude in the hat returns. I guess he’s not being overly creepy in the ten seconds we see him. Or rather, don’t see him. So good for him.

And his name is Mr. Fierce.


He’s there to chum it up with a seemingly almost-back-to-normal-but-not-really Harry about having the hook-up to ruin Spider-Man’s life.

Because we can’t let shit go in the world of Spider-Man.

Well… I suppose we’ll have to see how the Threequel goes. hopefully better. Hopefully less emotional whackjob-y.

Hopefully we get a decent Mary Jane.

And hopefully the next review will be considerably more positive.

Until then, behold the face of a woman who realises that she should have just gone to London.


Later, nerds!

About pattyinreallife

I'm a graphic artist, writer, film-maker, and avid baker. I sing in the car and laugh at the worst/best moments. I am the coolest nerd you will ever meet. Try not to let your jealousy show too badly.

Posted on May 6, 2014, in 2014 Movies, Amazing Spiderman, Marvel Comics, Movie Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Compared to the first Spider-man 2, this one pales. It was ok but not as good and the character development seemed forced to give us an emotional connection to the characters.

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