Look, it wasn’t an awful film. The first scene featuring Spider-Man - about eight minutes in - fighting the van thief was classic Spidey. We already did the origin stuff in the last one, so now we can get straight into seeing the Webslinger kick some ass.
I’d like to say the film hit the ground running, but it didn’t, because the first scene featured a flashback to Peter Parker’s parents on a plane. (Try saying that whilst drunk.) It was a highly dramatic scene… but part of me felt the Writers thought, “The Dark Knight Rises opened with an action scene on a plane, so ours should as well!” A lot of post Dark Knight superhero films tend to borrow from that trilogy.
I also felt that, if you were a kid, pumped up to go and see a Spider-Man film, you’d be expecting the Spidey action straight away. Instead, you’re treated to a re-cap of the beginning of the last film, and some nonsense about sending an important email. And the “mystery of Peter Parker’s parents” is SUCH a boring bloody story, only being told because the original Spider-Man trilogy didn’t touch it. But like I said, the action scene that follows more than makes up for it.
Another problem I have, apart from the “untold story” of Peter’s Parents, there isn’t very much that’s new in this film. I’ve seen the same beats already in the Rami trilogy. Peter can’t be with the woman he loves, because his life is too dangerous? The Green Goblin? Harry Osbourne AS the Green Goblin? A fight scene in a church tower? The comedic use of the original Spider-Man theme tune? A dramatic scene between Aunt May and Peter? All sound familiar? (Also, why is there a church so close to an electrical power plant?)
I paid to see this film ten years ago.
The issue I have with The Amazing Spider-Man trilogy is that they would have been a very good set of films ten years ago. They’re not bad films, not really. But in this day and age of shared universes, and the Avengers, telling the same old Spider-Man story we’ve already seen - in the last decade! - is simply not enough. They need to pull their fingers out of their arses. I gather that they’re building up to a Sinister Six movie, but meh. It's too late! They've already wasted two films by making them hugely unoriginal.
Talking of villains - how did the baddies in this piece work out? Electro felt very much like a character from the Joel Schumacher era of Batman; specifically The Riddler. (With a look of Mr. Freeze.) And what was his motivation for wanting to kill his former idol Spider-Man? He couldn’t remember his name. He had the same motivation as Homer Simpson wanting to shoot Mr. Burns.
My favourite version of The Green Goblin is from The Ultimate Spider-Man comics. In it, Norman Osbourne takes a drug which transforms him into a giant, green beast. That would have been an interesting route; although after complaining about how nothing feels new in this film, I may appear to be a hypocrite, because this version of the character would have felt very similar to the Lizard in the previous film. So shoot me. Instead, we’re treated to a version of the Goblin which is very similar to the Goblin in Spider-Man 3. Okay then.
The actions scenes were excellently done. The effects were better than the first film, and the ending was actually very beautiful and heart breaking. Spider-Man is a hero to children, and it was nice to see that element within the film, especially the ending. A lot of people feel like it should have ended with Peter being all depressed about Gwen’s death… but no. That would have been wrong. I felt depressed enough having paid to see this movie; a strong, upbeat ending, reminding us why Spider-Man is such an iconic hero in the first place, was the right way the end the film.