Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pre-Spider-Man Spider-Man Talk

Before I see it this Sunday, I wanted to provide a few initial thoughts on The Amazing Spider-Man 2 from what I know about the movie and the trailer. Spoiler Alert! It will probably be no more than decent.

I know that some people are upset with the radical changes they made with Electro and the Rhino. I talked about this a little bit while discussing the Avengers, and I feel that now is the time to enshrine this principle into law: It's ok for movies to take liberties with the storylines and characters from the comics provided that the changes they make are equal to or better than the comics. The example I used in the past was having Captain America punch something when he was upset (or bored? Once again, hack writing makes it unclear what his punch motivation was.) This is not only a departure from the comics, where Cap is a much more introspective and artistic type of guy -- and would probably be painting instead of punching -- but a less interesting change.

Electro from the comic books is quite possibly the lowest common denominator in the Spider-Man comics. He is a guy that gets struck by lightning or gets electrocuted or some shit like that, and then becomes a criminal. There is nowhere to go but up from here, so the decision to turn Electro into a nerdy-type guy who just wants to be noticed is an improvement. It is not a particularly good improvement, but it is an improvement nonetheless, so, alright, I'm in. I also find the look of the new Electro to be vastly superior to the green-and-yellow costume from the comics, so there's that.



Rhino's a different story though. In the movies, it looks like Rhino will have a mechanical suit, which is a cool idea, if nothing else. See, in the comic books, Rhino's powers come from what is basically a skin graft, making him stronger and impervious to feeling anything. Now, it's yet to be revealed what's going on with Rhino in this movie, but so far, I like the original storyline better. There's a lot of things you can do with an origin like "can't feel shit", and there's a lot of frustration for someone in that position, especially someone with enough power to destroy everything he comes in contact with. However, we won't get to see any of that because the suit is mechanical, apparently, and because Marc Webb has stated that Rhino will only appear for, like, five minutes.



Which brings up the next issue. It has been said that there are too many villains in this movie, at three. That's probably not going to be a problem if Rhino isn't in it too much, but that number would still be better if it were "one". I suspect Rhino is going to be an "establishing fight" where we get reminded of Spider-Man's abilities and personalities. It brings us back into the situation, reminds of the stakes, and comparatively, makes the other, badder guys seem like more of a threat. No, instead, the problem is not the number of villains, but this "world-building" thing they're trying to do, which is the topic for tomorrow.
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