Tuesday, February 25, 2014

"AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2" Trailer Number 4,732 Almsot Looks Like a Good Movie

Credit where it's due: For the most part this is a good trailer and an exceptionally good Spider-Man trailer. It's well-cut, the pacing is great, the music cues work, the effects and cinematography are a 100% improvement on the muddy, cheap-looking first installment and Andrew Garfield is wearing not just the best-looking live-action Spidey-suit ever but probably one of the top-five superhero costumes, period.* And yes, while it's no less criminal that Emma Stone is wasting prime years and substantial talent in this nonsense... she's the franchise MVP, no question...

...and then the "franchise-specific" stuff slides in (the awful-looking bad guys, the stupid conspiracy/mystery/genetic-destiny backstory, the clear indicators that we'll be getting more clumsy "worldbuilding" for future movies than actual plot) and back down to Earth we come. Sigh...

The inherent problem with this series is that Sony has decided to learn all the wrong lessons from "THE AVENGERS" specifically and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in general; i.e. assuming that the Big Secret to having a franchise that dominant is in the ingredients (in this case: a big labyrinth of continuity threads and gigantic "world on the line!!!" climactic setpieces) instead of in the cooking. Yes, the "universe" angle has the benefit of keeping fans buzzing and generating free-publicity speculation between films and lets something like "THE AVENGERS" to jump right into action when it needs to; but if the actual movies aren't good no amount of continuity-porn can make up for that.

Yeah, conceptually it's "interesting" (or interest-piquing, at least) that Norman Osborn has an underground laboratory full of component-parts for eventual Vultures, Doc Ocks, Rhinos, etc... but "I'm kind of curious to see where how that works out, structure-wise" can't erase the more important issues of this version of Peter Parker being a terrible character, or that the big over-arching Peter's Parents uber-plot that's supposed to tie this all together and make it worth caring about beyond fandom shout-outs is thus far even dumber and more ill-advised than it's seldom-revisited presence in the comics. By the same token: I find myself struggling to care about the potential for old questions to be answered and new mysteries revealed in "BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN" because the world suggested by "MAN OF STEEL" (to say nothing of the so-called "characters" residing in it) is so crushingly uninteresting.

By contrast: Yeah, I want to know what (heavily implied) big changes to the infrastructure of the MCU will come out of "CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER," and I'll do the expected fanboy cartwheels if Quicksilver, Scarlett Witch, Von Strucker (likely) or Red Skull, Zola, M.O.D.O.K (less likely) show up; but A.) that's mainly because the MCU is an interesting place so far and those all sound like nifty additions and B.) still a distant second to wanting to see how this all impacts Cap, Black Widow, Nick Fury etc. because they're interesting, well-developed characters I want to follow.

On the other hand, I like that Spidey is dressed like a fireman at one part. So there's that.