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Fixing The Amazing Spider Man 2 (Video Essay) ft. Armored Penguin


I… fucking… love… Spider-Man. I made a shitty fan film in ninth grade,
I saw every movie opening night. I even used to dress up like him to go to kids’ birthday parties. Spider-Man is so fundamentally a part of me. There are about three movies that completely broke me. What I mean by that is they took my little nerdy filmmaking soul, chewed it up, and then shat it out. One of those movies was The Amazing Spider-Man 2; The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is everything wrong with filmmaking. It took a good director and a bunch of great actors, and forced whatever the intention of the original film was into a glorified demo reel for the rest of Sony’s
“Spider-Man Cinematic Universe.” Look how that turned out… I signed up to serve the story and to serve this incredible character that I’ve been dressing as since I was three. It gets compromised, and it… and it breaks my heart. The script is a cluttered mess of cliches and plots from different films. Oh look, Remember that superhero movie where one of the two major villains of the film idolizes our hero, to the point of being insane? Their actions to impress said hero lead them down the dark path, and eventually kidnap the hero’s blonde girlfriend? Wait, I got another one. Remember that reboot movie sequel
written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, where the main plot device of the film is some special, super-secret blood? The movie is shot by Dan Mindel and includes a shit ton of lens flares? You have the damn point. So how does one fix The Amazing Spider-Man 2?
To be honest, no matter what you do, it’s not going to be a perfect movie.
Even with all the deleted scenes put back in, a lot of the pre-Electro Jamie Foxx stuff cut, and centering the conflict of the film on Harry, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is still a hot mess of cinema. But- I’m an insane Spidey fanboy, so I spent tons of hours trying to make an edit of the film that is more tonally consistent with first movie. And if we’re stroking my ego, just a better movie as a whole. There’s a full edit of it that I made a year or two back I’m not going to talk about all the little details and edits I made, but I will focus on a few major ones. First off, Richard Parker. Everything with Richard Parker, but the underground secret train shit – you can cut. That includes the amazing “Bourne-Man” scene… As well as cutting out the reveal where Richard Parker informs Peter that only he can be Spider-Man. A little aside, guys.. I can make an entire video about why the concept of Peter Parker being “destined” to be Spider-Man takes away completely from the everyman notion of the character. But to keep it short, and this video tolerable, Anyone can be Spider-Man.
Everyone can be Spider-Man. Every kid should be able to wear the Spider-Man costume. Every kid should identify with Peter Parker.
That’s why Spider-Man is… well… Spider-Man. Anyways, in order for the Roosevelt payoff to work, you need to just make Peter’s cathartic moment come from Richard Parker saying he had to leave to get away from The Osborns. [The human DNA that I implanted in the spiders…
was my own.] That way Peter doesn’t whine about it anymore and we still mostly keep the everyman angle intact. See, Garfield’s emotions still work, and I really think that taking out the “special blood” aspect simplifies this already jumbled mess of a film. Pretty much every bit of overacting that Jamie Foxx does you should cut; Electro barely works as a villain anyway.
By cutting some of the Jamie Foxx goof, that gives you more time to focus on Beavis- I mean Dane DeHaan, who plays Harry Osborn. He kills Gwen; he’s the actual bad guy of the piece. Electro is only in the movie to fill space between Harry scenes. Plus, you know, Not everyone can be a twenty-something,
white H&M model. Add most of the deleted scenes back in,
you can logically figure out where they belong. I’ll show you these two scenes with deleted elements added back in and unnecessary stuff taken out. That way you can get a sense of
what the entire cut that I worked on was like. First off, rather than Harry call Peter
and tell him he’s dying, Peter goes to visit Harry and all the exposition we need to know is given through good performances and a scene that strengthens the relationship
between Harry and Peter. *Groan* [Pete, it’s me.] What time is it? [Uh, late? Early?
I don’t know, I’ve been up all night.] You alright? [Not really, Pete…
I’m dying.] [But I think you can help save my life.] My luckier one. Got it.
Nice catch. You don’t- you don’t have to do that right now. You alright? Yeah. You sure? Yeah, just.. um…
I just need a moment with my friend. Sure. See, you actually see two young men acting like two young men in an extreme- ridiculously extreme situation. You okay, or… Oh, not really, Pete… I’m dying. But I think you can help save my life. All right guys, I’m kind of tired out but let’s talk a bit about Electro. Damn it. He’s just so goofy… Not even “good” goofy. But like- Yo Alex, I’m really happy for you. You’re doing a great job. I’mma let you finish, but this is one of the worst villains I’ve seen of all time. Of all time. In order to make this villain work, we need to logically see and understand his skewed viewpoints. So we need to go back to when Harry’s father is dumping all this exposition on him , and tells him he’s infected with the bug too-
and change it. Because what they have here opens a little bit of a plot hole: like if Harry’s father says the hand-trembling started around the same age as him, […And it began at your age…] Anyone would logically think they had the same amount of time as their father did, giving Harry a 20 to 30 year life expectancy, this taking away his rush to find a cure. So we could change it to where they are vaguely talking about the disease. Harry’s father sees the hand trembles and says something along the lines of “You have the hand trembles too…” “You got it way earlier than I did.”
Then he dies. So from there, we’d have a paranoid-injected Harry exhausting all of his resources to save his own life. This takes away the plot hole, and
now we see why Harry is freaking out. So even though the whole blood trope is stupid and overused, it’ll actually make sense with our new character/plot. Next we would have Harry figure out that it’s the Spider-Man blood that’ll save him, So he will ask him for it
just like he did in the original film. Spidey will say no, so Harry will offer him money. which Spidey will turn down. From there, we would have Harry suit up as the Green Goblin and attempt to work with Spider-Man. This would give us a cool team of action scene, but it would end with Spidey telling him to stop, and that he’s going to get himself killed. By doing this, we see Harry trying every positive thing he could think of to get what he wants. This shows us that Harry is good, instead of him throwing a fit and instantly turning evil. Also, it would play up the whole “needing approval” theme set up by Electro being rejected by the world- in Spider-Man, and Harry with his father in Spider-Man. Going from there, we could head into the climax of the movie, where Harry is fighting Peter, and he realizes that beating him up won’t work, and he obviously can’t bring himself to kill him. So he kidnaps Gwen, giving Spider-Man an ultimatum. Spider-Man would attempt to save Gwen, forcing Green Goblin to drop her. But from here Spidey would go after Gwen and so would Harry; Harry doesn’t want her to die. He was just bluffing. Spider-Man would see Green Goblin going after her, so he would think that he’s still trying to kill her, forcing him to fight the Green Goblin. From there, Gwen would still die. But my last fix would be not to knock out Green Goblin;
I would keep him awake to see what he’s done, showing us that he cares,
and that he knows he messed up. But now we still need to fix Electro. Shit. Hey, what is it with blue villains
saying the stupidest lines? It’s my birthday…
Now it’s time for me to light my candles! Let’s kick some ice! Okay, I’m starting to ramble…
Let me hand the mic back to Alex. Hey guys, that was Joey
from his channel “Armored Penguin.” Yes, this is a collaboration of sorts, But he does a really cool show called movie maintenance, where he takes various films and breaks them down more in detail than I do, and talks about how to fix them- not just at an editing level like we do, but a story level as well. Check out his stuff, seriously,
and let him know what you think. Link down below. There’s so much more both of us could talk about, but you can’t polish a turd. You can’t completely fix The Amazing Spider-Man 2 because the intention of the film is not to be good; it’s not. Marc Webb is fantastic at directing people and stories about people. All the leads are incredible actors that shot beautifully and has the best on-screen spider-man costume to date. But none of that matters when the mentality behind the film is so… “studio.” Sony wanted to make this movie to set up other movies, not to make a good film. It’s the same reason Spider-Man 3 was disappointing: they wanted to sell Venom toys. But in this case, they wanted to sell something even bigger. They wanted to sell a Spider-Man,
more specifically a Spider-Man universe The intention behind both The Amazing Spider-Man films was to allow Sony to keep the rights. That is their sole purpose. You can cover that up with a great cast and crew;
when the intention is not pure, you end up with something almost… soulless. If you like what we do at HiTop Films,
or even if you don’t, you can help support us. For just $1 a month, you can help us make more and better content, as well as receive a bunch of exclusive Patreon rewards. If half of you donated a single dollar, you would make the dreams of a few young artists come true. So please check out the page. I’ll link it below, and I’ll post a little thing right here. Thanks, guys; I appreciate all the support you’ve given us, and stay tuned for more videos.

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