First impression of The Amazing Spider-Man 2: A weak film with too many villains, too many subplots, too little direction. Yet, entertaining nonetheless. Perhaps a good romp to watch on a rainy day when you have no other plans. Second impression of The Amazing Spider-Man 2: A weak film that espouses potentially damaging ideologies, about mental health issues in particular.
Max Dillon—aka Electro, the film’s primary villain—is characterized as an emotionally and mentally fragile individual. He has no social support and is incredibly lonely. Although he’s intelligent, his superiors take advantage of him, taking credit for his work while also bullying him.
Interestingly, Max’s mutation into Electro—into a volatile, violent individual—comes as a result of his boss’s negligence and bullying. Forced to work late and complete a dangerous task solo, Max accidentally electrocutes himself and falls a story or two into a vat of eels, subsequently morphing into the glowing blue villain. While the film initially seems to blame the corrupt C-Suite of Oscorp (the company where Max works) for his evolution from a mentally fragile human being to a dangerous one, it doesn’t call upon them to take responsibility. Instead, the film shifts the blame entirely to Max, forcing him to pay the full price for what he’s become.
You can read more about my take on the film’s handling of mental health issues at Vannevar 44 in the essay “The Not-So-Amazing Spider 2: The Problem with Lazy Writing.” To hear about the film’s other shortcomings, check out the new podcast series I’m participating in, Vox44.