Warning: There are massive spoilers ahead.
“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is out in theatres this weekend, and many people will be upset with the end of the film.
If you’ve seen every trailer for the movie, there aren’t many surprises at all until maybe one of the final scenes.
Even then, you’re probably able to guess what happens. There’s been a lot of fan speculation about a major character death occurring in the film.
Last chance to head back before spoilers.
Well, they did it.
Much like the popular comic, the sequel kills off Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) in a final climatic battle.
The punches kind of never stop coming so when this occurs you may be in action overload and not even fully grasp the full effect of what just happened.
It’s a moment that makes your stomach lurch and your heart jump into your chest. It’s also a moment that will be difficult for parents to explain to children.
Comic book fans have predicted this was coming. Sony put out a trailer showing Stone wearing the iconic outfit Stacy wears in the comic when she’s killed inadvertently by the Green Goblin and Spider-Man.
We’ve discussed at length whether or not director Marc Webb would actually follow through with the iconic comic sequence.
The sequel doesn’t make it look like Spider-Man necessarily kills Gwen by snapping her back or neck. Instead, it looks like she may have also received a fatal blow to the head from a clock gear.
The scene is hinted at from early on in the film. As Stacy delivers an ominous Valedictorian speech at her high school graduation essentially embracing and welcoming death, you know there’s no way she’s making it out of this film alive.
“I know that we all think we’re immortal, we’re supposed to feel that way, we’re graduating. The future is and should be bright, but, like our brief four years in high school, what makes life valuable is that it doesn’t last forever, what makes it precious is that it ends. I know that now more than ever. And I say it today of all days to remind us that time is luck. So don’t waste it living someone else’s life, make yours count for something. Fight for what matters to you, no matter what. Because even if you fall short, what better way is there to live?”
Despite the hints of Stacy’s impending doom, it seems like Sony is pulling the trigger on this one too early. We knew it would happen eventually to make room for Spidey’s other love interest Mary Jane Watson, but the studio’s missing out on a huge opportunity by letting Stone go now.
Not only is the chemistry between real-life couple Stone and Garfield one of the best parts of the franchise, Gwen Stacy’s character is one of the strongest female leads in a recent superhero movie who has resonated so well with audiences and young moviegoers.
In many ways, she makes the movie as much as Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield).
The New York Times’ reviewer Manohla Dargis noted this, too.
“Most women in the big comic-book movies continue to be consigned to supporting roles, and especially antediluvian ones, good for ogling and saving and not much more. Gwen is actually more interesting. That’s because, unlike some other superhero stories in which godlike heroes live and love among ordinary folk, Peter remains a strongly human presence … This blunt, uncharacteristically violent development is true to the source material, but it’s a bummer and a blown opportunity, both narratively and in terms of how the male and female characters work.”
Clearly, audiences are extremely receptive of strong female leads girls can identify with. Look at what Jennifer Lawrence has done with “The Hunger Games” franchise that has gone on to make upwards of $US1.5 billion after two movies.
If it wasn’t for the extreme success of that, we probably wouldn’t see Shailene Woodley leading another young-adult adaptation or Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow as more than eye candy in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” And we know what two female lead characters did for Disney’s “Frozen.”
Sony had something similar to the Tony Stark/Pepper Potts’ relationship in the “Iron Man” films, but on a more equal-level playing field. Gwen was basically the yin to Spidey’s yang — minus the super powers, of course.
There’s a scene in the sequel where Spider-Man needs to solve a problem and it’s because of Gwen’s smarts he’s able to figure it out.
The sequence is reminiscent of Barbara Gordon’s eventual role in the Batman comics where she serves as a tech guru coined Oracle offering assistance to the Caped Crusader.
Kudos to Sony for killing off a main character, something Disney and Marvel has come close to with “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” but hasn’t executed yet on screen.
However, after all progress made on screen with female leads this actually feel like it goes a few steps back by showing once again that female characters are expendable and weak.
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