As my primary movie-going companion and I entered the theater to watch the new Annie update, I found myself asking a question that had no yet occurred to me: “why am I seeing this?” I have no connection to the original version, and despite my appreciation for musical theater, I’m hardly a completist. It’s a simple question, with a simple answer: compulsion. In my undertaking of this blog project, I have found myself watching plenty of bad movies for no reason other than to write about them. That’s one thing I cannot wait to leave behind in the new year. Hopefully this time next year I won’t be going to whatever is the Annie of 2015, but most likely I will.
Why is it that comedy sequels so often re-tread the same ground as their predecessors? Dumb and Dumber To, The Hangover Part II, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. And sure, 22 Jump Street hangs a lantern on this idea by doing it so blatantly, but that doesn’t automatically excuse just how similar the two movies are. This phenomenon is called “comedy sequel-itis,” and with Horrible Bosses 2 it is safe to say that another one has bitten the dust.
When The Amazing Spider-Man was released in 2012, many cried foul the fact that it had only been 5 years since the last Raimi/Maguire. It was too soon, people said. Regardless, that uneven movie managed to entertain, mostly based on the performances by Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man/Peter Parker and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, Peter’s first true love from the comics. I remember thinking that the movie was rough (possibly due to last-minute edits that excised a lot of backstory), but that it ended with a lot of potential for the future. Sony clearly agrees, hoping to build an entire Avengers-esque mega-franchise around the character. Does The Amazing Spider-Man 2 deliver on the promise that the studio has (and more importantly, that I have) built up for it?