This week we’ll take a look at the latest superhero flick to come swinging into theaters, The Amazing Spiderman 2. Directed by Marc Webb, and starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Jamie Foxx, it is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action/violence.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 continues the events of its prequel, following the life of Peter Parker (Garfield) in his adventures as your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Peterdeals with the struggle of being the masked hero, while also attempting to keep the love of his life, Gwen Stacy (Stone), safe. As the movie progresses, the mystery revolving Peter’s parents resurfaces, leading him to discover things about Oscorp that in turn, sends a number of super-villains against him, including the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx) and the return of Peter’s long time friend, Harry Osborne (Dane DeHaan).
6 out of 10
I recently re-watched the original Spider-Man, with Tobey Maguire, and it has this certain feel to it that makes it so good. It’s very comic booky and though the special effects don’t really hold up, it’s still a really fun time. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 tries to get that same feel, but a number of things don’t allow it to get to that stage, though it’s still a respectable film.
CGI took over the film. The whole thing was way too video gamey, a surplus of excessive graphics and visual effects that made me feel overwhelmed. It lacked the genuinity that Maguire’s Spider-Man had. I guess that’s the price we pay for advanced technology. It works really well in some situations (as I hope it will in Godzilla), but this is one of those circumstances where there’s got to be a limit on it. It’s nauseating. It’s an impressive use of technology, there’s no doubt about that. But the way they were utilized was not. It was too much.
The dialogue was way too cheesy. It just got to be ridiculous. I was convinced that Peter Parker was a California stoner throughout the movie. Garfield’s giving it his best shot at appearing nerdy, but it doesn’t come off that way. The result is silly dialogue that sounds like he’s trying way too hard to be funny. And going back and watching the original Spider-Man, the dialogue is super cheesy in that too, but the whole tone of the film allows it to work. The newer version isn’t as light on the tone. It’s slightly more mysterious, and the cheesy dialogue doesn’t fit nearly as well.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of some of the characters either. I’m not too fond of this version’s Peter Parker. He doesn’t really embody everything that Peter Parker is about. He’s supposed to be a relatable little nerd, but Garfield is a handsome, slick jock. Meanwhile, Electro’s character was just… dumb. He was annoying, to be honest. I didn’t really care for him all too much, and I felt like his motivation for attacking Spider-Man was forced. Harry Osborne was pretty disappointing a character as well. He was too one dimensional and just boring. Dane DeHaan was not a very good choice for the role. I prefer James Franco much more. And Paul Giamatti appearing for like two seconds??? What the hell.
I will say that the chemistry between Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker is phenomenal. It’s really the best thing about the movie. It makes it enjoyable, unlike a certain romance in Thor… not to name names. It definitely helps that Garfield and Stone are dating. They have a real connection and they are so believable as a couple. If we got a Thor-type chemistry, it’s would just be so boring, especially since the movie doesn’t have much else going for it. Gwen and Peter are not boring, thank god, which makes the ending all the better.
I’ll quickly mention the last scene, which was very well executed. It was well-choreographed from the intense beginning versus Electro till the surprising conclusion against the Green Goblin. It was an exciting conclusion to an overall okay film.
Overall, I can’t say I was pleased, but I can’t I say I was super disappointed either. In the end, it did accomplish one thing better than the original, arguably the most important goal for the future; it established potential villains and plotlines, setting up a franchise that can be extremely successful.
7 out of 10
Unnecessary would be my choice word for describing the Spiderman movies of the past seven years or so.
The Raimi films were timeless in their own right. We’ll get that out of the way here. I’m obviously biased since I can still vividly imagine me at the age of four and six showing up to both one and two with my rip-off of a web-slinger glove-thingies on hand (Remember those? If you don’t, don’t worry, they shot silly string about four feet before running out)
But, all kidding and cheesy moments aside, I do really like Spiderman one and two from before. In fact, two was the bell cow of the superhero genre before Dark Knight showed up. Three was three. And there’s a lot of commentary you can certainly find out there on three that express disappointment in a much better way than I ever could even if I felt it even worse.
So then the first one of the reboot series came along. It was superfluous but it was good, not enough to justify its existence to me though . It was weighed down and suffocated by its early Peter Parker antics rather than focusing on some of the hero dilemmas that make Spiderman so juicy. I remember seeing it with Mr. Namasivayam two years ago, leaning in about halfway through and saying “I forgot this was a Spiderman movie.” when we finally saw the suit.
This one was the opposite. I walked into the theatre with the film’s gradual descent into a “55%” fresh in mind ready for it to dazzle me and…it did. For a while that is. Let’s go over the factors that I really liked/didn’t, in fact, since there’s a lot to weigh:
Performances: Far and away, the best part of the whole shabang. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone work off each other brilliantly. Jamie Foxx builds up just enough sympathy that a villain needs. And Dane DeHaan really kept me interested. DeHaan came extremely close to what Harry Osborn is: superficially charming and intelligent but also constantly playing a gruelling game of catch-up with his father (No matter how alive or dead he is).
Multitasking (First Half and Climax): I had absolutely no issue with the way multiple villains were being introduced in the beginning. Just enough ease and exposition kept it afloat. Meanwhile, the climax was actually fairly harrowing (Much more than I thought it’d be).
Special Effects: Duh.
Problems (These are pretty big):
Multitasking (Middle and some End): I’m a cheater, I know. There are some storylines that were so crammed, I just honestly forgot about them. Important things too like Peter’s past with the Osborn family and his parents. And that closing. It. Just. Wouldn’t. END.
Countin’ its Eggs: Before they hatch. There were parts that were practically a commercial for the next few Spiderman films. Just finish this one, guys.
I’d go into more length about those two issues that take up a way bigger chunk of the movie than they do this review but I do have a word limit. I can only say right now that they are very distracting. What matters, however, is if the good factors can distract you just enough from the bad. For me, the performances moved this show along just enough. Just enough for me to recommend seeing this. Am I interested in the next few? Eh, we’ll see.
Rotten Tomatoes: 53%