Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Hello, Spongey here.

Well, if you follow me on Twitter/Facebook, you’ll know that a full general review of Captain America 2 got scrapped. I talked it about on Facebook if you want a really short review. I’ll probably discuss it on here someday, but not today.

So instead, I’m here to discuss another comic book sequel! And since this is a sequel AND a reboot, we gotta discuss the previous entries. I just did a review of Spider-Man 2 to preamp for this, so if you want my thoughts on Sam Rami’s first two Spidey films, you can go there. I haven’t seen 3.

So we’ll just talk about The Amazing Spider-Man. A Nolan-ized reboot of Spider-Man that only exists because Sony didn’t want to lose the rights. You would think that would end badly, but it was actually pretty decent.

Since this is the internet, opinions are very mixed. Some people hated it, and perfred the Rami Films, while others love and bash the Rami ones. There isn’t much middle ground here, as both sides act like dicks to the other films.

I for one, I think Spider-Man 1 and Amazing are equal. They both different, acceptable takes that reflect the kind of films made in those respective periods. There’s nothing wrong with that. I can’t say I prefer one or the other, as they as both good, but flawed. I won’t compare them too much as I plan to do that some other time.

Amazing managed to be darker and edgier, without being too much like Dark Knight. It did get a bit too somber for my tastes, but it turned out well. While I have a few issues with the characterization of Peter Parker, as well as how the romance starts, Peter is still likable enough, and Andrew Garfield is really good as Spider-Man. I’ll get into Gwen Stacy in the actual review.

It was a solid enough film that was simply a fine start. I really looking forward to this one, as the trailers seemed like the film will finally get that perfect mix of serious and fun that Spider-Man 2 previously perfected. Only with a bigger emphasis on serious, of course.

Then the critics and fan got a hold of it….oh boy. If you thought Man of Steel was diviise….it still is, but this came close. Some people loved it, calling it the best Spidey movie ever, while others HATED it. I’ve honestly seen a review calling it worse than Batman and Robin.

Think about that.

It has a 56 on Rotten Tomatoes, while it had a 70 back when it opened in the UK. But oddly enough, the consensus completely changed from positive to mixed. Has that ever happened before?

But oyu kjnow what is odd? Spider-Man 3 has a higher percentage. What. Anyway, I’ve mostly seen mixed reactions from my trusted internet critics, with Doug and Rob saying they think they liked it, but they aren’t sure.

Naturally, after that, I HAD to see it. So today, I did. What did I think? Is this the web slinging adventure we have been hoping for? Or did the writers did not realize that with great power comes great responsibility?

…Hey, the movie doesn’t say it, so shut up.

This, is The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Following the fallout of the Lizard’s attack on Manhattan, life seems to be going well for Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) he’s graduated at the top of his class, he has a happy romantic relationship with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), and still has time to help the police deal with crime running rampant in the city. Things take an unexpected turn, however, when Oscorp technician Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) gets into an accident that transforms him into an electricty-powered freak of nature that quickly becomes Spider-Man’s most powerful opponent yet. In addition, there’s the matter of the unexpected return of Peter’s old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), who has an infatuation with the web-slinger and is slated to take control of Oscorp as his father Norman (Chris Cooper) becomes increasingly ill. Unfortunately, Peter learns a truth about his parents that will test his friendship with Harry and transform the world around him as he is posed to fight his greatest battle yet.

So, what did I think of this movie? Well….I really liked it. Sorry guys, but the hate for this one is overblown as all hell. I get why some feel it is weak, but I don’t see why people HATE it. Even the MOS hate made sense to an extent.

But let’s ignore everyone else and focus on why I liked it. It’ll be hard to review this without spoilers, or being cluttered, but I’ll try. I’ll start by saying who it improves on the first reboot film.

For one, Andrew Garfield is much better as Peter this time, and his character is better written. In the first film, he was fine, but I felt he was a bit too “cool”. I mean, he didn’t have many problems before he became Spider-Man. They made up for it with the story, and how Andrew did as Spidey, but it was an issue.

Here, he’s much better. While he isn’t as “distinct” as Rami’s take, I quite liked him. Like in Spider-Man 2, he has a lot to deal with : Eletrco, Gwen Stacy, Harry, and his parents. Yeah,’ll get to that.

Everyone seems to love that Peter is snarky as Spidey, and that is part of why I liked him here. His quipping was fun in the first one, but he was hilarious here. As both Peter and Spidey, he gets a lot of funny lines. At every tune, he has a snarky line, and it’s done pretty well. He doesn’t across like a jackass, and he’s very likable.

But he knows when to get serious, and as a result, I sympathized with him. I feel that they give us a different Spidey from the Rami films, while staying true to the Peter we know and hopefully love. He can a bit on the bland side, as he doesn’t have a major character trait to start out with, while Rami’s Peter was nerdy, but I feel like the development he gets makes up for it. Peter has a lot to deal with in this film and I think they balanced it pretty well. Like in Rami’s Spider-Man 2, the best parts are the bits with Peter’s development. But unlike that one, the romance is a highlight!

Okay, let’s get into that, as I don’t want to delay it. I’ll hopefully more into Peter as we go on. Also, Andrew Garfield officially defeats Toby Mcguire as the definitive Spider-Man, but I still enjoy Tobey in the role.

In most comic book mo-nay, movies in general, the romance is a drag. And that’s just if it’s a subplot. The romance in the first Rami films was alright, but it did stumble a bit. A lot of critics have said that the romance in this film was awesome and it was even better than the ation.

I…..agree. Completely Holy shit, did I have a blast when these 2 shared the screen. The romance in the first one was fine, but not impressive, and Emma Stone wasn’t at her….stoniest. Here? It’s pretty great.

I don’t know what it is, but these 2 are a lot of fun to watch. They both get good dialogue and I think that both characters were strongly written. Some of the best parts are when they are just having fun together. However, the DRAMA with them works here too!

Spider-Man films have always had trouble getting me into the drama of the romance. When something happens with them, I’m like “Cool” and that’s it. But here, it was pretty good. While it is a tad cliché (This is like the 3rd Spider-Man break up I’ve seen, and I haven’t even seen 3 yet) it works due to the writing.

But the biggest accomplishment is the break up. It’s not a spoiler, every Spidey movie needs a break up scene of some kind. If you read my Spider-Man 2, you’ll recall that I really I didn’t like how they split up early on because MJ was too much of a bitch. Here? It’s perfect.

We see why they two want to split up, and neither of them come across as unlikable. Especially Gwen who has an awesome moment in that scene. The film does not stop dead in it’s track to do the romance. It flows well, it adds to the character and the ending….well, I’ll go into that in the spoiler section. Yes, there shall be a spoiler section. If you’ve the movie, you’ll understand.

As for Gwen herself, she’s pretty cool. Tons of people praised the first one for making her smart, and an equal to Spidey. Here, it’s the same as she is her own woman and she doesn’t feel defined as “the love interest”. While she does have to be saved, it’s only after she tells Peter she shouldn’t be kept on the sidelines as she can help just as much as he does. Emma Stone is really good her, getting some funny parts while also doing the drama well too. It’s not even my like for her speaking, she’s just awesome here.

I actually wanted more of the romance, in hindsight I never thought I would say that. Before I move on, one more thing about Peter: I am mixed on how the focus is regarding him. While it does focus in him, it somehow felt like there was too much time when we weren’t dealing with his issues. He deals with stuff, but it didn’t quite capture the balance of Peter and Spidey like Rami’s 2 did. But more on that in the spoilers.

Before I move on to the other character, I would like to discuss the tone. Spider-Man 2 perfected the tone of Spidey, making it serious AND fun. This one, thankfully, does it too. It goes for a lighter approach by having some fun dialogue, energetic action scenes, and embarrassing some of the goofier concepts. It even lets the actors have fun, especially Paul Giamatii and Dane Dehan. But of course, it’s mostly on the serious side, as it deals with some solid themes, and it has a lot going on. Perhaps too much but i’ll get to that near the end.

The tones match perfectly, and I honestly didn’t think it was too goofy or too serious. Some will stay say it’s dumb Nolanizing but it worked well for me. The only thing that can be seen as Rami-ish, when it comes to silliness, is when Electrco using these …things to play Itsy Bitsy Spider So many people threw a bitch shit over this one little moment, and I don’t get it. It was a cute little moment. Nothing more, nothing less.

Overall, the tone is solid and any issues come from the writing rather than the tone. Now for the other characters.

The villain, Electro was pretty cool. He’s this nerdy dude who works at Oscorp (because everyone in the world works there for some reason) that becomes a fanboy for Spdey after he saved by him. He’s pretty much invisible to everyone, and he lives alone. Then one day he’s working on an electrical …thing, when he falls into a vat of electric eels. Suddenly, he becames a being made of energy and while he’s not evil at first, he becomes bad because everyone treats him badly….and Spidey forgot his name even though he remembered what he said to him.

Not the best motivation , but it works. I like that they made him sympathetic (as per tradition) while also making him a badass villain. He gets the best action scenes in the movie, and I like the effect they did for him. While the idea for him is goofy, I think he fit in this world fine thanks to the tone, even if we he would dead in real life, instead of an energy dude.

Jamie Foxx, does a good job as he pulls off nerdy and badass perfectly. However, I do have an issue with the character. It’s a bit of spoilers, so I will be vauge. Let’s just say that I’m not sure if he’s the main villain….and his “arc” doesn’t go anywhere. Again, no spoilers yet. Sorry this bit is short, but again, spoilers.

Now that I think about it, there aren’t a ton of major characters to discuss. The other characters people refer to are so minor that it’s pointless to discuss them. So I only have like …1 left? But first, I’ll say that we see this film’s version of Norman Osborne, as played by Chris Cooper. He’s cool for one the scene he gets, but as far as Chris Cooper baddies go, I’ll stick with Tex Richman.

Speaking of, let’s discuss Harry. He’s done pretty well, and he’s even better than he was in Rami’s 2. But here, we see even more of his friendship is Peter. When Harry’s father dies (not a spoiler, he dies early on and also Norman isn’t Green Goblin first in this continuity), Peter is there to console him. But eventually, Harry starts dying for reasons I don’t remember, and things heat up.

I won’t say too much but as the movie goes, his relationship with Peter is strained, and like in Rami’s 2, Harry grows to hate Spider-Man for reasons I won’t get into here. I thought that Harry’s deal was done very well, as he is sympathetic but we can take him seriously as a villain. Again, not a spoiler, it’s pretty obvious.

Dane does a good job, and he’s better than Franco in every way. When he becomes fully bad about half way through the movie, we can tell he’s having a lot of fun with this role. It’s also not a spoiler to mention he becomes the Green Goblin, and I thought the outfit was a decent upgrade. He’s not wearing that dumb Power Rangers mask this time and while the outfit is a bit goofy, it’s still cool.

I think the character relationships are the heart of this film. I really like Peter and Gwen, and Peter and Harry. We get a lot of complexity and all comes from Peter. Also, Aunt May is pretty good, as she cares for Peter and she gets some sweet moments.,That’s kind of it for the characters are rest are mostly minor.

But I will mention the Rhino, played by Paul Giamatii. He only appears at the beginning and end, but he makes those few minutes. I don’t see people bitch about him being in it, since he’s kind of like Underminder in the Incredibles. He’s there for a AND THE ADVENTURE CONTINTUES ending. It’s cool.

Also, the Stan Lee cameo was cool. Not as good as the first one, but still cool.

With that done, let’s address a few things before we wrap up. The biggest complaint lobbed at this film is that it’s really overstuffed, with too much going on. I honestly didn’t have that problem . I didn’t think it had TOO much going on, as it juggled all the mine plot lines pretty well. However, I do agree that some stuff could have been trimmed so that we had a more focused film.

As I said before, Peter is the focus, but I feel like some of the non Peter stuff should have been trimmed down. Maybe it’s because I just reviewed a movie with a ton of focus on it,. But I wanted more focus on Peter juggling his two lives. There’s enough focus on his troubles, but I think adding that in would make this film even more complex.

I think the true mark of an overstuffed film is when all the added stuff has no reason to be there. Pretty much everything, for the most part, is there to service the story. It doesn’t feel like stuff if being added for no reason, except maybe the Sinister Six tie-in. That was kind of pointless.

While I do think they should have spent more time in the editing room, it still felt like everything had a purpose. Even the whole Peter’s parents thing was cool, as it added to Pete’s character to an extent. True, these films wouldn’t have lost much if Pete’s parents weren’t part of it, but I’ve always wanted to know more about them.

Is it overstuffed? Slightly, and I do feel that it needed some trimming, but it’s nowhere near the muddle mess people say it is. Though I see why some say it’s a bit crowded.

So overall, this movie was pretty good! Yeah, the review portion was short but I don’t have too much say for this one. While there are a few elements that I was mixed on, it didn’t hae anything that harmed my enjoyment of the film. Even in it’s weak spots, it’s a lot of fun. Oh, and the action scenes are great too. Forgot to mention that. The story has plenty of meat to it, the characters were written, Peter is at it’s best, the villain(s) were cool, and the acting was excellent all around. Is it a little undercooked in parts? Sure, but it doesn’t take away from how much I enjoyed this one.

Some people calling this a cash grab, but I think Marc Webb and the writers tried to make an actual movie, Everyone involved in this obviously put a lot of effort into, even if Sony doesn’t really know what it’s doing. Speaking of, Peter has a Sony Vio. Subtle.

It’s better than both Spider-Man 1 and Amazing 1. But is it better than Spider-Man 2? Eh, it’s about on par. While some elements work better (romance, Harry, tone) it is also less focused, and I honestly think Doc Ock was a better villain than Electro, as he was just written better. I don’t have quite the enthusiasm I had for that, but the issues here didn’t bug me as much as the issues there, so there is that.

I was mixed on the grade here, as the issues are clunky enough for people to know it dowm. But since I compared it to Spider-Man 2, which got an A-, I might as well give it the same grade. But consider what I said, if you wanna see this. I recommend this to anyone with an open mind.

Grade: A-

So there you go, I liked it. If you don’t like it, that’s cool. I just don’t think it deserves to be hated ala Man of Steel. Also, Cinema Sins will be happy to know that Peter switched to Google this time. Yay!

The main review is now over. The spoilers begin after the warning. So if you don’t want spoilers, leave now. See ya.

SPOILERS

SPOILERS

SPOILERS

SPOILERS

SPOILERS

SPOILERS

SPOILERS

Okay, are those losers gone? Let’s talk spoilers. First off, I’ll go into my Electro problem. See, like Spider-Man 2, Harry teams up with the villain to kill Spider-Man, only it’s different here. Harry wants Spidey’s blood as the venom in the spider that bit him can cure him.Spidey refuses because he fears his blood might make it worse. Harry is the one hwo recruits the baddie to help him out. At first I felt that Electro was just a pawn for the real villain, but they fix that.

See, they both hate Spider-Man for screwing them other. Electro wouldn’t even team up with Harry if he didn’t share his Spidey hate. So Electro might have escaped and went after Spidey if Harry was not here. So that worked for me.

However, Electra kind of vanishes after his first action section, until Harry collects him. Then near the end he is defeated, and that’s the last of him. His sympathetic arc isn’t really completed and now he really does feel like a pawn in Harry’s plan. It’s not THAT big of a deal, but it did bug me.

On the other hand, Harry makes for a great villain so I can’t complain. I won’t go into what Peter’s parents were up as I have nothing to say about that. But I do have things to say about Gwen’s….death.

Yeah, this part is kind of spoilers….but it isn’t if you know anything about basic Spider-Man comics. Before the plot was even announced, I figured they might put her in death in her, or the third one.

Then I heard it recreates an important piece of Spidey history and I put two and two together. And I must say, the death is pulled off very well! While I do wish they had more screen time so people wouldn’t complain about character bland-ness, I still got into it.

It’s perfectly paced, well written, and perfectly acted. To be honest…it kind of got to me. In my mind I was like NOOOO, when this happened. I’m pretty sure I heard someone in my theater go “aww” during the resulting scene, too. I didn’t completely get how she died, though. They are fighting Green Goblin in a clock tower when Gwen falls, and Spidey catches her with his web….but she’s dead when he pulls her up.

This is kind of from the comics, and as I read in an article today, there’s been huge debate over how she died in the comic. Mostly due to the disconnect between artist and writer, but I won’t get into that. Most people say that she died because her snap snapped due to how fast the web caught her. Based on how Peter reacts, I think that’s true of the film version.

So yeah, it’s kind of Peter’s fault. That just makes it even sadder. It’s a really effective moment and I liked seeing the after math. Though I don’t recall them flat out defeating Green Goblin. He just kind of vanishes after Gwen dies. We see him in the loony bin for a Sinister Six teaser so I guess they stopped him off screen?

Also, I thought that the ending went on too long. I mean, we see Peter visiting Gwen’s grave, people talk, Sinister Six is teased, the Rhino pops up, and quite a few things happen before Peter becomes Spider-Man again to fight evil Paul Gimatii. It was all pretty cool (especially a bit with this kid, a cheesy but sweet repeat of Gwen’s graduation speech from earlier) but a bit could have been trimmed down to make the ending more effective. But hey, at least it’s not an abrupt ending.

I think that’s all I got. Electro was a bit weak in the end, ending went on too long, and Gwen’s death was really well down. I didn’t tear up or anything, but it got to me. Also, there’s a mid credit scene teasing…X-Men: Days of Future Past?

Yeah, you see, Marc Webb-

Okay, can I just say that I love that a guy named Marc WEBB did Spider-Man movies? That can’t be a real name. That’s almost a silly as a writer named Norm Hiscock, or a director named Blaxwell smart.

…Er anyway, Marc did a movie with Fox before doing this with Sony. He owed Fox another movie, and the two companies agreed to make the trade if Marc put an X-Men teaser on here. It was cool. Nothing special, but cool.

That’s all I got. I really liked the movie even with it’s flaws. Hope you movie watchers, enjoyed my spoilers. I think Sony is doing an okay job here, and I’m hyped for the next Spidey adventure.

See ya.

(Also, I love that Peter has the Spider man theme as his ringtone)

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About Spongey444

I'm 20 and I'm a slightly below average man who can barely spell. I mostly spend my time watching TV and movies, hence why i ended doing a blog all about those things. I tend to have weird tastes, but I like think I'm just fair on things.
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One Response to Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

  1. Deepthroat Ghoul says:

    Too bad plans to make The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and the Sinister Six spin-off were cancelled.

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