The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
Intros to every Spider-Man TV show ever made
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Director: Marc Webb
Writers: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, James Vanderbilt, Steve Ditko, Stan Lee
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Sally Field, Dennis Leary, Paul Giamatti, Dane DeHaan, Felicity Jones, Colm Feore, Embeth Davidtz, Campbell Scott, Marton Csokas, Louis Cancelmi, Max Charles, B.J. Novak, Sarah Gadon
Synopsis: Peter Parker runs the gauntlet as the mysterious company Oscorp sends up a slew of supervillains against him, impacting on his life.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action/violence
The Mathematics of Spider-Man
7.0 / 10
- Great visual effects
- Excellent cinematograhy, and action scenes
- Sound Effects and editing were well done
- Green Goblin costume is definitely an improvement over Raimi's versions from "Spider-Man" and "Spider-Man 3."
- Electro's costume was nicely done
- Better Spider-Man costume this time around
- Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker's love story was the heart and soul that helped carry the film
- Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were great together, as they both shared a great chemistry.
- Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone's performances were great.
- Subplot about Harry's health had a lot of promise
- Movie feels a bit uneven at times, as it's not often sure if it wants to be like Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" series with a light hearted comic book campy tone to it, or if it wants to be more serious like the last "Amazing Spider-Man" film was, with only a splash of camp in it.
- Electro's origin was a bit rushed, and it's a rip off of Riddler's origin story from "Batman Forever"
- Electro is basically a one note bad guy
- Harry's transition from being Peter's best friend to Green Goblin feels rushed, and not fully developed.
- Rhino's armor looks like a "Transformers" knock off, and looks cheaply rendered
- Rushed pacing in favor of introducing unnecessary subplots rather than telling a cohesive narrative
- Story is packed with too many subplots, and unnecessary characters (i.e. Rhino)
My Spider Senses are tingling again!
After a couple of short years, the sequel to "The Amazing Spider-Man" is finally here. Sony spared no expense either, as it spent a record two hundred million dollars on advertising alone. Quite a feat for any major blockbuster considering most studios usually spend around sixty to eighty million to promote their films. I guess Sony must be pretty confident that "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" will dominate the summer box office sales; similar to how "Iron Man 3" did last year.
Quiet a hefty feat considering that the month of May alone is packed with such movies like "Godzilla", "X-Men Days of Future Past", and "Maleficent." But who knows? Maybe Sony knows something we don't, or they could be putting all their eggs into one basket. Who really knows? Whether the movie is actually any good or not....lets find out...
"The Amazing Spider-Man 2" picks up months later after the events of the first movie. Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) has become a lot more comfortable in his role as the daily neighborhood Spider-Man. Saving kittens from trees. Stopping bullies from beating up a kid. Stopping criminals on a daily basis, while the entire city adores him by chanting the immortal words, "Spider-Man! Spider-Man! Spider-Man!" Um...I thought Webb was trying to make his Spider-Man a little bit more serious and darker, while only adding small amounts of camp to it.
In an odd direction choice, it seems Marc Webb has made a complete 180 in terms of the tone for this sequel. Instead vying for more of a light hearted campy adventure tone to it. Don't get me wrong, i personally don't mind the tone at all. After all, it doesn't really matter how grounded, or dark, you try to make a Spider-Man film because the reality is it's still a story about a teenage kid fighting crime, while wearing bright blue and red spandex. Um...you really want to argue how that's not in the least bit silly?
However, it's a bit odd though considering that it seemed like Sony was trying to get away from the light hearted campy feel of Sam Raimi's trilogy in the first movie. Sure, there was some camp in the first "Amazing Spider-Man" flick, but it wasn't quite at the level this movie presents. Don't get me wrong, the camp level in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" is nowhere near the level that we saw in any of Raimi's "Spider-Man" flicks, but it's fairly obvious that Webb went with a lighter campier tone for this sequel.
And for the most part, it seems to work in the film's favor, but it's a bit inconsistent. At some moments, it seems like Webb tries to ground the sequel in reality whenever we see Peter Parker interact with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), but at other times, it feels like he's trying to reach back to the days of Raimi's "Spider-Man" movies. Sheesh, make up you're freaking mind here. Say what you want about Raimi's "Spider-Man" films, but at least, he knew what he wanted the movies to be.
To get back to the story, Peter breaks his promise to Captain Stacy (Dennis Leary) from the last film, and he decides to date Gwen anyway. However, Peter struggles with this decision because he knows as long as he's Spider-Man, then her life will always be in danger. Plus, it was her father's dying wish that he'd leave Gwen the hell alone for the rest of her life. And like most teenagers, Peter is indecisive about what he really wants; hence forcing him and Gwen to be in an on again off again type of relationship.
Gwen loves Peter unconditionally, but she can't stand the fact that he can't make up his mind about what he wants. Peter loves her, and wants to be with her. But at the same time, he's haunted by his promise to Gwen's father. Oh, what's a poor teenage boy to do? Although Peter better make up his mind soon because Gwen is preparing to go to Oxford, and she's ready to start her new life with or without him tagging along.
One of the best parts about this movie was the love story between Peter and Gwen. Hell, you could easily argue that's the heart and soul of this movie. No matter how rushed the other subplots are in this film, the love story between these two is never rushed. It's written rather well. Plus, Andrew and Emma have a strong chemistry together that genuinely makes you believe they love each other. Although I'm sure it helps that both the actors, playing Gwen and Peter, happen to be lovers in real life.
Of course, where would a superhero movie be without a villain? Or, I should say villains in this case. Enter Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), a would be nerdy electrician expert at Oscorp. In a bit of a rip off of "Batman Forever", Max is basically a nerdy "Steve Urkell" type guy that's obsessed with his hero, Spider-Man, and then turns villain the instant he feels shunned by him. But unlike Jim Carey when he went from being super nerd, in "Batman Forever", to becoming well....Jim Carey playing himself as the Riddler, Max turns into an electrical bad a** named Electro, after his little accident at Oscorp.
After a misunderstanding by the police, Electro feels like Spider-Man has betrayed him. Acting like a scorned lover, who seeks revenge. Granted, it's refreshing to see a character that doesn't have the bulls*** excuse of a split personality to be a bad guy for a change, as the previous Spider-Man movie villains were notorious for that. However, Electro is sort of a one note antagonist, as all he wants is power and to kill Spider-Man. In a strange way, I feel like this version of Electro might've been a better fit in Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy, as he feels a bit out of place here considering how grounded the last movie set up this new "Spider-Man."
Of course, let's not forget about our other subplot involving Peter's best friend turned villain, Harry Osborne (Dane DeHaan). Unlike the previous version of Green Goblin, this one has a bit of a different back story. In Raimi's version, it was a bit more faithful to the comics, but in this new interpretation, we see that Harry is suffering from a genetic hereditary disease that his father is dying from.
As we watch his opening scene with his father, Norman Osborne (Chris Cooper), we can tell they're not exactly close. Being sent off to boarding school when he was still a preteen, while getting a bottle of scotch on his 16th birthday from his father saying the words, "Compliments of Norman Osborne." If that doesn't tell you how distant they are from each other, then I don't know what does. However, Harry is shocked to learn that there was a reason for it. His father was struggling to find a cure for himself, and Harry. But alas, he failed in his attempt to find a cure.
And with Oscorp abandoning all their animal genetic research, it seems like Harry's hopes of finding a cure for himself is quickly closing. That is until he meets his old childhood best friend again in Peter Parker. I'll admit that the set up for this story arc has a lot of potential. At the beginning of the movie, we can see how close Peter and Harry are as best friends, and it's obvious that Peter wants to do anything he can to help Harry. However, Harry feels the only way to cure himself is by getting some of Spider-Man's blood, but the only thing is Peter isn't so sure if that'll help him, or that it might make his condition worse. Needless to say, this later puts them in an adversarial position that could've shown a lot of promise. In a better written movie, this could have been the making of arguably one of the best superhero movies ever made. In fact, it's almost a shame that the Green Goblin wasn't the only villain in this film, as the premise had a lot of potential of giving us something great. Sadly, that wasn't Sony's priority.
No, they rush through Harry's transition from being Peter's best friend to adversary quite quickly in favor of setting up the "Sinister Six" film. For those of you who don't follow movie news, Sony plans on doing a spin off film based on Spider-Man's adversaries teaming up to kill him. Granted, it's a novelty idea as a stand alone film, but I wouldn't make the "Sinister Six" into a franchise movie series. However, isn't this supposed to be Spider-Man's movie? Plus, Sony already has two more "Spider-Man" films green lighted, so what's the rush? Why sacrifice what could've been such a powerful story in favor of setting of a spin off movie that's not even going to be in production until after "Amazing Spider-Man 3" anyway?
But alas, that's not what Sony wanted to do, as they merely wanted to cram as many subplots and villains into this as possible. Hell, the Rhino (Paul Giamatti) is shoehorned into this as well. In fact, he's only in this movie for about the last ten minutes of it, as he's obviously being set up as one of the villains for "The Amazing Spider-Man 3." However, if he's not a key character in this film, then why the hell do you even need him at all? If you're only going to show him for the last ten minutes of the movie, then wouldn't that ten minutes be better spent on developing Harry's story arc into becoming Green Goblin? Or maybe giving more screen time to develop Electro a bit?
Sadly, this film is heavy on style, but lacks a lot of substance. Not to mention, the pacing of this movie feels a bit rushed at times, whenever it's not focusing on Gwen and Peter's lovey dovey moments. However, I will give credit to the film by saying the cinematography and CGI is top notch. I especially loved all the web slinging shots that were taken throughout this film, as the action sequences were simply amazing to watch. Although I still think "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" had better action scenes, but that was mainly because it had more of a mixture of practical effects mixed with CGI that made it more realistic. Whereas the action scenes in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2", you can obviously tell most of it is done in CGI. Not saying that's a bad thing, but it's just a personal preference.
As far as the costumes go, I have to say I prefer the costume in this one a lot better. Although the spidey costume from the last movie was a bit more realistic, I tend to prefer this one because it looks closer to the comic book version of Spider-Man, with big bug eyes on the mask; reminiscent of the 80's Spider-Man comics.
Plus, Electro had a very interesting design to him as well. Although the visual effects used for his character were a bit reminiscent of Dr. Manhattan, from the "Watchmen" movie, but I have to admit that I love Electro's look in the movie. It's almost a shame they couldn't develop his character enough to match his appearance.
As for Green Goblin, I can't say I love his costume, but it's definitely an improvement over what Raimi gave us in his "Spider-Man" movies. And, don't even get me started on Rhino, as I simply hated his mechanical costume in this movie. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of these pretentious fans that expects everything to be a hundred percent accurate to the comics, but the Rhino looks like a mechanical reject from Michael Bay's "Transformer" movies, and it doesn't even look realistic at all. If anything, the CGI rendering for Rhino's armor looks a bit cheap if you want my honest opinion, which is surprising because all the other visual effects were great before he came along.
Overall, I wouldn't say that "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" is anywhere near as bad as most critics are making it out to be, as it's a fun comic book movie to watch if you're willing to turn off your brain, and enjoy the visuals. However, it could have been so much more. I would recommend seeing it in theaters because the 3-D cinematography is actually well done in this sequel, but the story itself doesn't really make it worth the extra money you'll have to spend seeing it. If you want my advice, I'd probably wait to see this on DVD/Blue Ray, as it's not worth seeing in theaters. An OKAY movie at best, but I wouldn't expect too much out of it.
Green Goblin's Origin
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© 2014 Steven Escareno
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