The summer movie reviewing begins and with it comes The Amazing Spider-Man 2. If you read my review of The Amazing Spider-Man, you know I ain’t a big fan of the reboot because this is the more cocky, irresponsible Spider-Man as opposed to the more humble, moral one in the original series. This new Spider-Man isn’t the one I’ve become such a huge fan of. I also feel like it was too soon for a reboot and my feelings proved to be warranted after watching the first one because it was the same backstory that I had just watched in the original series a decade ago. With me on my review of the sequel is my brother, Chris, who can be found over at theofficialgrump.wordpress.com. It’s a bonus brother edition!
Chris: I don’t like you. Thank you for inviting me. I’m looking forward to doing reviews this summer with you.
Tim: One step at a time, sir. Andrew Garfield is still in the lead role as our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man but he’s not as irritable or agitating in this one. Yeah, he totally lied to Gwen’s dying father which makes him a total sleazebag but he shows some genuine guilt over the whole thing. It didn’t seem believable to me at first but I have to admit I think Garfield is starting to grow on me… a little. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Moving on, Garfield and the script do more than color in the lines, giving us more than just a sneak peek of true character and personality and giving us a person with highs and lows just like the rest of us. It’s better for character connection and for me giving a care in the world than giving me the one-dimensional cocky teenager routine we’ve all seen too many times.
Chris: He had a better performance in this one than he did in the previous one and he learns more about his past in this one.
Tim: Emma Stone is the man or rather the perfectionist in this film. While Garfield has clearly learned from his acting experiences, Stone has been around Hollywood more than a few times and knows what it takes to make a role come alive. I can’t say I’ve seen her in anything aside from Zombieland and Gangster Squad, but I don’t need to in order to say she’s clearly got a head on her shoulders. It’s still not as good a characterization as Dunst did with Mary Jane in the original series but Stone’s performance is not far from it. There’s some true emotion and weight to this character and while she was one of the few highlights in the first film, she’s one of the many here.
Chris: She had an easier time with her characterization than Garfield. Her role made it feel like you were looking at Gwen Stacy and not Emma Stone.
Tim: The romance between them is complicated, the way I like it to be although it burns inside sometimes. Occasionally, there was a little too much in terms of the emotional roller coaster but it all worked out in the end so I won’t complain. There isn’t really anything negative to say about it which is a good thing because this romance became the focal point of the story rather than the conflict between Spider-Man and Electro, which I do think is a little unfair because I think the trailers made it look like this was going to be an action-bonanza and it wasn’t. I didn’t mind it though and coming from an action-obsessed critic like myself you know that’s saying something.
Chris: I think the romance worked well. If you were going in expecting to see a Captain America: Winter Soldier-type film, that’s not what you’re going to get.
Tim: The heavily anticipated unveiling of Electro ended in quite the disappointment for me. Jamie Foxx doesn’t get enough screen time or character buildup before he turns into the shocking villain (see what I did there?) which leaves me confused as to what his motives are. He starts off as a huge Spider-Man fan who doesn’t have any friends and gets degraded a lot everywhere he goes. He just wants to be noticed for once and I understand where he’s coming from but killing people isn’t going to get people to notice you; it’s going to get people to run away from you, which will only make you feel like more of a freak and so on and so on.
Chris: In the trailer, they showed him as if he was always a bad guy and in the movie they make him out to be almost mentally disturbed. I felt his action scenes were very short and a lot of his dialogue was said under his breath which made it hard to understand sometimes. I like Jamie Foxx as an actor but I feel he struggled in the role because of the scriptwriters’ lack of writing.
Tim: Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) isn’t as refined a character as he was in the original series and also doesn’t have a lot of face time. As I said earlier, it’s all about the romance, which is well-done, but where are our villains? This guy is Harry Osborn 90% of the movie along with maybe a whole five minutes of the Green Goblin! You got that sinking feel? That’s the feeling of disappointment and the acknowledgement that this is not Spider-Man’s super battle.
Chris: The trailers give you all of the action scenes of the Green Goblin and the Rhino. He’s a very different Harry Osborn than he was in the Toby Maguire series. Also, RAGE MODE ACTIVATED!!! Why were action scenes from the Matrix thrown in here where everything was in slow motion and dodging bullets and electricity and more bullets?!
Tim: The action scenes were still cool, but there was a lot of slow motion when had it happened in real-time it would have been so much more adrenaline-filled and lifelike. I’m not sure I’d go so far as distaste, but I expected more.
Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.
80-89 It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Non-Stop, Divergent, Spider-Man 3, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Young Guns)
50-59 This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (Alien Resurrection, Full Metal Jacket, Thor, You’re Next, The Starving Games)
40-49 This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Alien, Serendipity, Cowboys and Aliens, 300: Rise of an Empire, A Haunted House)
0-19 Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Midnight Cowboy, Dark Fury, Alien 3, Open Grave)
My score for The Amazing Spider-Man 2: 85.
There’s little doubt you’ll come out of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 surprised, but enjoyment is still to be had in this film, especially with it being as thought-provoking as it is. It’s just not the kind of enjoyment you were expecting. For all the Iron Man 3 haters out there who complained because it didn’t follow the comics, this is the superhero movie for you because it’s very accurate to the comics. It’s definitely a huge improvement from where it started and I will be looking forward to what direction director Marc Webb decides to take with the third one.
*SPOILER ALERT* IF YOU DON’T WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED, STOP READING!!!
Tim: If you got the “follow the comics” hint, you know that Gwen Stacy dies at the end of this movie. It leaves a bitter taste in your mouth and it saddens you but if you know more than a little about Spider-Man then you know this was inevitable. Can you imagine the uproar that would have occurred if Sony decided to make the two live happily ever after? Would I have been outraged if that had been the case? Certainly not, but there’s no doubt The Amazing Spider-Man 2 would have been the new Iron Man 3 for comic diehards had that been the case and then I would have heard the same stupid, short-sighted argument from these people for another six months instead of hearing about all the great things this movie was able to accomplish despite all the great things it also missed. In conclusion, it didn’t ruin the movie for me, although it is disheartening.
Chris: I felt this was going to come and it rather frustrated me. If you watch most Marvel, D.C. , or any superhero movie, there is always a romance involved in it, a romantic story that captures our hearts and make us care. The fact that they basically threw out the entire love story at the end made me quite annoyed. I understand it shows that Spider-Man has feelings which is a good thing, but every movie usually has a romance and wondering if there will even be one in the next movie will be interesting.
Tim: This doesn’t involve a major plot point but it is something I would like to discuss nonetheless because it’s so stupid. Two planes are flying towards the airport in New York City when Electro knocks the power out which eliminates the traffic control towers, leaving the airplanes flying blind. One of the route trackers on one of the planes calculates that the planes will crash in four minutes and one of the pilots tells this attendant to start the timer. Then, the power is restored about 15 seconds before the planes were to crash and they miss each other by inches, including the pilots turning their planes to avoid each other in three seconds. I’m sorry, but really?! That does not happen. If you know you’re going to crash in four minutes, why wouldn’t you change your path when there was a minute left or something? Go up, go down or move left or right, just do anything but keep going straight you idiots! How did no one on either of these planes think of this? Weren’t they considering what they were going to do if the power didn’t come back on?! Were they content with playing chicken with another plane and refusing to move, electing to explode into smithreens when a simple turn of the wheel or rise or decrease in elevation would have caused the avoidance of certain death? How dumb is that?!
Chris: I was really glad to see that Denzel Washington helped out with the planes (-_-). I did find this part incredibly dumb, too, and I laughed as soon as I saw it thinking, “Well, I’ve seen this about a 100 times.” I understand it is Hollywood but watching bombs being defused and planes near missing with like 2 seconds left gets annoying.