Sunday 4 May 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Movie Review!!!

The first one wasn't really that amazing, so how about this sequel?? Read our review to find out!!!

So here we are with the second installment of this prematurely remade franchise. 

Most movie fans will know by now that while there are Marvel movies made by Marvel themselves (Avengers, Iron Man, Cap America, Thor etc etc), there are also faux Marvel movies made by other companies like Sony and Fox featuring Marvel characters.  The rights for these characters were sold to Sony & Fox way before there ever was a Marvel movie production house and Sony and Fox are not looking to give up these lucrative characters any time soon. 

What this means for the movie goer is that The Amazing Spider-Man, all the X-Men movies, including the upcoming Days of Future Past, as well as the planned remake of Fantastic Four are not part of the amazing Marvel cinematic universe that Marvel themselves are carefully creating.  It also means that these movies are usually wildly different from the stories on which they are based.  The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is no exception to this.  Fox and Sony just seem to make up stories as they go along, doing pretty much whatever they want.  I’m sure the big Marvel logo they paste on their posters and movie intros will lure in a lot of unsuspecting moviegoers expecting the next Avengers tie in.

All that aside, how does the movie itself fare?  Pretty average I would say. 

Peter Parker is still with Gwen, albeit haunted by images of her dead father and the promise he made her father that he would stop seeing Gwen just as he passed away.  The relationship and chemistry between real life couple Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone is great and is probably the best thing about the entire movie.

We are then introduced to Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon, a nerd scientist stereotype, almost a copy of Jim Carrey’s Dr. Nygma from the laughably bad Batman Forever (1995).  With no friends or social skills, he’s almost invisible to the world until he is saved by non other than Spider-Man himself!  He quickly becomes Spider-Mans biggest fan!  Until, that is, a freak accident at his work place, Oscorp, turns him into Electro.

We are also introduced to Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn, son of Norman Osborn, the boss of Oscorp.  Harry, as we all know, would eventually become the Green Goblin.

Finally add to this mix Peter Parker’s quest to figure out what happened to his parents.  If it sounds like there is a lot going on in this movie then you’re right!  There’s way too much going on! 

The whole back-story featuring Parker’s parents feels really unnecessary.  To be honest, even when the 'parents' story arc is completed there is no real revelation and it left me wondering what the point of even including it in the story was.  I really couldn’t care less about what happened to Parker’s parents.

Next we have Electro.  Now this is one amazingly stupid character.  He goes almost instantly from being Spider-Mans biggest fan to wanting Spider-Man dead.  The change in mentality is just too fast to be believable.  The Time Square action sequence, which has been paraded around so much in all the trailers, ends very easily and without any real consequence.  There never seems to be any real danger or threat to Spidey and there also appears to be no fallout from having some super villain destroy half the city.  Life in New York continues as if nothing happened as soon as the scene is over.

The story could easily have ended there; instead Green Goblin is thrown into the mix.  I won’t mention the Rhino as he’s not even really in the film and serves only to lead into the end credits.  A shame seeing as this was the fight I wanted to see the most.

The climax involving Spidey and best friend Harry, left me feeling surprisingly apathetic.  I’m usually the first to have something fly into my eye during emotional scenes at movies, giving the appearance I might be crying.  It happened in Cap America Winter Soldier in Cap’s final fight aboard the helicarrier, it happened in Thor 2 when a member of Thor’s family was given a traditional Viking funeral, but it did not happen in Amazing Spider-Man 2.  This movie just failed to make the same emotional connection with me.

Some will argue that the new Amazing Spider-Man series is more faithful to the original comics.  I really doubt that is the case.  Where’s Mary Jane?  Gwen and Mary Jane are supposed to be best friends, though having heard who has been cast as Mary Jane (Shailene Woodley), part of me is glad her scenes were cut out.  Rhino is not supposed to be a mechanical beast.  Electro was not formed by an accident at Oscorp.  Harry’s father was the Green Goblin first – but not in this version.  Fine, they got the electronic web-shooter thing right (though it was an omission I was happy with in the Toby Maguire movies) and they nailed Spidey’s more cocky and sarcastic tone, but like everything Sony and Fox do, pretty much everything else has been adjusted & fabricated.  Why must all bad things originate from Oscorp?  Just seems like strange and lazy writing.  And where’s Jonah Jameson??

Sounds like I’m very negative but there are plus points, specifically the chemistry between Garfield and Stone.  They are pretty great together though the on / off relationship thing seemed a bit clichĂ©d at times.  Director Marc Webb clearly seems more at home when handling the more intimate human elements.

The special effects are pretty amazing and Electro definitely looks pretty awesome.  Thankfully this movie has some amazing point of view / first person scenes of Spidey swinging through New York City at break neck speeds.  These are the scenes that make the viewer wish they could be Spidey which were so lacking in the last movie. 

At the end of the day the 2004 Spider-Man 2 is still a far better movie than The Amazing Spider-Man 2!  Comparing the Spider-Man / Electro showdown in Time Square with the Spider-Man / Dr. Octopus train top showdown in the original Spider-Man 2, the Doc Oc battle is still far more tense and gripping than anything in this new movie.

This is a so-so Spider-Man movie.  It’ll pass the time, but in time it will probably also be forgotten.  Not one I will be adding to my collection.

One last note, in a lame attempt to copy the real Marvel movies, there is a post-credit scene but it does not set up anything and is simply a teaser for an upcoming 20th Century Fox movie in a one-off collaboration by Sony and director Webb.

Rating 3 out of 5


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