Media and Written by Tyler Lamb.
I was not excited for Amazing Spider-Man 2. If you read my past post about it, you would know I had little to no expectations for it at all. That being said, I tried my best to go into the movie without any pre-conceived view of whether it would be good or not. I tried my best to look at it from a movie fan, not a Spider-Man fan, and I feel I accomplished that goal. However, this didn’t help the film’s case one bit, but I still liked it more than I expected I would.
MILD SPOILERS OF THE FILM AHEAD!
Let’s start with things that were good. The action and CGI were awesome. One of my biggest complaints about the film before the final product was the CGI didn’t look finished at all, and almost like a video game. Even though there were still a couple rough spots (Gwen’s fall still looked pretty bad and Green Goblin riding around looked terrible), but as a whole everything looked great. Watching it in 3D even made things look better, especially during the shots of Spider-Man swinging around the city. The action scenes were a blast and were the kind of scenes you look for in a summer blockbuster like this.
Another thing I enjoyed was most of the portrayal of Spider-Man himself. While he was fighting the bad guys, he was spot on. Making fun of the villains, seeming to have fun fighting crime, but at the same time you could tell he was doing this out of nervous excitement. They really did a great job with portraying Spider-Man in the moment. Other times he seemed to fall a bit flat with his character interactions. Peter Parker was way off from the first scene he shows up in to the rest of the movie. During almost all the action scenes though, Spidey was portrayed perfectly.
Now on to the negatives, which seem to be almost anything plot related. A lot of it just seemed to be thrown together last second without any real thought. We are shown characters and their problems, who talk and act like we know and care about them, but are never actually told who they are until near the end of their first scene. (Like Harry/Norman Osborn. We have no idea they are Osborns until the end of their scene). The film even starts with a scene between Peter’s parents, who we are supposed to care about, while they fly in their private jet they apparently had while using some pretty amazing airline WiFi a decade ago. We are given some more background story to Peter that doesn’t fit at all, like his apparent lifetime best friend Harry Osborn who was given absolutely no mention in the first film by anyone up until the point Peter meets back up with him. Would’ve been a helpful namedrop while sneaking around Oscorp in the first Amazing Spider-Man, don’t you think? Or maybe to impress the girl you had a crush on who worked at Oscorp?
Gwen and Peter’s relationship is half-negative, half-positive. At points it was just overbearing and annoying, seeming as if we were just watching actors Garfield and Stone being filmed while they were on a date. What I’m meaning by this is, we weren’t watching Gwen and Peter, we were watching Emma and Andrew. Other times we were treated with some actual character interaction between the two that seemed to work. Unfortunately, nothing will make me think anything positive about Spider-Man webbing “I LOVE YOU” on a bridge.
Electro, as a villain, just seemed to be tacked on to give Harry some help. He has little to no motivation to be a villain other than “Spider-Man tried to help me and actually saved my life once, but some military dude shot at me, so now I hate Spider-Man and want to kill him.” His powers are also never really explained or defined. At one point he’s using his electric powers to levitate and control tear gas grenades, which was very confusing to me. The next he is suddenly traveling through any electrical current available. Not only that, but his holding cell has him strapped in a bed that is submerged into water, so apparently he has the power to breathe underwater as well, or maybe just survive without oxygen?
Now the Green Goblin as a villain gets some great motivation. The problem with this though, is that it may be too good because I found myself rooting for Harry and sympathizing with him. Spider-Man is a complete jerk to him for no real reason, leaving him to die (remember how they were supposed to be bffz?) and then almost immediately after Harry gets duped into losing his company. Part of my thought was “yeah Harry go get Spider-Man. He is a jerk!”, then I realized I wanted the bad guy to win. It’s quite jarring considering he’s introduced as a jerk for almost no real reason, then suddenly you feel sorry for him.
Speaking of jarring, the soundtrack of the movie was anything but immersive. Notice I said soundtrack, not score. The score by Hans Zimmer was fantastic as all his work is, and the main theme is easily the best Spider-Man theme created. However, using a Phillip Phillips upbeat happy song while showing a montage of Peter researching his parents death was a bit confusing to say the least. For a second I thought we transported into some sort of “get fit and be happy now!” product commercial. Also having some weird rap/dubstep/electronica/hardcore type music playing in the background of Electro’s first big scene with lyrics representing his thoughts was just plain weird.
This fits with Spider-Man, right?
It’s hard to mention all the things I didn’t like about this movie, because there were just so many of them. I could go on and on and most likely forget some things and want to go back and add them. This movie had a case of many little mounds piling up until it was a mountain of plot holes and nonsensical character actions. Things like Aunt May hiding a nursing job from Peter for the sole purpose of them arguing over laundry. Peter (THE SCIENCE NERD) not realizing the calculator his dad had was heavier than any other calculator ever. Peter randomly being mad at his dad for no reason then missing him the next. Aunt May cursing Peter’s parents for never being there (they’re dead). Peter using his Spider moves in the public eye not in costume numerous times. Harry somehow sneaking onto a moving elevator. Spider-Man saving one specific dude in the street while dozens of cars are being plowed through and destroyed. Spider-Man being electrocuted by a guy who controls electricity and who killed someone with the snap of his finger for over a straight minute without being phased. Gwen yelling Peter’s name next to a cop while Peter was in full Spidey getup. The terribly corny Mr. Freeze type dialogue from Eelctro (“it’s my birthday, time to light the candles!” I mean the list really goes on and on.
If your goal is simply wanting to see Spider-Man swing around a cityscape and fight people, then go ahead and see this movie. If you were wanting any type of plot to go along with that action, avoid this movie like the plague.
Amazing Spider-Man 2 receives a score of:
1 random X-Men movie scene during the credits, out of 4
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan
Director: Marc Webb