I didn’t like the first Amazing Spider-Man film. I didn’t like the villain (The Lizard) because I didn’t understand his motivation. I didn’t like “emo skateboarding” Peter Parker mainly because of Andrew Garfield’s portrayal of the character. I especially didn’t like that Uncle Ben never explicitly said the six words that made Spidey the heroic crimefighter he became; you know it as “With great power comes great responsibility.”
That being said, I didn’t have high hopes for the sequel. The trailer didn’t look anything special to me as well.
Thankfully, I happy to report that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a better film than its predecessor. It still has a few huge flaws that keep it from becoming great, though. But let’s go through the positives first, shall we?
I first have to compliment Spidey’s costume because this is the most accurate superhero costume in movies, in my opinion. Spider-Man’s costume is one of the most complex costumes in comics, with all of the lines and the iconic “bug eyes” on his mask.They managed to also add a few modern touches, such as adding texture to the blue areas. It probably took a lot of time and money to make it as detailed and authentic as in here. But they did it and it looks fantastic! The costume also helps with the illusion of making the Web-Slinger swing around New York believable. The movie manages to get the web swinging perfectly as it shows Spider-Man moving around in a lot of the poses from the comics.
I also like the Electro’s look in the movie. Most comic book fan remember the villain looking rather… silly. He has a green spandex outfit with a yellow electricity themed star-shaped mask. Now, that costume would’ve been impossible to look cool in a real life setting. I think it was wise for them to use the Ultimate Electro version. They made it work by giving him semi-translucent skin as well as a luminous blue glow. Very well done!
Kudos to Emma Stone and Dane DeHaan for their roles as Gwen Stacy and Harry Osborn, respectively. Emma’s portrayal of the embarrassingly pretty but smart Gwen Stacy is spot on! She got the look down perfectly but its her acting that completely sold me on the character. She’s an incredibly likable and beautiful character that manages to come off incredibly believable. Dane DeHaan pulls of an incredible performance as the tragic Harry Osborn. I was entertained every time he appeared on screen and I just wish there was more of him in the film
The last thing I have to mention are the action sequences. Besides the incredibly boring shaky cam riddled “plane” fight scene at the start of the movie, all of the action scenes are incredibly entertaining. My favorite would have to be the one in Times Square but the rest are definitely worth watching.
Now for the not-so-good stuff…
Andrew Garfield may be able to pull of a good Spider-Man now but his Peter Parker needs a lot of work. He still looks incredibly mopey and sad when he’s not in costume. At times, he looks like he got lost on the set and is just faking his lines. Jamie Foxx is the same way. Before he permanently changes into Electro, his version of nerdy loser Max Dillon is too much of a caricature to be taken seriously. In fact, there are times when I felt he deserved the abuse!
The film also dips into the romance too much for my taste. While the only time I actually enjoy watching Garfield’s Peter Parker is when he’s in a scene with Gwen Stacy, the dialogue is so sickeningly sweet that I want to throw up. It’s not “I don’t like sand” from Star Wars: Episode II bad but it’s still bad. Still, the chemistry between real-life couple Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone really shines through whenever they’re together onscreen so I was able to stomach the awful dialogue.
Now, onto the really terrible parts!
I know Sally Field is a great actress and casting her as Aunt May was a masterstroke. But she is ultimately wasted here. There’s one particular scene where she’s on-screen (can’t reveal specifics since this is a spoiler-free review) and she’s just… there! She doesn’t contribute to the scene at all. You can see Sally Field try to do something with it but it looked incredibly unnatural or it looked like she was an old lady seeking attention.
But the biggest sin this movie has is it’s bloated with story threads that are either uninteresting or don’t lead anywhere! The backstory concerning Richard Parker and why he left Peter in the care of Uncle Ben and Aunt May is “revealed” here but is not compelling. The on-again-off-again relationship of Peter and Gwen feels shoehorned in. Aunt May returning to nursing and keeping it a secret from Peter doesn’t do anything for the overall plot. It’s hard to believe that this is the “edited” version since there are some scenes that you see in the trailers that don’t appear in the final cut of the movie! Suffice to say, they could’ve trimmed down 20 to 25 minutes from this 2 hour and 22 minute film easily to make it more lean.
Ultimately, the good points outweigh the bad ones. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a rather enjoyable movie thanks to fantastic action sequences, great costume design, incredible special effects and wonderful performances from Emma Stone and Dane DeHaan. Too bad the film just wasn’t as “amazing” as the title suggests.
Before you go, you might as well watch Emma Stone in a lip sync battle with Jimmy Fallon because… well, the video’s amazing!
Have you watched The Amazing Spider-Man 2? What did you think of it? Leave your thoughts on the film in the comments section below!