Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Movie Review - The Amazing Spider-Man 2

 OK, I finally got a chance to see The Amazing Spider-Man 2 tonight, and I have mixed feelings. 

   On the one hand, I liked it better than the first Amazing Spider-Man, and I thought Andrew Garfield was much better this time around - much more likable, much less surly, more like Peter Parker (though I still like Tobey Maguire's version better).

   I thought the action sequences were terrific, with lots of larger-than-life fights (I loved the battle in Times Square), and I like seeing a hero who makes an effort to save innocent bystanders (pay attention, Superman). 

   But the movie just seemed to wander on for the longest time with dangling plot points that are never resolved. After getting caught snooping, Gwen walks out of the Oscorp building, eluding security, and they don't try to find her after that? She works there - don't they know where she lives? Pete wonders about his father's fate, but never really does much with the information he uncovers - and the ultimate hiding place is way over the top. 

   A few plot twists are disappointing, including the fate of Norman Osborn and the big plot twist near the end. I hated that development in the comics, and I dislike it just as much here - it's just a feeble attempt to inject drama, and it undercuts the while film.

   The movie's science is suspect - not the "how Electro got his powers" part (standard comic book stuff there), but rather the "how can they protect Spidey's web shooters from electricity" part. It would have been nice to see some actual science here (wearing proper insulation, showing that the electrical bursts can't hurt Spidey while he's in the air and not grounded) instead of the mumbo-jumbo they did use. I'd like to see more examples of how smart Peter is - here he's constantly being bailed out by Gwen.

   I also think they tried to squeeze in too many characters, and the ending was both silly (I hate children in peril) and abrupt. Perhaps the next movie will pick up where this left off. However, I thought Electro was terrific - but the Green Goblin and the Rhino didn't work as well. There's a nice teaser moment in the film, though, for the Sinister Six.

   So while I enjoyed quite a bit of it, the points that didn't work undermine the overall effort. 

   Out of the five Spider-Man movies to date, I'll rate this one at #3 - my order is (original) Spider-Man #2, #1, this movie, #3 and Amazing Spider-Man #1.

   It's not bad, but it's no Captain America.

Grade: B+



Bobby Nash said...

I also thought it was pretty good. Enjoyable, but not great. Not something I need to see multiple times. If you like listening to podcasts, I co-host the Earth Station One podcast and we reviewed the movie on this week's episode. You can find it at http://esopodcast.com/earth-station-one-episode-213/


Chuck said...

Bobby, I'll be sure to give a listen. And yes, I doubt I'll see it again at the theatre - I think the last movie I saw twice at the theatre was "The Avengers."

Bobby Nash said...

I did see Captain America: Winter Soldier in the theater twice.


Chuck said...

Bobby, I do hope to see Cap again before it leaves theatres.

Bobby Nash said...

Cap is definitely worth it.


Dwayne said...

SPOILERS AHEAD....RE: Amazing #2, you're being far too kind. This is the first comic book movie in a long time that I felt was suffering from laziness. Movies start with the script and this one was lazy.
It just moved from one convenient plot point to the next. Electro is created, fights Spidey, is killed by Spidey in an overused, cliche way. Goblin is created, fights Spidey, is defeated by Spidey. The scenes with Peter and Gwen were just slow and unconvincing. They dragged the movie to a crawl. (Sally Fields, though, in her big scene was terrific.)
SPOILER HERE: The death of Gwen was meaningless. In the comic, Spiderman was given the choice of the schoolbus or his lady. He saved the kids, but at the cost of his love. Here it's just a simple murder he couldn't prevent. Such lazy writing.
I've never been so disappointed in a comic book movie in a long time.