When the first reboot of Spider-man released in 2012, I admit I wasn’t its biggest fan. I thought it was pretty irrational and naïve to reboot the series with another cast and director. But, when I watched the movie again on cable, I found myself enjoying its clichés and detail-oriented story telling. So, I decided to approach the second installment with an open mind.
The movie opens with a flashback of Peter Parker’s parents and their mysterious work. Second scene jumped to the present time, where we see Peter Parker in Spider-man costume, swinging around New York City and catching bad guys. Shortly after chase-the-bad-guy scene, we found Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy at their high school graduation and being all teenager-y.
Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-man is by far the longest Spider-man movie, and it’s also divided into four sub story lines. The idea is smart actually, because the audience won’t just get your regular “superhero vs super villain” story line but something more… well that was the plan. Before I go on with my rambling, let me make this review easier. I am going to divide the next paragraphs focusing on each storyline and whether I think it works or not.
First, we have the romance story line. I am not a big fan of romance in action movie, but if the story demands, I’d say why not. Sadly though, the exaggerated romance in the movie actually turns out to be its biggest mistake. Once the movie ends and the twist revealed, I do understand why the director focused, at least half of the movie, towards Peter and Gwen’s romance venture. But, I humbly think it can be reduced. Whether it’s the breakup scene, patching things together or creating giant web of “I love you” for the girl, all of them felt childish and unnecessary.
Second let us focus on the overly promoted Electro. The trailer lied and Electro is not that big of a deal. Jamie Foxx is a good actor but his character sucks here. His introduction was well-done, but his first battle with Spidey at the Times Square looked ridiculous and unattended. The so-called “battle” is just there for the sake of being there.
Third, in this installment we meet the infamous Harry Osborn. It’s safe to say that I enjoyed his character. It might be Dane DeHaan’s charm and evil look, but when he is on the screen, I know I am in for some good stuff. Plus, his Green Goblin’s costume and gear at the end looked awesome, right?
Last, we have the back story to Peter’s parents mysterious disappearance. I like this one because for the first time the audience get the first look to the history of the Parkers and indirectly how it’s related to Peter being Spider-man.
The Amazing Spider-man 2 has a lot of potential to be your summer blockbuster, but sadly, it never quite reached its destination. Sure there are several good stuffs here like the heavy explosions, romance, cool web-swing, family drama, conflicted teenage soul, death, and funny one-liners. But when all of those things come together, scarily it looks like a giant disoriented book with lots of plot holes and inattentive focus from the team.
Like I said, there are many parties to be blamed for that. We can always point our fingers at Sony for rushing the movie to released this year; or director Marc Webb’s for his obscured direction; or perhaps it was Kurtzman and Orci’s weak penmanship; oh and don’t get me started on the slow-motion lame cinematography and the abrupt indie song playing in the middle of the film. Whatever the reasons are, they are all integrated and responsible for the mess this movie gets itself into.
Andrew Garfield is back as Peter Parker and something is off. He is more sarcastic for sure but annoying too. On the other hand, Emma Stone shines bright as Gwen Stacy. In fact, this movie is her film. Ms Stacy is mature, pretty and smart character. She helps Peter in making rational decision and again helped him defeating his foe with cool science stuff.
It’s hard not to mention Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker in this review, his geeky persona in Sam Raimi’s trilogy is still believable if compare to the lanky, 30 year old and oh-so-macho Andrew Garfield. It’s also hard not to compare this to Sam Raimi’s trilogy, especially the third installment. It’s undeniable that Spider-man 3 was “weird”, but at least some part of it felt organized and not too over packed. I do enjoy bits and pieces of the movie, but if they are making a third movie then count me out.