the amazing spider-man 2 – dazzles and sparkles for an hour too long

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the sequel 2012 film, we get Marc Webb returning as director, as well as Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Sally Field, all reprising their roles.
It’s about Peter Parker doing amazing things (pun intended) as your friendly neighborhood web slinger. But this time we get some new villains in the form of Jamie Foxx as Electro, Dane DeHaan as The Green Goblin and Paul Giamatti as Rhino. All of them impeded Peter from leading a “normal life” as he has to save New Yorkers from the mayhem they bring, they also aren’t very helpful in Peter’s quest to learn more about his father.

The good; the special effects are amazing, things have taken leaps and bounds since the first installment of the live action Spider-Man movies. The work done to show how Spider-Man swings through the city is a comic book dream come to life. The grandness and sheer thrill of rushing past buildings and cars is truly captured here. I couldn’t help but think that this is how Superman’s flight ability should be treated…

The costume is more traditional, as in how we’re used to seeing Spider-Man’s costume, the first movie had a more sneaker slick look, but we just get this new costume without calling out to it, that’s just how it is, and that’s how it should be.

The action is also superb, with the use of slow motion for the Spider-sense, and the logic they put to the physicality, you really believe that there’s a guy with spider powers out there.

We then move in to the drama and the story, the relationship between Peter and Aunt May has got to be one for eternity. And in this film we get more of that goodness, that struggle between living under a guardian’s roof while having a moral obligation to save people and hide it from those closest to you.

We also get some good fanboy moments, that if you don’t know about them you’ll be fine and these aren’t necessarily spoilers;

Felicity Jones as Felicia Hardy/Black Cat

B.J. Novak as Alistair Smythe

Then we get a glimpse at the Vulture and Doctor Octopus;

With the first film being an origin story, we get to see Spider-Man being Spider-Man here, he banters as he fights villains and saves people, this film manages to capture that very well too.

*SEMI-SPOILER* And bravo for not shying away from Gwen Stacy’s death;

The bad; the hook of the movie, if you can call it that. We do a flashback to Richard and Mary Parker in some sort of spy scene. The way the action sequence was filmed caused me pause, “I hope the rest of the movie isn’t this horrid…” For those who frequent this blog, you know that this is a sore spot with me, that action scenes today are always filmed with handheld nonsense, why must the whole scene be hand held? It doesn’t allow me to see the action, when this is an action movie. It’s like having a romantic comedy where the kissing scenes are all out of focus.

The Green Goblin’s costume… why does it always have to be that exosuit thingy? It looks just like the previous films’ version, I thought we were starting a new world? I dunno, I’m just not a big fan of how that looks when Harry gets in to the villain role.

The film was about an hour too long. We didn’t need the whole two and a half hours. The film could’ve ended several times, but we’re now in a franchise, so we have to set things up for the next movie, grant this film had more stand alone qualities than the last one, but still… I blame the writers on this one, it’s the same to morons that wrote those terrible, terrible Transformers movies. There needs to be tighter story telling.
In this film we’re introduced to Harry Osborn, he says a line like, “me and Peter are best buds” but where was he in the first movie??? Oh yeah, he explains that by saying to his father, “you had me shipped to boarding school when I was 11″… ummm when did you find the time to be best friends with Peter? Skype? Face Time? At least with the previous installments we got to see the friendship with Peter and Harry. It’s lazy story telling, why spend all that time with the friendship aspect just to have him turn in to a villain, the emotional impact you’re going for is lost due to the lack of proper set up, that’s time that could be cut.
Then there’s the Rhino stuff… Giamatti was wasted here, the only reason he’s in this movie is so that we don’t have to set him up for the third movie… why?!? Oh right, the Sinister Six reference…
It’s a shame that the good stuff is paired with all this excess that could be easily trimmed.

Oh and we don’t get a tag/cut scene during the credits… instead we literally get a scene from X-Men: Days of Future Past, ummmm why?? First of all, two different worlds because it’s two different studios, second, Spider-Man takes place in the present while X-Men now takes place in the 70s, completely different time periods. And D) it adds nothing to nothing.
Marc Webb was plucked from twentieth century fox’s grip after doing 500 Days of Summerto do the new Spider-Man movies, so the agreement with letting Sony have him was that there would be a promotional piece in the movie… LAZY, outright horrible, it doesn’t connect in anyway, as if a child switched channels during a recording, realized what happened, and then switched back. Fox was boo-hooing that they couldn’t keep a decent director so they inserted their bad business practices beyond international distribution and enterprising operations into another studios work, bravo morons… bravo… why don’t you go an ruin The Fantastic Fouragain… oh right, you’re currently doing that.

Overall, I had a good time, despite my criticisms. At the core, the people that made this film understood Spider-Man and what he’s about. The people over at Warner Brothers/DC Comics need to take a page (pun intended) from this, Spider-Man instills hope, while his situation is dark, and there’s death involved, he still manages to – save people! Sure buildings are destroyed but they’re abandoned. Goyer and the Man of Steel people should learn from this film, you can introduce characters from the comic that actually count for something, and the hero of your movie saves people… that’s what a superhero does, he takes the fight to where no bystanders will get hurt, so you can cause all the 9/11 destruction you want. Either that, or get someone who actually understands Superman to do your next movie… anyway, this is about Spider-Man, didn’t mean to get tangled up in that diatribe. Good fun had by all! And thanks for making a character’s death meaningful.

Fade out-
Eugene

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