Comic Review Special: The Amazing Spider-man 2 Review!!!!

Spidey Review

 

Does The Amazing Spider-Man 2 swing high, or does your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man spin a confusing web? 

downloadThe Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Chris Cooper, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field

Directed by: Marc Webb

SPOILERS

Whew…this is going to be…. I mean…. Look, Spider-Man is my absolute favorite character. He means more to me than I can ever put down in words, so naturally, I expect a lot from the interpretations of him in other media. So, while Amazing Spider-Man 2 has a lot of moments that I loved and really nailed the essence of the character, there were more moments that not only frustrated me, but also actually made me say out loud “you have to be kidding me”.

If you didn’t see that giant “SPOILER” warning before the text, I’m going to warn you one last time. I’m going to SPOIL the hell out of this for the next few paragraphs.   It’s the only way I can effectively explain the multitude of thoughts and emotions swirling through my brain at the moment. If you don’t want anything ruined that hasn’t already been ruined in the trailers, scroll down or forever hold your piece.

Ready? Here we go.

First things first, my fears about the Green Goblin were realized. Yes. They kill Norman Osborn. Spider-Man’s greatest nemesis (next to Doc Ock currently) is relegated to one scene with Harry where we learn why exactly he’s been “dying”, and then he’s gone. I understand that the producers wanted to focus more on Harry’s story of friendship and betrayal, but removing Norman from the film completely alters the Harry and Peter dynamic. Gone is the constant threat of Peter’s best friend not knowing that his father is a psychopath. Gone is Harry’s motivation to destroy Peter because he falsely believes that Spider-Man killed his father. All that’s done away with, and it seems like a situation that is less “oh this could be a really cool idea” and more “Sam Raimi already did that 10 years ago, and people are still pissed that we rebooted, so let’s not do that here”.

On the plus side, Dane DeHaan is a great Harry Osborn. He really sells the idea of the kid being cast aside by his dad at a young age who desperately wants to connect with his father. Dehaan’s few scenes with Andrew Garfield are really good, and you can see that in a different movie, DeHaan would’ve stolen the show. Instead, the script quickly makes him transform into the Green Goblin by way of the crazy bag lady with, quite honestly, one of the worst looking character designs I’ve ever seen. Say what you want about Willem Dafoe’s costume, but at least the mask looked Goblinish.

Speaking of the script, that’s this movie’s greatest enemy. Events that could have played out in two or even three films get crammed into one movie. The first montage of Spidey being Spidey is fantastic, and actually contains a part of the movie that almost moved me to tears (more on that later). However, by the third montage you start to feel like the film is stuck in fast forward. It never slows down enough on the parts that you want to see more of, and starts to sag during he parts you want to get over with.

But enough about the bad stuff. Andrew Garfield, to me, is still a better Spider-Man than Tobey Maguire. I’m sure that ruffled a few feathers, but watch any scene where he’s Spider-Man and compare it to Raimi’s films. His jokes are better (hell, he actually TALKS when he’s Spider-Man), he physically looks more like Spidey, and he seems to be having the time of his life. The best parts of the film are when he’s in costume swinging around and interacting with the citizens of New York City, and leads me to the moment I mentioned earlier. In the scene, Spidey helps a young boy who’s being bullied. After scaring the bullies off, he webs up the child’s science project and asks him “did you make this? It’s incredible!” He then offers to walk the boy home. This scene got down to the exact core of what I believe Spider-Man is. He’s the role model for everyone who’s been picked on in their life, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I wish I had Spidey swoop down and offer to walk me home at various times in my childhood. Even now I’m having a hard time keeping my emotions in check when I think about it. There’s a sweetness to that scene that shows you the potential that this movie had. It’s so powerful, and it’s a shame that the rest of the film doesn’t live up to it.

Also adding to the positivity is Emma Stone, who continues to be absolutely adorable whenever she’s on screen. The chemistry between her and Garfield is light years ahead of the chemistry between Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. Of course though, this movie details the infamous SPOILERS“The Night Gwen Stacy Died” and while it’s borderline blasphemous that the Harry Osborn Goblin is the Goblin that leads to her death, the scene where Gwen meets her maker is incredibly well done, and surprisingly brutal for a film that a lot of kids will go see. Garfield’s reaction is heartbreaking, and the following scenes where he’s sitting at Gwen’s grave are some of the most emotional scenes in the film.

But now the pendulum swings back. While Stone and Garfield are great together, the film yo-yos between Gwen and Peter breaking up and almost reconciling. I get that the filmmakers are trying to show how complicated young relationships can be, but by the fourth time Peter and Gwen awkwardly try to get back together, you start to roll your eyes at the whole thing.

Despite this, the action scenes are pretty great. Marc Webb has definitely listened to the critics of Amazing Spider-Man in that respect. You’ll see Spidey bust moves that he’s done in the comics for years and it looks incredible. Plus, this movie has hands down the best version of Spidey’s red and blue tights that I’ve ever seen on screen. Watching him swing through New York City always put a smile on my face.

But what about Rhino and Electro? Well, the former has a total of about 5 minutes of screen time, and if you’ve seen the trailers, you’ve pretty much seen everything there is to see of the Russian. As for Electro, he was fine, but Jamie Foxx’s scenes before his big transformation go from goofy to downright horrendous. It’s very much Jim Carrey’s performance in Batman Forever, and the comparisons to that Schumacher Batman film don’t stop there. Oh no. There are a few scenes in particular that take place in Ravencroft that I swear had Schumacher fill in for Webb. In fact, one reviewer, (Mr. Fat Movie Guy himself) summed this movie up perfectly when he described it as the “Batman Forever of the Spider-Man films”.

It sucks that I feel so torn about this movie. It should’ve been an easy sell to me, because I love Spider-Man so much. Could I blame Marc Webb’s directing? Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, or Jamie Foxx’s performances? Sure. But at the end of the day, I feel like this is all Sony’s fault. This is a prime example of the bad side of The Avengers making a billion dollars. It’s apparent that Sony wanted to set up their own world for the Spider-Man franchise, and while I can see what they were trying to do, it all comes off completely wrong. In the end, the guy wearing a Spider-Man costume t-shirt with a symbiote zip up hoodie over it felt nothing when it comes to the latest Spider-Man film. That speaks volumes.

The Good:

-Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy

-The action scenes

-Spider-Man’s costume

The Bad:

-No clear main villain

-The dialogue is pretty bad, and at times feels extremely Schumacher-esqe

-Plot is extremely rushed

Verdict: C+

 

Jonwahizzle is a jack of all trades: educator, and comic book slinger for Jetpack Comics Follow him on twitter and check out his blog, The Collective: Examples of Nerdery for more!

15 thoughts on “Comic Review Special: The Amazing Spider-man 2 Review!!!!

  1. I agree wholeheartedly. Garfield is fantastic in his role, and both he and Webb seem to be making a conscious effort to capture the soul of modern Spider-Man.

    Spidey means a lot to me to, I once wrote an academic writing assignment on how thoroughly Peter Parker as a character shaped personality and my life. I managed to score an A on that paper!

    Hopefully this series continues its trend of positive iteration with less executive meddling (and fewer skateboards). Who knows, maybe ASM 4 or 5 will be the movie we’ve been waiting for?

  2. I have to start this comment by saying that I fell asleep right before the final fight in the first Amazing Spiderman. So I came into this as cynical as possible, and even with that mindset going in the first time Spiderman webs through New York I felt goosebumps. My major problem was that there wasn’t nearly enough Spiderman. The movie is almost 2 and a half hours and it feels like we only see costumed Spiderman for about 20 minuets even though those were the most exciting parts of the movie.

    Aside from that I agree with you on almost everything. It feels like they tried to cram 2 movies into one just so they could fill out their Spiderverse. It’s a shame because Garfield really is a fantastic Peter Parker, and honestly those scenes he has with the kid are so fantastic.

  3. Pretty much what I was expecting. Good review nonetheless. Probably going to pass on this as I don’t really care for Spiderman as a character and the first movie didn’t do much for me.

  4. Honestly, my opinions of the movie could be described simply by saying it’s “underwhelming”. I actually very much so enjoyed ASM1 but I was just so uninterested by this one. I love Garfield in the role, but it’s a case like we’ve seen too many times – he doesn’t have enough to do in his own movie. Dane Dehaan was also pretty damn fantastic except that they had to cut his story short and rush to Goblin, and the one Goblin scene was downright shitty in my opinion. All of this reminded me of Iron Man 2, too focused on building up a universe and not enough on making a plot with people I care about. It felt like no one was developed at all, and I had the exact same thoughts about Jaimie Foxx being Jim Carrey’s Riddler. I liked the action in the movie but yet again it felt underdeveloped and all of the fight scenes were way too short, especially the climactic two with Electro and Green Goblin. All in all, I didn’t hate the film, but I’m still longing for a definitive Spidey film.

  5. Am I really the only one who thought the Harry Osborn/Green Goblin stuff was the worst part of the movie?
    Other than that, great review Jonwahizzle!

  6. One of the most brought up things about these two films is the chemistry between Garfield and Stone so of course they have to go and be absolute slaves to the source material and toss that out the window. Every one of these Spider-Man films is obsessed with soap opera melodrama and death so of course they weren’t possibly going to ignore that one.

  7. I actually called Gwen Stacy’s death before I even walked in to the theatre so I was expecting her to die. Although, the little Emma Stone fan boy in me cried a bit during the death and the grave scene, even the last scene had me crying tears of joy.

    I thought the movie was ok, nothing too amazing but. Note to Disney: I think it’s time to be the greedy corporation that you are and terminate Sony’s contract for Spider-man, it clearly isn’t working.

    1. Marvel doesn’t get the right to just terminate the deal they have with sony, the contract ends when sony stops making spidey movies for ___ years

      1. Or they sue. One of two things will come of it:

        – Disney wins, because it’s Disney.

        – Disney outlasts Sony in court, because trials cost money to initiate, and while Sony has money, it’s not even close to the wealth held by Disney.

  8. The only thing that annoyed me was the relationship stuff, which is really well done but by the fifth cutesy drawn out conversation between the two I was hoping they would just shut the fuck up.

    Dane Dehaan was great as Harry, liked him so much, but not so much when hes actually the goblin, loses his charisma.

    Im still not a fan of Garfield Spiderman, nor the version of peter parkers story

    Spoiler:
    Gwens falling death at the end has been one of the best scenes in a comic movies. Just besides looking great and full of emotion, it feels real. Both Bucky and Pepper have fallen to their “deaths” in the marvel films but it just look like a green screen of falling into nothing quickly, this was long and great
    Best scene of the film, but the film is average so whatever

  9. This movie takes a lot of heat but I think it is the best Spiderman yet. The actual essence of spiderman/peter parker is captured perfectly. Garfield is to Spiderman like RDJ and Jackman are to Ironman and Wolverine respectively. Movie wasn’t perfect but I was thoroughly impressed and was surprised by how much I liked it. Electro was a great villain with his mental conditions he clearly had. Gwen dying was something I expected but wasn’t sure if they’d do. Very impactful scene. Sets up well for Sinister Six. And I was glad it didn’t go the route of Spiderman 3 where it had villains all over the place and instead focused really on Electro the whole time with Goblin coming in just towards the end.

    The movie will, undeservedly, continue to get shit on but this thing was way better than people give credit for and I think better than anything Raimi did. Original trilogy may have a better overall movie but those never got Spiderman/PP right while this series has twice in a row now. The “weird” Goblin transformation wasn’t permanent (which was a big beef early on) and the plot was good enough. There was some cheesiness but that is what makes spiderman who he is, being a role model and spitting out cheesy lines. Overall, very much enjoyed it and excited to see it again.

  10. while it had it’s issues I with the vast majority who think that Andrew Garfield is an if you pardon the pun amazing spider-man. Watching him swing around the city spouting off corny jokes while fighting may seem “campy” but it is something that he has been doing in the comics since the beginning. The suit was jaw dropping especially when we first see him free falling down before shooting a web. The fact that they went to the trouble to show realistic creases every time he moved was a sign that they were paying attention. Electro was a plus for me, rather then him being some lineman who has an accident they gave him a motivation for hating spider-man.
    At the end when the little kid was about to stand up to rhyno I quite literally got tears in my eyes when peter showed up. something very big that I saw throughout the movie was the first priority was never the criminals it was always saving the innocents.

  11. I can’t pay to see this. it’s the least I can do to get Marvel the rights to this. imagine a Spider-Man film made by Marvel studios. every dollar you give Sony makes that less
    likely.

  12. 1) You can’t honestly believe Norman Osborn is really dead.
    2) You can’t possibly believe Willem Defoe’s metal goblin mask is preferable to an actual mutation. It’s the GOBLIN FORMULA.
    3) You’re right about Electro bringing the albotross around the neck of the entire film. Jamie Foxx is to Amazing Spider-man 2 as Jim Carry is to Batman Forever.

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