Whoa boy. You might remember from my post last week about movies I was excited to see, and for some reason, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was one of them. Although, maybe the word “obligated” is more appropriate than “excited”. It’s a big budget comic book movie! I like comic book movies! Spider-Man was in it! I love Spider-Man! One problem? Wasn’t really a fan of The Amazing Spider-Man. It wasn’t TOTAL garbage, just, nothing really connected. It was a series of scenes, some good, some bad, and didn’t leave much of an impact. Lucky for ASM2, it left way more of an impact. A shitty one! Spoilers ahead!
Oh, great, Jamie Foxx doing his best impression of Jim Carrey from Batman Forever. BEFORE HE FALLS INTO A VAT OF ELECTRIC EELS AND GAINS HIS POWERS.
Dennis Leary is dead. No! Not really the guy, just the character he played. As Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) tries to put that death behind him, he can’t help but remember his promise to stay away from Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) and the whole Stacy family. Spidey chooses sadness over happiness and breaks up with Gwen. Oh yeah! I almost forgot! Spidey saves the life of Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), an Oscorp employee, but he falls into a vat of experimental electric eels that bite him and give him the power to control all electricity. Anyways, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) comes back from a place where we haven’t met him and learns that he has a disease that will kill him, just like it kills his dad. Speaking of dads, Peter learns that his dad was working at Oscorp to kill the disease that affects the Osborns (not the TV show) and when he saw what his experiments were being used for, he hit the road, which explains his mysterious disappearance. Spider-Man and Gwen get back together, of course, and just in time for Spidey to fight the empowered Max Dillon, now known as Electro. Does Spider-Man win with the assistance of Gwen Stacy? Shit yeah he does! Hey, remember when I said there would be spoilers? This is another warning, so look away if you are completely unfamiliar with the history of Spider-Man comics. Despite defeating Electro, a new version of Harry shows up that has been chemically altered, which he thinks will heal him, but turns him into some type of goblin looking thing. Goblin drops Gwen in a giant clock tower thing and Spidey is able to shoot his web goo at her, but it’s too late and she dies anyway. Peter drops out of the game for a few months but then comes back because he realizes there needs to be another movie and that the Sinister Six will be the villains. Oh yeah, and the post-credits sequence was a teaser for X-Men: Days of Future Past. Yikes.
Hahaha, fine, I guess Spider-Man pretending to be a firefighter was kind of funny.
Okay okay, before I start shitting over this entire movie, I should try to stay positive, right? Uh…well…hmmm…it COULD have been longer? I guess? Technically? Although at two hours and twenty minutes, they were really trying to milk everything. One of the worst parts of the first film was the weird conspiracy stuff set in place in regards to Peter’s parents. Had they cut all that nonsense from this film, I think it easily would have been under two hours long and much, much better. Considering they wrapped all that garbage up, it feels like a giant waste of time. I should also mention that Paul Giamatti played Rhino in two scenes, which were two scenes that were kind of pointless to have him in, other than it sets him specifically up for the next movie.
How could I forget how cool and cocky Peter was in high school! Always acting out like a cool dude and never a dork. Ever.
The chemistry between Garfield and Stone is still there, for the most part, along with the chemistry between Garfield and Aunt May, played by Sally Field. The quality scenes between these characters makes up maybe a third of the film, which means the other third is boring, laughable, melodramatic garbage. Scenes where Harry Osborn is confronting his dying father (Chris Cooper) for abandoning him were so, so bad. Scenes where Jamie Foxx is doing or saying anything are awful. THAT EVEN COUNTS FOR ACTION SEQUENCES WHERE HE DOESN’T HAVE TO DO MUCH. If you couldn’t rely on decent acting, you can always make up for it with cool action sequences, right? THIS DOESN’T EVEN HAVE THOSE. There’s a decent opening scene and some of the web-swinging scenes are decent, but all of the Electro fight scenes are terrible and so is the final conflict between Spidey and Harry. They are in inside of a clock and everything is breaking and it feels as confusing and muddled as a Transformers conflict. Although, I do have to admit that they did a pretty good job of handling the death of Gwen Stacy.
Uhhhh….maybe you guys should have gone with a mask.
For the past forty years of Spider-Man comics, one think that’s intrinsic to the character is that he was indirectly responsible for the deaths of two people close to him, but in his mind, he is directly responsible for them. His uncle Ben was killed by someone who Spider-Man could have stopped earlier in the evening, and Gwen Stacy being his girlfriend led to her being abducted and tossed off a bridge by the Green Goblin. To add insult to injury, there is some inner struggle as to whether or not it was his rescue attempt that was actually what killed Gwen. One of the biggest strengths of both movies is how cute Garfield and Stone are together. Even though almost everything leading up to her death was kind of lame, the fallout worked pretty well. The sequence itself was also incredibly brutal, but more emotionally disturbing than visually. They handled the sequence tastefully and with subtlety, even if you knew it was coming. Good job, guys!
I guess it makes sense that if you have a boring super-villain that you have boring action sequences.
Now that Peter actually has a real reason to be sad and good reasons to not get close to anyone, does this mean that the third movie might actually be good? The Parker conspiracy seems to have been all tied up, Harry is in Goblin mode, the Sinister Six were all but shown, and maybe Peter will grow up and stick to his word. I guess they’re just back to square one with the next one. Shit, this movie was pretty bad, and I’ve definitely seen worse comic book movies, but, I don’t know guys, I laughed out loud a few times at how bad this one was. I just feel bad for Andrew Garfield and all of that luscious hair. They could do so much better! And–OH GOD! I just remember the big action scene in the middle of the movie where Electro is in Times Square and fights Peter and says, “It’s my birthday.” Wow. That was terrible. Yeah, this was just as bad as either of the Fantastic Four movies were. Ugh. Better luck next time, Garfield. Just eat some lasagna and things will be better.
Wolfman Moon Scale