Amazing Spiderman 2 Review

On my way out to Utah, I had the chance to watch The Amazing Spiderman 2. I’d been avoiding it, honestly. None of the trailers had really convinced me it was a good idea, and I was worried it was going to fall victim to the Spiderman 3 problem (did my reviews really use to be that short?) of having just too much in the movie. (Green Goblin and Electro and the Rhino? Not so sure about that . . . ) But the nice thing about a plane is that there literally is nothing better I’m able to do than sit there and watch something. I’m not with it mentally enough to write, I can’t focus too well on reading, so it’s movies or nothing.

My suspicions and worries were confirmed, alas.

Andrew Garfield is a fine Spiderman. I’ve got nothing against him. My beef is with the villains and the storytelling, two problems which are intrinsically connected. There are spoilers in this review, but since the movie is crummy and you shouldn’t see it, I don’t feel too bad about giving them.

Here’s the deal. The film starts with Spiderman chasing the guy who will become the Rhino. Spidey’s happy and enjoying life. He takes care of the guy with no problem. But then we discover Peter Parker’s really sad about Gwen–he’s just pretending. And they need to break up, because. Right off the bat, I’m asking a big question: what is this movie about? Is this a relationship movie? Is it Peter and Gwen figuring stuff out? Not the best topic for a superhero movie, but whatevs.

And then comes Jamie Foxx as Electro. We’ve got this huge big detour to show us how he’s picked on and ignored, and to show how he becomes Electro. And then it’s looking like the movie’s more of a Spiderman vs. Electro sort of thing, except Electro likes Spiderman. Until Spiderman shows up and Electro (for fuzzy reasons) decides actually he doesn’t like Spiderman. (I would have loved to have been present during the pitch for this movie. How in the world did they make this sound appealing?)

But wait! There’s more!

Like the proverbial infomercial of yore, we’re introduced to Harry, who’s friends with Peter but not, and also dying. Also, he becomes the Green Goblin. Spiderman beats Electro, but then there’s Green Goblin waiting to attack. And then when Green Goblin’s gone, then Spiderman still has to overcome his inner demons to show up to beat the Rhino.

Have you gotten confused yet? Fallen asleep? It’s the movie’s fault. There’s just too much going on. Three villains, several character arcs, and a plot where the goal posts keep changing. Imagine watching a football game where once they get to the end zone, they’re still not allowed to score until they kick a field goal, hit a home run, and do the hula on Dancing with the Stars.

The effects were cool, though.

I don’t know why other movie studios are having such trouble with making good superhero movies. (Batman aside.) Pick a hero. Show the hero being heroic. Add humor and a romance subplot. These aren’t terribly difficult to get right–not to make an average superhero movie. But instead they seem to think the steps are

  1. Pick a hero
  2. Get a lot of money
  3. Put the money on the screen
  4. Profit

Lame. Anyone out there want to defend this movie? Feel free. I’d love to hear some different takes on it. As for me and mine, I’m giving it a 4/10, mainly because effects and Andrew Garfield. Sigh. Waste of time.

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