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6 nitpicks of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (movie review)

We finally got around to The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and… hm. It was good – not great, but certainly good. It’s complicated, but I can at least say it’s better than the first one. Follow me after the jump if you dare – it’s going to be all spoilers, all the time!

I think I was happier with this second installment because it delivered on the promise of the first Amazing Spider-Man’s marketing campaign, which was usually centered around Peter’s parents. That plot thread finally got resolved in a somewhat satisfying way, but I guess I consider it a small miracle that they remembered it in the first place. My brain craves resolution, and this movie gave it to me.

That’s not to say that I don’t have nitpicks – because I do.

It’s too long.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a bit bloated at 142 minutes. If they’d have saved the Rhino Bookends for the next flick, that’d probably save 10 minutes right there… I like Paul Giamatti as much as the next guy, but the Sinister Six was teased enough in the lab scenes… we don’t need these, too. I just don’t get why all big budget action movies have to be over two hours. (I long for the day of Commando – Arnold gets you in and out in 90 minutes!) I wasn’t particularly bored while I was watching the flick

Foreshadow much?
If you’re familiar with the basic Gwen Stacy story from the comics, it’s easy to pick up on all the foreshadowing of her death – particularly her super weird valedictorian speech. If you missed that, then there was Denis Leary ghost hitting you over the head every once and a while, so… a little heavy handed, I feel.

Max is crazy pants. And so is Harry. Because the script says they’re bad guys.
I guess the movie is saying that Electro is crazy because he’s lonely – or, you can only push a lonely guy so far before he snaps. Something like that. Should we talk about his hair? Na, let’s just sidestep that minefield, shall we? That’s the thing about this movie – the bad guys are beyond emotionally unstable. I guess you’re supposed to sympathize with Harry because he’s dying, but… I dunno, didn’t you get the impression that Norman was like 60? I guess I’m saying that he seems to have some time and doesn’t need to go bonkers, but the movie isn’t bloated enough, so let’s get the Green Goblin in here.

What the hell season is it? What year is it?
Not that it matters, but does anyone have any damn idea what the hell season this movie takes pace during? One presumes high school graduations are in June, but at the dinner that night in Chinatown, Peter and Gwen both where coats when they talk outside the restaurant. Gwen put her coat on as soon as she got outside, so it seemed like function over fashion… I know it’s stupid, but this kept distracting me.
For example, I guess Gwen is working at Oscorp because it’s still the summer? She’s the high school valedictorian – surely she knows what school she’s going to, yet she’s fighting for a scholarship to Oxford… Wait, why would Gwen need a scholarship? She lives in the New York City equivalent of a castle!
Now I’m getting distracted by Gwen’s scholastic endeavors – let’s get back to the time thing. Didn’t Peter say he was in college in the laundry scene, implying school had already started? So it must be at least late August or early September?
Sorry, did Harry say he was 20? I thought he and Peter were the same age, that’s how they knew each other, from being in the same class… When you go to boarding school, don’t you go home for summers? Even Voldemort went back to the orphanage during the summer, didn’t he? Yet we got the impression that Harry hadn’t seen his dad in eight years.
You know what, funk dis. I’m done trying to figuring out this movie’s sense of time and logic.

“It will only work on Parker DNA… oh. Nevermind.”
Peter says he doesn’t want to give Harry his blood because he thinks it could kill him, or worse (turn him into a monster, I guess), but then his dad’s old video comes along and says it will only work on Parker DNA because he put his own DNA in the spiders as a safeguard so no one but him or his heir would be compatible, thus shutting the research down… but Harry injects the spider venom and, you know, it made him look like half a monster sometimes and that’s it. Huh. Take that, Dr. Parker!

The music said what now?
The movie’s score seemed… I dunno, inappropriately triumphant? I kept waiting for the Olympics to start every time those trumpets started blaring. But then, there was the rapping that was kinda explaining the plot and the other musical bit that was synced to the action, which Spider-Man apparently could hear and thus broke the fourth wall, Deadpool style… because that moment needed levity, I guess.

I do have one simple compliment for the flick: the performances were great – they overcame some hackneyed story and dialogue so well you barely noticed the problem in the first place.

If I had to choose one word to sum up this movie, it’d be uneven. The playful tone from first half hour (or so) of the movie doesn’t mix well with Electro blowing holes in people’s chest and the Gwen Stacy thud, or Peter’s Twilight like mourning after her death. Still, even though I felt the film’s length, I still found The Amazing Spider-Man 2 entertaining enough to give it a 7 out of 10 – I’d call that a solid recommendations for fans of the genre, but this movie isn’t going to convert non-believers.

A QUICK P.S.:
The death of Gwen of course means they’ll bring in Maryjane at some point in the future, but what really sucks is we’re loosing the interplay between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, which was easily the best part of these first two movies. I dunno who they’ll get to play Maryjane, but she’s got some GIGANTIC shoes to fill.

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About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of CreativeJamie.com, BomberBanter.com and editor in chief of ComicBookClog.com

Posted on August 22, 2014, in lists, movie review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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