Monday, May 5, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Title: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Director: Marc Webb

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Sally Field, Paul Giamatti

The Amazing Spiderman 2 was a great way to kick start the 2014 Summer Blockbuster Season; the season that many film buffs such as myself look forward to because it’s that time of the year when the biggest most bombastic films are unleashed. These films are meant to wow us, they are meant to be huge spectacles, and I have to say that The Amazing Spiderman 2 certainly falls into that category. Many moments during the film had me saying “amazing!”  out loud; so I think it’s safe to say the movie delivers where it’s supposed to deliver. What was so good about The Amazing Spiderman 2? And where did it fail?

This time around, Spiderman is having a great time being Spidey, saving the world, helping kids fight bullies, saving the world from rampaging villains, but he still has one dilemma, his promise to Gwen Stacy’s father before he died. If you remember correctly, fearing for his daughter’s life, Captain Stacy made Peter Parker promise him that he would leave Gwen Stacy out of his life.  So anyways, Spiderman tries to leave Gwen alone, but their attraction is too strong. At the same time, two villains are born: Electro and The Green Goblin, both of whom want Spidey dead, for their own respective reasons. Can Spider-Man be a hero and be in love at the same time?

I didn’t exactly love the first Amazing Spiderman movie. My big problem with it was the cgi; I didn’t really dig it. It made characters look too much like a cartoon, not real enough. This problem was especially evident whenever The Lizard appeared. I felt I was looking at some crappy cartoon. Not convincing in my book. The problem with a lot of these Spiderman movies has always been the CGI, which in my book has always been spotty. I was watching Spider-Man 3 (2007) the other day and boy, the CGI on that one was so obviously CGI, and when that happens, the film loses its grip on reality and falls apart in my book. And this is where this second film got things right, the CGI was excellent. When we follow Spidey as he swings through the city, well, he looks real enough in my book, you can see the ripples in his freaking suit, you hear the wind. An effort is made to make things convincing.

I was worried about the amount of villains, because not every director can handle a lot of villains properly, sometimes the end result is a Batman & Robin (1997) type of deal, where we have a bunch of villains and none of them are developed properly or treated with any dignity, the end result is a bunch of paper thin villains that aren’t brought to life in a satisfying way. The best example I can think of is Bane in Batman and Robin, and Venom in Spider-Man 3; both terrible renditions of important villains because both films where cluttered with way too many villains. Thankfully this doesn’t happen in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. For all intents and purposes this is Electro’s film and he looks and sounds kick ass. I loved the visual with all the blue fluorescent lightning bolts, it just looked freaking sweet. Mix that with the electric bass sound they put whenever Electro appears and we have a perfect marriage of sight and sound, the visuals and the sounds mixed like magic. The Green Goblins transformation was awesome…but I’m not entirely sure I love his overall look. In my book he still needs to be more monstrous, more demonic, like in the comics. Then we have The Rhino, but thankfully he is only used as a tease for the next film, which apparently will feature The Sinister Six, an amalgamation of some of Spidey’s deadliest villains.

The film did a fine balancing act between story, romance, kick ass action and mind blowing effects. In some ways it reminded me a bit of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) because it had that thing where it went from romance, to action, then back to romance, then back to action again and so forth. Final words are that I can’t really bring myself to say anything bad about this movie. The only thing I can say didn’t really fit into the film was the tacked on “extra ending” with a scene that leads into X-men: Days of Future Past (2014), which will be premiering in the next couple of months. My problem with that scene was that it wasn’t even that good; it wasn’t a real grabber. And on top of that, it had absolutely nothing to do with The Amazing Spider-Man films. I would have preferred an extra ending that connected with The Amazing Spider-Man 3. But alas, it felt like a cheap way to promote X-Men: Days of Future Past. So yeah, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a step up from the first film, I recommend it if you want to start the 2014 Summer Season with a blast!

Rating: 4 out of 5 


Elwood Jones said...

I can't really say that I've been overly excited for this one, so much so that I was surprised to see it had been suddenly released.

Not sure if this is just superhero fatigue which if this is a or just the villains on offer but can't say i'm rushing to see this one. I do however love the R.H.I.N.O. suit which will be great to see getting the proper screen time. Guess I'm equally relieved that they didn't use the old school design aswell.

Franco Macabro said...

Yeah, the concept behind the Rhino is cool, I mean, it's better than having him dress up in a rhino suit, same goes for Electro, who would look too silly if he wore his original yellow and green suit. The new takes on these old characters are welcomed and necessary in my book.


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