As of this point, we have already gone through ALL of the Spider-Man films that have been released since the very first one in 2002. Of course, that means that right now, we will have to take a peek at the last Marc Webb Spider-Man film before SONY finally made a deal with MARVEL a few years back- “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”.
“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” was released in 2014, and saw the return of Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy and had Sally Field as Aunt May Parker. In addition to this, the film also starred Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn, Chris Cooper as Norman Osborn, Paul Giamatti as Aleksei Sysevich or the Rhino, Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon as Electro, and Felicity Jones as Felicia Hardy.
Interestingly enough, this film had more emotional weight to it than the first film did, and there were things here that I really did like. However, there were a lot of things that I also didn’t like.
The things that I did like in this film including the great chemistry that Garfield and Stone have with each other, and I really did think that DeHaan and Garfield had great chemistry as friends as well.
However, I did think that the film was too long, a little bit overstuffed with characters and plot, there were too many big action sequences that were just there for the sake of just looking like a really awesome and spectacular action sequence, and I thought that the Electro dubstep stuff really did not work at all. This film felt like it also has SONY’s fingerprints all over it, as they never wasted an opportunity to try to set up the Sinister Six spin-off films, which, of course, never happened.
Interestingly enough, recently I saw one of Variety’s “Actors on Actors” series, and in one, Amy Adams asked Garfield about his experience about working on a big budget superhero film, given the fact that they both have played two iconic comic book characters. As the interview went on, Garfield went on to admit that the studio wasn’t big on “story and characters”, especially for this particular film, and that it broke his heart a little, especially as he has been a fan of Spider-Man since he was three years old. (You can check out the video over here.)
So, with all of that in mind, it is no wonder that this film was the death knell of this particular franchise for SONY until they made that deal with MARVEL.
Before we move on, you know the drill….there will be SPOILERS beyond this point!
So, before I go on a whole rant (yes, you have been warned) about this particular film, let’s take a look first at what I did like about it.
Garfield’s and Stone’s electric chemistry with each other on screen is definitely one of the strongest things in both of these films. Sure, no one can ever beat that iconic kiss scene than Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane Watson had with Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man, but the chemistry of Stone and Garfield easily make up for that.
I also like the very easy chemistry that Garfield and DeHaan had with each other, and I wish that instead of focusing once again on the story line about Peter’s parents, we could have seen a flashback in which a young Harry and Peter are playing together as children.
I also liked the web-slinging sequences across the city this time around, even though it still didn’t have the same exhilarating feeling that the Raimi films had.
Also, I did like the fact that Garfield’s Spider-Man here was more jokey and quippy during his battle sequences, in a way that was more natural, and more in character with Spider-Man as compared to the first film.
It was also interesting how emotionally charged this film was as compared to the first film, and I do admit that it was very easy to feel bad for Foxx’s Dillon.
Now, with that out of the way, aside from that dreadful dubstep stuff that went on whenever Electro would show up, I felt that this film suffered from the fact that they were actually focusing on more than one plot at a time, and that they were constantly reminding us that they were trying to launch the “Spiderverse” films all the time. (What with the fact that we actually saw stuff like the Green Goblin’s body armor and Doctor Octopus’ arms.)
I don’t understand why there were so many plots running in this film. There’s Peter’s and Gwen’s love life and Peter’s promise to Gwen’s father; everything happening with Electro; Harry’s quest for spider venom which ends up turning him into the Green Goblin; corporate politics; trying to solve the mystery of why Peter’s parents disappeared; and setting up the “Spiderverse” film franchise. That’s just too many things happening at the same time, which is why after Electro is defeated, and you think that the film is finally done, in the Green Goblin comes, and has to have a shorter battle with Peter.
I also would have liked it if they just focused on just ONE villain. Choose either Electro or Harry, and then build it up so that we, the audience, become emotionally invested in these characters and in the battle sequences that happen with Spider-Man. Sure, you feel bad for Max as he is treated horribly, but he just flipped like a switch in just one second, and he’s suddenly spouting lines that could have come from any villain in a superhero film.
DeHaan was good as Harry, but as soon as he becomes the Green Goblin, everything just goes down the drain for him from there. Sure, they keep him alive so that they can make a Sinister Six spin-off, but he didn’t look that great, and I also don’t understand how he was able to use everything correctly right after just putting it on.
Honestly, I did want them to build up more on their friendship than what we got in the movie.
Also, I thought that the whole underground secret subway station laboratory, and Peter’s parents’ story should have just been said and not shown like that anymore. Finding that subway train car should have felt like a good conclusion to that chapter in Peter’s life, but instead, I felt that it kind of left me hanging a little bit.
Also, I wish that Gwen had decided NOT to go in the middle of the fight, because she should have known better. Of course she was going to get hurt in the end. However, her death, when I first watched this film at the cinema did make me cry.
So, in the end, I felt that this film felt like plot ideas, and SONY’s ideas put together in a blender to make a film that would please everyone, which, in everyone’s experience, isn’t a good idea at all, thus making this film the worst Spider-Man film yet to date, for me.
Just a little update, I don’t think that Disney Channel Asia will be airing the “Ducktales” pilot or the new “Spiderman” pilot at the same time as it airs in the United States, but I really do hope that they manage to bring these shows, along with the “Big Hero 6” show soon, so that I can watch and review them as well. So, we’ll be going back to Classic Doctor Who with the last three seasons of the Tom Baker era, then take a look at the first season of “The Defenders”.
So, what did you think about “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”? Was there anything I missed out on? What did you like or did not like about this movie? What did you think of the Raimi movies vs the Webb movies? Which one did you like better? Who is your favorite Spider-Man so far- Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield or Tom Holland? Let me know what you think in the comments below!