johnlink ranks THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 (2014)

At this point, I’m over the fact that they rebooted this series way too early. The casting has been good enough that, even if the first movie felt somewhat unnecessary, I knew I’d see the second one eventually. I wasn’t in a huge rush mostly due to the fact that the word of mouth on this wasn’t great. I went in with modest expectations.

The Amazing Spiderman 2

I watched THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 (2014) on 12.5.14. It was my first viewing of the film.

In our modern filmmaking times we are as privy to what doesn’t end up in the film as what does. So we learn that the ending was changed to make it more PG-13, that Mary-Jane was filmed and then cut (but thanks for playing anyway Shailene Woodley!), and that a good deal of Harry Osborn/Black Cat exposition was left behind.

Still, despite all of that, we have a movie with a running time over two hours and twenty minutes. This isn’t an example of a movie hacked apart into nothing, its an example of a movie which may have had too much ambition to begin with.

So, as viewers, we can either lament what could have been or we can deal with what we have in front of us. For some, and this is not a judgment, the latter is impossible due to the former. Anyone who has ever been offended by a hacked movie based on a personal favorite novel can relate. Multiple that by hundreds of issues (and multiple reality streams) of a comic book, and it is easy to see why it can be so hard to make a comic book movie which satisfies everyone (though the AVENGERS universe is on a hot streak).

And, so, we arrive at the second SPIDER-MAN movie in a rebooted series. There are issues with this movie. The villains are defeated at a couple of different moments and just randomly pop up somewhere else with no police intervention for some odd reason. Jamie Foxx tries nobly to embody the Spidey-loving-turned-Spidey-hating Electro, but the action scenes with him aren’t highlights.

amazing-spider-man-2-movie-2014

Reading the IMDb user comments is always entertaining. With this movie, the common perception seems to be “if I wanted to take my girlfriend to a romantic comedy I’d go to a Sandra Bullock movie”. Perhaps that isn’t an entirely invalid argument, but in this particular story the characters are so endearing that the character stuff is better than the action stuff. I could watch Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone (Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy) playing off of each other all day. Their dialogue is funny, endearing, and entertaining. The acting in this movie is a step up from the Sam Raimi series, even if the comicbookness of the heroes and villains is not as solid (I just made up that word). And while I will always like the original Raimi film quite a bit, I will say that I think Garfield is becoming my preferred Spider-Man.

The basic plot for this movie is that Peter, as Spidey, is in full crime fighting mode. Some New Yorkers love him, some hate him. He is having trouble with his relationship because he told Gwen’s dad (Denis Leary) that he would leave her alone right before the dude died. Filled with guilt, Peter keeps seeing her Dad looking at him everywhere he goes. Their relationship deteriorates. Meanwhile, Peter is looking for the truth about his dead parents, much to the chagrin of Aunt May (Sally Field, who is a better actress than a comic book movie deserves, and nails one scene in particular in this movie). Meanwhile, Electro has an accident and gains strength while Peter is also catching up with old friend Harry Osborn (Dana DeHaan) who we all know will become a Goblin of some kind. There is a throwaway sequence with Paul Giamatti because his Russian thug is destined to become Rhino. These threads don’t have a lot to do with one another for most of the movie, but it is the power of the relationship between Peter and Gwen that make this a surpassingly snappy watch. It flies by quickly.

Now does that make this a great movie? Nope. There are enough plot holes to make some of the hero/villain stuff a mess. The action, as stated above, isn’t top notch. But give me characters we care about any day. This is a good looking movie, with likable folks, that is easy to watch. Comic book purists, I’m sure, might disagree with me. But I had a good time watching this sequel.

SCORES

FILM: 5; MOVIE: 9; ACTING: 6; WRITING: 4; BONUS: 1

The bonus point is for the lead paring. Without Garfield and Stone, this would probably be a failure.

5+9+6+4+1=25

FINAL SCORE: 6.25 out of 10

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~ by johnlink00 on December 7, 2014.

4 Responses to “johnlink ranks THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 (2014)”

  1. For some reason, I quite enjoyed this one. Maybe I was just in too much of the summer spirit. Good review John.

  2. At least you seemed to enjoy it. I’ve seen so much hate on this movie it is ridiculous. I still don’t understand why. Not as great as the first, but still an entertaining movie to watch.

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