Spider-man has been one of those superheroes that has held a sweet-spot in the heart of Americans for over a decade. Perhaps it’s because the first Spiderman came out in 2002, not too long after the two towers/9-11 disaster (and Spiderman lives and rescues New York City). Perhaps it’s because Spiderman was the transition film from comic-campy superhero films towards a more dark-realistic turn (paving the way for Dark Knight & Avengers).
Whatever the reason, The Amazing Spiderman 2 does not live up to the legacy left behind by the previous spider films. This may be more of a redbox movie than a “spend-your-monthly-mortgage-at-the-cineplex” film.
First, Andrew Garfield plays a more enjoyable, humorous, and relatable Peter Parker/Spiderman than Tobey Maguire. In Amazing 2, his character takes on a more almost ditzy/whimsical nature (done mostly for effective and needed humor).
Spiderman has a story that asks where hope comes from, how one handles the responsibility that is thrust upon them, and how one balances relationships with the stresses of life. A storyline many can relate to and appreciate.
Some of the drama and action scenes were also fairly well done.
Though some of the action and drama were well done, the well done scenes were too few and far between. Amazing Spiderman 2 is a film that tries to do too much in one movie. It is almost as if the writers and director were so afraid of having too weak a story that they ended up ironically developing a not good story by cramming too much in, not allowing for any real depth of development.
Some of the performances were way over-the-top and into the realm of melodramatic. Peter Parker wanting to break-up with his girlfriend in order to protect her is not only a tiresome plot line, it is also irrelevant and inconsistent (like not being in a relationship means a villain won’t still try to hurt her to get to him, and that he won’t still come running). Some of Jamie Foxx’s lines felt like something from a Joel Schumacher film (Batman & Robin-esque); Marton Csokas’ Dr. Ashley Kafka was so stereotypically done it was distractingly laughable (again Schumacher-esque). Even Paul Giamatti was wildly over-the-top in his character performance. In short, I fear this Spiderman is a turn down a creative dark path like Batman Forever was taking. Hopefully there is a turnaround, and Amazing Spiderman 3 does not equal 1997’s Batman and Robin.
Save your precious dollars and rent this one. Amazing 2 is not a terrible movie, and is still better than Raimi’s Spiderman 3. Yet, there are warning signs that the series is coming to an end. Here’s hoping Spiderman’s demise is not related (nor prophetic) concerning other Marvel films.