Monday, December 17

The Amazing Spider-man 2 Review

Version played for review: Blu-Ray
Available on: DVD, Blu-Ray, Download and Online Rental
Price I paid: £6.11 (Boxset including both Amazing Spider-man films)
Other Notes: N/A

After the disappointing reboot of the Spider-man series with the first Amazing Spider-man film, it was up to Sony to prove this new series had a future. With Spidey now a central member of the MCU it’s obvious that this wasn’t the case. So let’s look at why this series proved to be anything but Amazing.

The plot for the Amazing Spider-man 2 is just as rushed and badly written as Spider-man 3 before it. We start our story with Peter’s parents as we see them send some data to a secret location before dying in a plane crash. This then cuts to Spidey fighting crime on the streets of New York City. He begins to hallucinate captain Stacy. This is because Peter promised the dying Captain that he would stay away from Gwen and didn’t. So the two break up. Then we cut to Max Dillon who is an engineer working at Oscorp who has a strange obsession with Spider-man. He becomes Electro and turns on Spidey for absolutely no reason other than the script needing the two to fight. On top of these 3 substantial plots, we also have Harry Osborne dying of a fictional disease and turning into the Green Goblin. Also, Peter and Harry are childhood friends despite the fact that he has never even been mentioned by anyone. The only reason this relationship exists is that the plot needs a way to artificially create tension. Overall the story is a convoluted mess that makes very little sense and ends up a mess of overly-forced narratives. It’s not even the so-bad-its-good type of terrible, it’s just boring terrible.

Despite everything this film gets wrong, it does get a few things very right about the Web-Head. I love how he approaches every situation diplomatically. Instead of charging in and just going straight into a fight Spider-man will try to open a dialogue between himself and whoever he’s trying to stop. We see this during the opening where he tries to shake hands with the pre-Rhino crook and again when Electro takes over Times Square. Then we have the scene where he saves a small boy from a bunch of bullies even walking the kid home after. This is the type of stuff I loved Spidey for when I used to read comics and it’s great to see it in a film like this. Even Sam Raimi’s Spider-man 2 failed at this aspect of the character. The costume as well is amazing with nice bright colours and big bold eyes. Anyone who grew up with the Ultimate Spider-man comics will find this version of the Wall-Crawler familiar. Dare I say that this film really seems to understand a lot of what went into the character of Spider-man. What it fails to understand is the character of Peter Parker and every other supporting role. From Gwen Stacy to Aunt May everyone else outside of Spidey himself feels like a crude caricature of who they should be.

Let’s start with the other side of Spider-man, Peter Parker. He is the most selfish person in this film even above the villains. When Gwen is mourning her father, arranging his funeral and burying him Peter just ignores her. Then months later when she has moved on a little he asks her out again only to once again dump her out of nowhere a few weeks later. After this, he follows her around the city feeling sorry for himself. Then when the two meet up again months later she tells him that she may be moving to London to study and he gets upset. They are not even dating but he has the nerve to expect her to stay for him. Peter acts like he is entitled to Gwen’s affection when he wants it and never even stops to consider how his actions affect her. Of course, this is never pointed out because the film expects you to be on Peter’s side but he is just a jerk. I would go on to talk about Gwen’s character but she barely has one. She only seems to exist so Peter has a reason to feel sad. So let’s move on to Aunt May who gets very little screen time. Gone is the kind but troubled woman from the comics. Instead, we get a paper-thin stereotype of a widow. She is sad about losing Ben and that is all there is to her character. Harry Osborne only exists to become the Green Goblin and hint at the sequel. Everyone besides Spider-man is a shallow parody of their comic book counterparts.

The Amazing Spider-man 2 proves itself to be an improvement over the abysmal first film but it’s still not enough to keep the series alive. I like the fight scenes as the special effects do a fantastic job of showing off Spidey’s reflexes and powers. In a similar fashion, the redesign of the Spidey suit is amazing capturing the feel of early Ultimate Spider-man very well. Then you see the tangled mess of plot lines that leave every character feeling shallow and devoid of personality. All the special effects in the world couldn’t save this young series. Similar to the DC Cinematic universe, the Amazing Spider-man seemed to only be interested in promoting the next film in line. This comes at the cost of an interesting foundation of likeable characters and rich lore. A mistake that cost the Amazing Spider-man its future.

Recommendation Rating: 4 out of 10.

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