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Amazing Spider-Manner! – The Amazing Spider-Man 2

May 2, 2014

asm2

I wasn’t a big fan of the first Amazing Spider-Man — we should get that admission out of the way for purposes of full disclosure. While it got a number of things right — both of the young stars, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, were light-years better than their flatline predecessors in the Raimi trilogy — the middling story failed to grab, this Spider-Man was more jerky than his predecessor, and by the time the credits rolled I remained unmoved by the dopey larger Oscorp conspiracy involving Peter Parker’s disappeared parents. But this is the cinematic hand that we comic book movie fans have been dealt, and we’re going to have to lump it and like it. Especially now, as Sony is going to try to have their own little Avengers-verse by spinning off the Sinister Six (which they’ve fundamentally botched — more on that in a moment) and everyone’s favorite slobbering-costume-tooth-thing, Venom. Like the Blob, the rebooted Spider-Man world is expanding, threatening to consume us all.

But before all of that, we have a simple sequel before us: The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Instead of just the lab-coatless Lizard to battle our web-slinger this time around, we now have two, count ‘em TWO (2) villains for Mr. Amazing to battle: Jamie Foxx’s White Chicks-reminiscent Electro and Dane Dehaan’s Green Goblin (one that skips the usual Norman-then-Harry progression and lands straight on the younger Osborne’s narrow shoulders). Two for 2 — I smell a tagline! Wait, it’s actually three, as we get Rhino, though you’d be forgiven forgetting Paul Giamatti is in this, as he was in none of the marketing. And he’s not really in the movie, either.

Does it work?

Kind of, and not really. The action in this film, again directed by the serendipitously named Marc Webb, far outpaces the rather blasé battles with the all too earthbound Lizard, but those moments are few and far between. If you’re someone who, like me, gets antsy with forced humor and banal dialogue about feelings and relationships, get ready for stretches that will make you feel like the people in Airplane! hanging themselves and self-immolating just to get away from Ted Striker and his lovesick ramblings. It almost manages to drag the whole thing down, until something important that, in spite of themselves, the filmmakers get right. But then the movie just sort of ends. Oddly.

More on all this and in more detail on the next page, where minor spoilers and ONE BIG ONE THAT WILL BE MARKED IN CAPS lurk.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Phil permalink
    May 2, 2014 11:24 pm

    I plan on seeing this at the dollar theater. Does that sound about right?

    • May 3, 2014 12:30 am

      In the movie’s defense the two Electro battles are well-done and worthy of seeing on a big screen. A matinee wouldn’t be a waste, but a full Imax 3d evening ticket would be pricey for the goods received.

  2. May 14, 2014 11:32 pm

    What was it about the dialogue you hated so much? Just curious, because personally it felt more natural to me than a lot of other super hero movies. Much less Spiderman and Gwen Talk About Things and more a girl and a guy go on a date.

    • May 16, 2014 12:30 pm

      It didn’t feel like date dialogue — it felt like Hollywood Writers Write What They Think People Say On A Date dialogue. It felt artificial, an odd complaint to make in a movie about a man with spider powers fighting an electricity guy, but there you go.

      The biggest problem was that I just didn’t care at all about their dopey little relationship, and will-she-or-won’t-she go to goddamn Oxford or whatever.

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