The Good, The Bad, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Mania.com)

By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Source: Mania.com

I am huge fan of the Amazing Spider-Man. Let me restate that fact clearly, I am huge fan of the Amazing Spider-Man comic book. So after I saw Sony and Marc Webb’s reboot of the film series back in 2012, I wondered, what was the point? We had yet another origin story for a character as well known as Batman or Superman. I think Andrew Garfield makes a great Spider-Man and a great Peter Parker. So why the reboot? Today, the sequel arrives on Blu-ray and I finally sat down and watched it. No, I didn’t feel the need to see it in the theater. Strange, as Spider-Man is one of my favorite and most beloved comic book characters. I waited and low and behold, here we are, less than four months later, the film is on Blu-ray. 

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

Here is “The Good, The Bad, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2”.

The Good:

Peter Parker is perpetually haunted by Gwen’s (Emma Stone) father, Captain Stacy (Dennis Leary), in the film. A great reminder of the promise he made to the dying police officer and father. 

The film never loses sight of what it actually means to be Spider-Man. It sucks. As much as we would all want to be the hero, this hero has to wrestle with the fact that everyone he cares about is either dead or in jeopardy.

Here Alistair Smythe is introduced into the Spider-Man movie universe. He is played B.J. Novak (The Office) and he works at Oscorp. In case you don’t know Smythe will create a series of robots that will attempt to hunt down Spider-Man called the Spider-Slayers. 

Felica Hardy (Felicity Jones) is also been introduced into the series, yet instead of being a cat burglar called The Black Cat, she is Harry Osborn’s (Dane DeHaan) executive assistant.
 
There is a great scene in the film where Peter and Harry meet each other for the first time in years.  Kudos to Andrew Garfield and Dane DeHaan for pulling off this complicated scene. In the previous Spider-Man Trilogy, we are given a lot more of a relationship between Harry and Peter. These two bridge the gap very quickly and give the audience a sense that they do indeed know each other.
 
Once Jamie Foxx’s Max Dillion becomes Electro, we are allowed to see the world, literally, through his eyes. It is a great effect and illustrates what this character is going through. 
 
At least Gwen Stacy dies in this film and it is because of the unnamed (yeah, he was the Green Goblin) villain Harry Osborn became. Her outfit was as good as a death shroud for those of us who read Amazing Spider-Man #121.
 
Thankfully, they cut Mary Jane Watson’s (Shailene Woodley) scenes from the film. The film was already way too long. 
 
The Bad:
 
Jamie Foxx’s landed the coveted role of a super villain in The Amazing Spider-Man. So why is it that before he becomes Electro, he looks like Jerry Lewis in The Nutty Professor? To go one step further, the power of electricity can also accomplish amazing dental work and leaps intelligence.
 
This film takes some huge leaps in time and also has some wacky weather. Peter and Gwen graduate in what we can assume is June, like all other high schools. Peter is wearing shorts and loses his cap and gown pretty quickly when the ceremony is over. He and Gwen then go to dinner with what is left of the Stacey clan, now in have heavy coats. New York in June is not heavy coat whether. When Peter visits Gwen’s grave near the end of the film, we see the passage of time through the seasons. However, it appears that snow only lays around Peter and Gwen’s grave. If you go into the deleted scenes, Peter meets up with his now living father in a winter wonderland, which is the supposed to be the same cemetery. Never mind the fact that they go from high school students to being in college, to Gwen getting accepted at Oxford at different times to move the plot along.

Gwen Stacy still works at Oscorp? Really? Didn’t she see what was going in the last movie?

The film is really bloated and could use some cutting. The first 15 -20 minutes feature Richard and Mary Parker escaping Oscorp. This was completely unnecessary to the film. One word is said, “Roosevelt”, which does matter to the story. It’s a line that Aunt May says again later. So why the huge ordeal the Parkers?

Speaking of “Roosevelt”, that part of the story begs a few questions as well. Richard Parker has an underground secret lab. Peter finds it a decade or so later and it looks brand new. There is no dirt, dust, or experiments overgrown. In fact, the computer still works. Believability isn’t out the window for a man who has the power of spider. No, believability is out the window for a super secret lab housed in an abandoned railway system that looks like it was cleaned up before the film crew arrived. 

Peter Parker built his web shooters, but (and this is a pretty big but) he needs both YouTube and his Oxford bound girlfriend to learn about electricity? 

As I mention before, Garfield and DeHaan have a great scene where Peter and Harry reunite for the first time. Later, Peter calls Harry his “best friend”. I don’t know about you, but a friend you haven’t seen in ten plus years isn’t really a best friend. In the original Spider-Man Trilogy, we witness the rise and fall of the Peter/ Harry relationship. These guys weren’t even pen pals. 

Harry Osborn, boy super villain!. Harry gets his company taken from him as well as his access to all its files. He walks into the Ravencroft Institute with a wink and smile and takes down two guards and frees Electro. It is the disarming of the guards that I have a problem with. Harry is dying and his hands are shaking, yet he can disarm two guards and stun them with one of their own tazers? Harry then injects himself with the Spider-Serum (in the comics, we call this the Goblin Serum) and then suits himself up in body armor, complete with a glider, which regenerates and heals him. WHAT? Why didn’t he just get into the armor to begin with? All the answers to why Harry does this are in the deleted scenes. However, the deleted scenes are NOT part of the film, they are the DELETED SCENES. Perhaps the James Bond opening with Richard and Mary Parker could have been sacrificed for a tad more exposition on what Oscorp was actually working on.

The film could have ended with Peter and Aunt May’s (Sally Field) scene about moving on after our loved ones are gone. No, instead we are left with the return of Aleksei Sytsevich (Paul Giamatti) aka The Rhino, which leads me to the blatant rip off the scene from Iron Man 2. A Spider-Man fan emerges from the crowd to stand up to The Rhino when no one else will. Spider-Man swings in to take his place. It’s a great scene, don’t get me wrong, but we saw it back in 2010.

The final nail in the coffin for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is ending the film with a hip hop song. 

The Amazing Spider-Man 2:

The film over-reaches when it doesn’t have to. The makers of this film seem oblivious to the errors made by Joel Schumacher in Batman Forever (1995). Another conclusion that I have come up with is that this is not a film for someone who is huge fan of the Amazing Spider-Man comic book. This is a film for the masses, a film for people who like their superheroes up on the big screen with tons of explosions, idiotic stereotypical villains, and leaps in logic. Be warned Hollywood, your current cash cow, superheroes, won’t be around forever when you take such actions. Even your beloved masses have a breaking point. See The Green Lantern (2011), Jonah Hex (2010), Batman and Robin (1997), and Spider-Man 3 (2007) for examples.

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