Director: Marc Webb
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Paul Giamatti, Dane Dehaan, Sally Field, Campbell Scott
Rated: PG-13 (sequences of sci-fi action/violence)
When New York is put under siege by Oscorp, it is up to Spider-Man to save the city he swore to protect as well as his loved ones.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
By Cole Schneider
At one point late in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”, we cut to a plane with passengers we’ve never met who are in danger. Even later they gleefully celebrate the victory of their continued existence. We didn’t care about them beforehand and we don’t care about them afterwards.
These “characters” have to be created because otherwise there aren’t any human stakes in the film, but it reeks of desperate and lazy writing. This same problem pervades the whole picture in various ways. The villains’ motives are never clearly addressed and their arcs are pitiful dilutions of what may have been real characters given breathing room in the script.
We’ve now seen two films in the Spider-Man reboot effort, easily more than double the necessary time to establish why it exists and what its point is narratively and thematically. We still don’t know. Is Spider-Man the nerdy, insecure high school kid with identity problems or is he the confident, self-assured young adult swooping in at graduation and stealing a kiss to show off?
It’s a script at war with itself. It’s narratives would require a T.V. miniseries to explore yet even then it would be devoid of any thematic through-line. Thank goodness for Andrew Garfield. In a movie without point or purpose, he gives us enough occasional charm and wit to rise above a hyperventilating script. If you’re like me then superhero fatigue is setting in pretty heavy, but if you do want to watch a comic book popcorn flick check out Captain America’s sequel before Spider-Man’s.
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
By Matt Greene
It’s been awhile since a movie has made me feel as bipolar as TASM2. At times I’m fully engaged, and at other times I’m wondering, “Is this the worst superhero movie ever?” The spectacle and intrigue are present, and the comic-booky look of the film provides some theme-park-ride-like fun. Nonetheless, TASM2’s chaotic editing, over directing, and misguided stylization left me in a web of frustration.
TASM2 catches up with Peter, aka Spider-Man, as he’s settling into his hero-role, all the while dealing with regular teenage life (girlfriend, graduation, etc). But as is wont to happen in superhero tent-poles, a few big baddies show up to ruin Spidey’s day. Giamatti cameos as The Rhino; DeHaan plays Harry Osbourne, heir to the evil Oscorp fortune; and Foxx is mild-mannered Max, who falls into a vat of eels and becomes Electro because, ya know…SCIENCE! Nothing and no one is given any amount of time to develop with simply too many stories and too many characters to manage.
Worst of all is the atrocious score. For one glaring example, Electro’s theme music is composed of goofy bumbling horns, backed by sinister choir vocals singing his very thoughts (“What’s happening to me!” “I hate Spider-Man!”). A score shouldn’t be overtly noticeable, but especially not overtly bad.
Again, some stuff works. Garfield is still a better Spidey than Tobey Maguire ever was, and the icon heavy imagery during the final big battle is beautifully handled. Unfortunately these positives only serve to add to the irritation, that there is a decent reboot to be made here. Regrettably the spidey senses weren’t tingling for this one.
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars