I didn't know whether I felt old or young, reminiscing, almost yearning for Sam Raimi's impressively entertaining and balanced Spider-Man (2002) and Spider-Man 2 (2004) while watching the latest spidey movie.
Story, kind of
Spider-Man arrives to his graduation day, fighting off a truck driving villain like it were a joke. Since the redux has sent him back to college, and damn real young near awkward teenage years, some of the superficial dialogue is forgiven. But not so for the airy way of dealing with villians, friends, aunts, danger and death. Everything seems out of a average book for young readers, a mild Mills & boons mixed with tragedy. As for the Jamie Foxx / Electro track of lonely man seeking attention, it is a mostly missing bull's eye statement on alienation and narcissism. The bulky back story is a contrived device for bringing back the green goblin, than meaning something or anything at all.
Barely there, but for the budget
It is all a pity, for Andrew Garfield makes the wisecracking geek hero contemporary, the chemistry with real life partner Emma Stone is sparkling. But that's it. No other saviours here, the fight scenes are big-budget decorations at most, the movie's crutches.
Just to give you an idea...
There is not one uplifting moment in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. There is lot of bubblegum like chewing in the crawling running time, miserly humour, and no hint of either menace or danger. Even a main character dying seems like a Archies greeting card torn apart. No life to it, no connection, something distant, plastic and blurred.
I was caught between watching a Cartoon Network hourly in live action and a dwarfed TV series. And the exasperation! Stepping out of the theater almost wanting to do all the things Spider-Man didn't do in the movie. Pass me a web. Bring Sam Raimi in here (We forgive him Spider-Man 3, totally), invent the time machine please!
Ripley's Believe It or Not
New Yorkers assemble to watch a villain (Rhino) machine-gunning the city as if it won't harm them, like its daily entertainment. Among them, a kid in a Spider-Man suit runs up before the Rhino in an intended symbolic gesture. Then the real Spider-Man arrives and makes light conversation with the kid. The villain conveniently waits, no action, no taking advantage. Yawn.