8 May 2014

Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Kiddie Stuff, Exasperating Letdown

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/Peter Parker arrives at 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 villains, friends, aunts, danger and death.

Everything seems out of an average book for young readers, a mild Mills & Boons mingled with tragedy.  As for the Jamie Foxx / Electro track of a lonely man seeking attention is a flimsy statement on alienation and narcissism. The bulky backstory is a contrived device for bringing back the green goblin, rather 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 saviors 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 Tobey Maguire a web. Bring Sam Raimi in here (We forgive him Spider-Man 3, totally). Invent the film-making 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.


  1. Marc Webb is an amazing director as evidenced by 500 Days of Summer. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are brilliant actors who are perfect for Peter and Gwen.

    Unfortunately, Sony hired some incredibly crappy writers (Kurtzmann and Orci of Transformers infamy) and we ended up with this mess instead of something that could have been Spidey's equivalent of The Dark Knight. It was the script that brought down the first film too. Sad. :( Still loved the Peter and Gwen moments though. The chemistry is magical. Dane DeHaan and Sally Field are great too.

  2. Thanks for the comments, Unknown, you say it well. Do share the rest of your name next time, Unknown is certainly an unusual name...