The new Spider-man movies just don’t seem to reach the same level of quality as the old trilogy. Why this is no one knows. That being said, The amazing Spider-man 2 is much more fun and loads cooler than the first movie which got stuck in its own web of mediocrity.
Part I felt it was necessary to once again show how a nerdy kid in school with the sex-appeal of a pencil suddenly becomes one of the greatest superheroes of the entire universe (as if everyone had forgotten that the boy was bitten by a mutated spider, which resulted in him becoming his alter ego ‘Spider-man’). To make matters worse, the enemy Spider-man faced seemed like a runaway from a cheap Japanese Godzilla B-movie, only supported by poor special-effects.
The new spider-movie had to be better, to say the least. And did they succeed … it’s a safe bet to say yes!
As mentioned before, The amazing Spider-man 2 does not possess the voluminosity the old trilogy did have. There are no stellar performances of character actors which the original 3 movies did contain, so that means, no J.K. Simmons as the arrogant yet immensely hilarious chief editor of the New York paper Daily Bugle, no Willem Dafoe as the menacing Green Goblin and no spectacular Alfred Molina as the tormented octopus-man Doc Ock.
Unfortunately, this also means that the acting performances in this new movie are flat-out crap compared to the greatness in the original trilogy, especially when one looks at the bad guys and the emotional depth between Peter Parker and his beloved Aunt May. Sally Field may feel high and mighty with her two Oscars, but she never reaches the same level of sadness after losing her husband, Uncle Ben, something which was far better illustrated in the old trilogy.
Nothing to worry about though, because The amazing Spider-man 2 is still lots of fun to watch!
Let’s start with the most basic thing of all! The action in The amazing Spider-man 2 is, as was the plan all along, big and loud! Especially the fights between Spider-man and Elektro are pleasing to the eye.
‘But who is this Elektro?’, one may wonder. Well, the man was a normal guy whom no one ever noticed when he walked down the street, because he was so common, so insipid, so dull and uneventful. He wás however a brilliant engineer though not very brilliant after all. The man got caught in an electrifying freak-accident (that’s not just a clever choice of words, but an accurate description of the accident) where he was fried like a chicken … until he came back from the dead as a mutant of sorts with the power of the gods.
Now he will be noticed when walking down the streets, because 1) he is able to shoot deadly lightning bolts from his hands and 2) he doesn’t have to walk the streets at all … he can fly!!
Actor Jamie Foxx shines (get it? Shine? Because his character has a sparkling body that shines beautifully blue … aargh, forget it!), so this glimmering bad guy attracts most attention and deservedly so. The action is ‘meh’ which means quite okay but nothing above the ordinary.
But it’s the electricity beams and explosions this new villain generates that presents us with more than one WOW-effect! After all … look at him … how can you *not* look at him?
But there is more than one party guest ruining the feast. Old Spidey gets a visit from the Green Goblin (who keeps popping up as a main villain), this time nicely done by still-wet-behind-the-ears, young actor Dane DeHaan. The teenybopper already proved he was more than a bunch of freckles and pimples in the movie Lawless and he proves his worth once again as one of the greatest villains in the Spider-man universe. Although – it has to be said – his acting is still pretty basic stuff when compared to the finesse of Willem Dafoe in the first (and I mean, the very first) Spider-man movie.
But that doesn’t keep the young lad from enjoying his time as the Green Goblin. And as it goes with a maniacal criminal, Dane DeHaan more often than not shows his toothpaste-white Jack Nicholson-smile to the audience, trying his best to be at his creepiest.
To further help these new Spider-man movies, director Marc Webb (Web? No, that’s his name, really!) decided to bring in a familiar face who’s already proven more than once that he feels comfortable in pretty much any genre in the book. And he doesn’t disappoint. Paul Giamatti feels as much like a fish in the water in serious dramatic stories (often based on real events) as he does in this simplistic Hollywood-blockbuster. He plays the role of Russian terrorist who’s body is marked for the most part with strange tattoos. His performance is fun to look at, but it lacks any real depth.
The one who deserves all the spotlight – and not just because of her looks – is Emma Stone who once again steps in the shoes of Gwen Stacy, the sexy girlfriend of Peter Parker. Not only does she attract as much attention as the lightning-bad guy with her charming smile, but her crispy appearance is the perfect counter-balance for all that’s dark and gloomy in the shape of Spider-man’s mutated evil-doers. As things stand, Emma Stone is virtually the only one of the entire cast who really sparks in her performance. Unwillingly or unknowingly, she makes for a great asset in this otherwise lame movie, in terms of acting.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Andrew Garfield reprises his role as the web-slinging superhero and he does it like in part 1. Pretty good but the other one was better. Wait, what was that guy’s name again? Tobey … Timmy … Tony … nah, we lost him!
did you know?
When Spider-man ties Gwen’s hand to the cop car hood with a web and swings away, Gwen yells “Peter!” after him and covers her mouth with her hand. This was a genuine mistake from Emma Stone, who was supposed to say Spider-man not Peter, and covering her mouth was the genuine reaction of the actress, not the character.
Director Marc Webb called it a happy accident and left it in because it was so well performed that it didn’t ruin the movie.
Give it to me straight:
The amazing Spider-man 2 is een popcorn-movie in every single way.
There is hardly a decent story to tell. An engineer is being electrocuted to death and reemerges as some sort of a lightning monster who, along with the former friend of Peter Parker posing as the crazy Green Goblin, engages in a battle with our web-slinging hero.
The acting is good enough, although good enough in this case means: don’t think about it and it won’t bother you! There are no memorial moments in terms of acting – save for the wonderfully charming Emma Stone – and the depth of the movie is like a raft on the water. It is flat and never becomes anything more than flat-out Hollywood silly children’s magic.
But the action … the action is what saves this movie. It is at times unbelievably spectacular!
Director Marc Webb (no, that’s his name, this is not a prank!) allows the movie to flow from one action scene to another without the all-too-often headache provoking, MTV-lookalike, fast cutting camera shots that lesser action directors tend to create – which always results in action scenes where you simply can’t tell what happens because the camera shots change so fast. Not so much so in this movie, the action is beautifully choreographed and easy to follow.
That being said, The amazing Spider-Man 2 still has a mountain to climb if it wants to achieve the same greatness as e.g. the Iron Man-movie or Captain America – which is a subtle way of saying that the movie is good but never great.
Hopefully – when Spider-man will join the Avengers – we will once again witness a truly GREAT Spider-man movie … one can only hope!