Note: This review was written May 3rd, 2014.
Personally, while I didn’t think it measured up to the first Spider-Man movies, I thought it was a solid film with a charming cast that had a lot of chemistry. In other-words, I enjoyed it and everybody else is a giant booger-ball for not. I approached the sequel with enthusiasm. “This looks like a video-game,” an onlooking trailer watcher proclaimed. Meanwhile, I was gleefully jumping up and down with excitement. There’s no raining on my parade, not when it comes to the quick-talking wall-crawler. I heard reviews saying that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the cinematic equivalent of what Joel Schumacher did with the Batman & Robin movie.
After leaving the theater, I’ll admit that I was left with a lot of impressions about the film, but nowhere at all did I think it was a terrible movie. It’s certainly a flawed film, but I don’t believe it’s a terrible one. For those in-need of a recap, the film carries on from where The Amazing Spider-Man left off, Peter and Gwen’s relationship is facing the aftershock of Captain Stacy’s death. This leads to the introduction of Electro, and one or two others that fans indefinitely anticipated after the thousands and thousands of trailers that we saw prior to the movie.
I think one of the biggest fears that I had going into this movie was that it was going to feel cluttered and campy. And it did.
The Amazing Spider-Man felt a lot darker and more serious than the other Spider-Man movies, both visually and from a storyline perspective. This movie is practically the complete opposite of that.
The movie is without a doubt the silliest installment in the Spider-Man franchise. However, I enjoyed and laughed at a lot of the comedy. “This isn’t taking the subject-matter serious enough!”
Have you read the comic-books? When Spider-Man isn’t assuming everything is his fault, he is making bad joke after another. The villains are also hammy as hell, but there’s something about it. They’re self-aware at their cheesiness, and it feels like a joke that both the viewer and the movie are in on. I think that Jamie Foxx turned out being hilariously entertaining, and I had goosebumps when he starts hearing goosebumps. While I enjoy Foxx’s work in other movies like Django Unchained and Jarhead, I was really worried that he wasn’t going to be comfortable in this role.
Thankfully, I think he did a very good job.
In-fact, everybody had a commendable part in this film, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone doing as tremendous as ever, and Dane DeHaan also did really well. They had a fantastic cast in this film, and the cast was allowed to breath and show their talents.
Unfortunately, the structuring of the film itself leaves a lot to be desired. While everybody does well, the film is disproportionately constructed in such a way that damn-near kills all of the effort. They spend all of this time building toward one idea before building toward a new idea entirely, and by the end of the movie, those ideas hardly mesh together seamlessly. In-fact, a lot of the time, it feels like an incoherent mess. I remember telling one of my friends that the first movie felt like it didn’t have very many memorable moments. This movie rectified that problem, because leaving the theater, there are at least three or four moments that I am going to remember and be talking about for years to come.
The problem is that, the minute after going from one thing, they went to the next, and it just felt long-winded, as if the movie never took the time to breath. If you know anything about the comic-books, you’ll also realize how predictable the “big” moment is. However, if you watch the film, it’s really, really easy to see where they were going within the first ten minutes. To their credit, they handled the “big” moment a lot better than I thought that they were going to. All of my friends and I were expecting it, but we were still thinking, “Holy Shit!”
In conclusion, I can’t really say that this movie is better than the first from a storyline perspective. Honestly, it isn’t as consistent of a narrative, and in-fact, inconsistency is probably the biggest flaw about this film. It is filled with an amazing cast of actors and actresses, but the story with spun together in such a bizarre and long-winded way that it’s difficult to digest all of the stuff that is happening on the screen. Even still, I do think that I prefer this film, slightly to the first. Andrew and Emma were as comfortable as ever in their roles, and the villains were a large improvement over the Lizard. The movie was cluttered, but very entertaining and visually astounding.