Let me get right to the point, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is not at all the train wreck I expected it to be. Is it a good movie then? Well, let's crawl our way into the review and find out; as I keep this one short and sweet.
Life is good for Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield). He's graduating high school, has a wonderful girlfriend and he's very comfortable being the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Something is eating away at his conscience though, The promise he made to Gwen's Father. The promise not to get her involved in anything having to do with his alter-ego. He decides to break off the relationship. Meanwhile his old friend Harry Osborne (Dane DeHaan) shows up back in town and desperately needs Parker's help. Peter also solves some of the mystery of his parents death and an energetic fellow that calls himself Electro (Jamie Foxx) has a bone to pick with Spider-Man. While all of this is going on he tries to save his relationship with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) and makes some choices which will have devastating consequences.
|Ugh...Get a room will ya!|
This film is surprisingly light on an actual plot. It mostly consists of moments out of Parker's life, the choices he makes and all of it is wrapped around some action scenes. While these moments are well written, it has to be said that the script is all over the place. At one moment Spider-Man is acting all zany and fun and literally a minute later he's teary eyed and brooding. The whole tone of the film is like this. At times it even reaches Sam Raimi-like silliness and eye rolling moments of drama or forced romantics. As with the first movie, the weakest link are the villains. When it comes to their characterization, all logic is thrown out the window. Their fall from grace is comparable to that of Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith. It's so abrupt. The actual reasons for them becoming evil is almost insulting to the intelligence.
|The Founding fathers of the Sinister Six?|
Bad writing aside, the performances are stellar. With what little the actors have to work with, they get the maximum out of it. I was worried most about Jamie Foxx and Dane DeHaan. Foxx, sadly is not much in the film but when he´s on, he nails it. His Electro is somewhat of a tragic figure. While his motives for becoming evil are very simplistic, you can´t help but feel for him. DeHaan´s Green Goblin was the toughest sell. The first promotional images did not instill much hope but it turned out a lot better then I could have hoped for. DeHaan actually pulled it off. I have to admit seeing Spider-Man fight against The Green Goblin and one of comic book´s iconic moments play out on the big screen was quite exhilarating. When it comes to the VFX and action scenes, I have no problems with this movie. It´s a visual treat.
|A visual treat indeed!|
So, yes. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a good movie but if Sony wants their own (cinematic) comic book universe to survive, they can´t make these movies like this anymore. This would have worked in the late 90´s or early 2000´s. In this day and age of “The Dark Knight” and more recently “Captain America – The Winter Soldier” audiences expect more than pretty visuals alone. Those movies proof that you can have fantastical characters and situations and still tell an engaging and intelligent story. While this was good, they simply have to do better than this.