There were aspects of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 that I found completely diverting, but as a whole, Marc Webb’s web-slinging superhero movie is cliché and unpalatable. As contradictory as it may sound, Spider-Man 2 showcases an effects-laden Spidey that’s twice as amazing as previous versions, but ultimately, is just a retread of the Raimi trilogy. An hour into the experience I began questioning the filmmakers motive. Why does this feel like Raimi’s cartoon-esque entries? The romance scenes are melodramatic. The villain is over-the-top, with his thick eyeglasses and pocket protector; like something out of an Revenge of the Nerds movie. The action sequences are exceedingly shaky-cam and close-up. But I was having a good time.
Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) struggles in this latest adventure. He is haunted by the ghost of his girlfriend’s father. If you remember, Peter promised to keep Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) at bay, while engaging in his heroic responsibilities. Peter’s failed restraint is a persistent relationship hurdle.
Parker’s best friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), is terminally ill. Spider-Man’s blood could hold the secret to saving Harry’s life. Or it could kill him, though in the grand scheme, I don’t see why that matters.
Lastly, Peter wants answers to his parents sudden disappearance. Why did they abandon him? His underwear-washing Aunt May (an enthusiastic Sally Field) doesn’t know, and the only clue lies within the contents of an old briefcase.
There’s also that small problem of being the friendly neighborhood superhero. Spider-Man’s foes are aplenty in this outing, but none are more dangerous than Electro (Jamie Foxx). Electro is an egomaniacal sociopath with the power of electricity at his disposal. He received his powers when he accidentally slipped into a vat of electric eels, because, how else do you gain such power?
Amazing Spider-Man 2 culminates into a 2+ hour event, capping off with a show stopping finale that has tragic consequences. If not for the exceptional conclusion, viewers are mistreated with a barrage of movie clichés, plot holes and cringe-worthy dialogue. But despite its obvious flaws and misjudgments, I left the theater auditorium moderately entertained. It’s a veritable paradox. I concluded the iconic source material and (the very) exceptional effects had colored my 3D glasses a lovely shade of rose. I was suckered by the almighty Summer blockbuster.
And I won’t mind doing it all over again with my kids.
Does Marc Webb’s film justify its existence? I don’t think so. You’ve seen this movie before, it just didn’t have “amazing” in the title.