Dr. Donna Copeland’s
ANDREW GARFIELD EMMA STONE JAMIE FOXX DANE DEHAAN PAUL GIAMATTI SALLY FIELD
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2
12-Year-old fans will rejoice, and that’s really all Sony Pictures cares about with their Amazing Spider-Man sequel that isn’t anything amazing. The sequel to the reboot seems to forget the reason they rebooted in the first place, which I thought was to create a darker version of the web slinger that brought such new depth to Batman as The Dark Knight. Instead, this over-special effects sequel has Andrew Garfield jumping in the air and clicking his heels just like that unwatchable part three version of Spider-Man that had Tobey MaGuire singing. Some comics just don’t translate well to film, and after five Spider-Man films, the previous one being the best, I think it’s time to walk away from Peter Parker.
Late for high school graduation, Peter Parker (Garfield) barely grabs his diploma and kisses valedictorian girlfriend Gwen Stacey (Stone), only to break up with her that evening. He can’t stop seeing her deceased father (Dennis Leary) warning him to stay away if he really cares. Parker is now more determined than ever to discover the secrets of his father's past, which of course lands him right back at Oscorp. After the passing of founder Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper), the company is turned over to his 20-year-old son Harry (DeHaan), who needs Spider-Man’s blood to survive. Spider-Man’s biggest threat, besides winning Gwen back, is Electro (Foxx), who is sucking up all NYC's power and wreaking havoc on the city.
I guess I just like my superheroes to take things and situations seriously, which Parker does not; and he has grown very cocky since we saw him last. As he saves a police man by catching flying cars, he makes jokes before setting down the vehicle. The comedy underlines the seriousness of the film, and it always has. Part 2 feels more like when George Clooney played Batman and Foxx’s Electro seems to have taken notes from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze. In fact, the villains here are no match for Spider-Man; it’s the friendships he has a tougher battle with. Even in tense situations, circus-like music is playing in the background as if to calm the young kids watching.
In a moment of poking fun at itself, Parker and Stacey talk about clichés as they hide in a janitor’s closet as the entire film is filled with them. It may be the biggest production ever filmed in NYC and the longest running length for any Spider-Man film, but it has no life to it. Garfield has lost whatever charm he had in the original, and the relationship between our hero and heroine lacks the chemistry from only two years ago (even though the two actors remain a couple). Sally Field's motherly claim moment is one of the highlights in the film, and one of the only scenes where real acting ability is demonstrated. DeHaan once again does his best Leo DiCaprio impersonation, but the entire bloated production left much to be desired and even more to be quickly forgotten. Next!
Final Thought – Regurgitates the same mistakes that ruined the original Spider-Man trilogy.
By: Dustin Chase
Probably the most amazing thing about Spider Man 2 is the number of electrical storms/battles we must sit through to get to the end. Although I rather enjoyed the visual effects of Oscorp’s supervillains, seeing blistering fields of electricity between Electro (Jamie Foxx) and Spider Man (Andrew Garfield) got a little nerve-wracking, and the times they scuffled together were almost ludicrous, given all the special effects at their disposal. I guess as long as men are involved in making movies primarily for young men, we will have the obligatory fist-fights and car races in the majority of films.
There are exciting moments in Spider Man 2, particularly when Peter Parker’s (Spider Man’s) boyhood friend Harry (Dane DeHaan) puts pressure on him for a favor, which he refuses to do for safety reasons. We see Spider Man struggle royally with the dilemma, and wonder how he will be able to resolve it. Their interactions are entertaining, partly because of well-written dialog and partly because DeHaan has a great deal of screen presence. Seeing Foxx’s character get transformed in Oscorp’s lab is most interesting, and it’s terrifying to see the researcher with the German accent experimenting on him. That has chilling associations to other movies and to real life.
Spider Man’s venture into Oscorp’s secret laboratory provides the most gratifying moments when he is able to find out more about his origins. These scenes are in contrast with those of Spider Man with his aunt (Sally Field) and with his girlfriend (Emma Stone). I found the dialog during those times often uninspired, and a bit saccharine. The sequence where Aunt May knocks on Peter’s door and wants him to get up is way too juvenile.
Overall, The Amazing Spider Man 2 is one of the lesser-inspired films in the series. The editing is so jerky in places, I began to wonder if the editor, Pietro Scalia, has an attention deficit. It’s hard to follow all of Peter’s movements in his room and items he picks up, much less derive any meaning from them. Paul Giamatti is a favorite actor of mine, but his role in this film—intended to be funny, I think—seems out of place and disjointed from the rest of the story.
It seems to me this film had great potential given the director (Marc Webb), the cast, and the special effects, but it misses the mark because of too many flaws.