Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 review

Since I've been a fan of Spider-Man pretty much all of my life, and I've written about the movies before, I should write about the latest installment: The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

In short, what I thought was as follows: It was entertaining, and while it has its moments, it ultimately brings nothing new to the table. I can see why the reviews are mixed. It's not that there's anything particularly bad about it; it's just that the bar has been raised pretty high on superhero movies, and this one seems to be content with giving you what you've already had. (At least X-Men: Days of Future Past has some ambition - hopefully it will pan out.) Ultimately, if you love Spider-Man as I do, then you should see this. If you've never cared for him or superhero movies in general, this one's not going to win you over.

What's good:

The effects - Spider-Man certainly looks better than we've ever seen him before. While in the original, he kinda looked like a cartoon character swinging around New York City, this version didn't have me thinking about how it was CGI. You really just get into the moment. Plus, Spidey looks the closest to how he looks in the comics than he ever has before.

The humor - Spider-Man cracks jokes. That's a signature element to the character. We get a lot of this, and that's cool.

The leads - Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Sally Field all put in performances that make them really human and likeable. Jamie Foxx does a decent job with what he's given - more on that later.

What could be improved:

Too many villains - Batman Begins showed us that it was possible to have multiple villains and have everything work well, so I wasn't immediately writing this off when I found out that it would feature Electro, The Green Goblin, and The Rhino. Unfortunately, they weren't all used to great effect. The Rhino, in fact, felt like more of an afterthought than anything else. They could have saved him for the sequel.

Electro - Before I continue, let me say that I'm not a purist. I don't mind it when they make changes to characters so long as it's done for a good reason. However, Electro felt like a third-rate villain from the Burton/Shumacher era of Batman movies. Plus, he looked more like Dr. Manhattan than Electro. In the comics, Max Dillon was a sociopath to start with, and then when he got his powers it just made him worse. Why do all of Spidey's villains (in the movies) have to be sympathetic? It's not necessary, and we've seen great comic book villains who are bad because they simply have a screwed up world view. Personally, I think that they should have taken a note from the Nolan Batman movies and kept him a villain but gave him some true things to say (like Rha's al Ghul, The Joker, and Bane all did). This nerdy Max Dillon? Felt like I've seen it a million times before.

What sucked:

The guy who played Dr. Kafka - He felt like one of the supporting players from Batman and Robin.

What I'd like to see in the future:

Why not look to the comics and adapt Kraven's Last Hunt, the Clone Saga, the mystery of "Who is the Hobgoblin?" or Superior Spider-Man? They can mine those stories for good movies, and in the case of the Clone Saga, improve on it. Plus, I really wish that Marvel Studios owned the rights to him, because it would be great to see him team-up with some other superheroes like Daredevil.

I've heard that they're talking about making a Venom movie and a Sinister Six movie. That seems to me like they're just milking the franchise. Hopefully they'll start to lose money and then we can see Spidey back at Marvel so he can join the Avengers.

And for the record:

Yes, it was still tons better than Spider-Man 3.

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