The Amazing Spiderman 2 – Spoiler-free Review

The Amazing Spiderman 2 is not a great movie, but I will say it’s a fun one.

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Plot

Following the events of the Amazing Spiderman, Peter is now a full-fledged superhero, beloved by the entire city of New York (with the notable exception of a certain unseen newspaper publisher). In the midst of his attempts to balance school, relationships, and superheroism, two new villains rise up in Peter’s life, just to screw things up in a general way.

I’ll be honest. It was predictable. At no point was I genuinely surprised by the plot of this spiderman movie, probably because the same plot has been enacted for the last four movies.

The first half of the movie felt very pieced-together. There were a couple of different storylines, all fighting for screen time. Often, I felt like the movie simply forgot about some of them until convenient again. That being said, the movie did a decent job of tying them together in the end.

Continuity

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There was no doubt this was a sequel. There were plenty of references to the “Curt Connors Incident”. I will say that the movie definitely took where the previous movie left off and took it farther. It developed the world of Oscorp and we do actually see a character arc of Peter.

The movie definitely sets up for the future, however. There is no doubt the direction that the movies will go, even if one does not know the comics. The first movie may have been an attempt to see if a Spiderman reboot would work. This is the point where the movies start focusing on one direction.

Comic Loyalty

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I will admit that when the reboot decision came, Marc Webb and the guys at Sony had a tough decision to make. How do they balance achieving loyalty to the comics, while being notably different from the Sam Raimi trilogy? They answered the question in a variety of ways. There was a notable tone difference. There was the change of a love interest. They played it off by claiming to be truer to the comics and, in some ways, they were.

They abandoned that for this movie. Yes there were just a few points where something matched up in the comics, but for the most part, the story was completely original. For the most part, this movie is a Spiderman movie, but makes very few attempts to include comic material.

Other

The villain back-stories were atrocious. Their motivations were hokey and unimaginative, often not even making sense. At several points, the writers simply explained away connections in one brief, lazy line of dialogue (I’m still trying to figure out if they expected us to believe that Peter really had known Harry earlier and had simply forgotten to mention it in all his time around Oscorp in the first movie). Many times, people just happen to be in convenient places for the sake of the plot. And someone please tell the writers that it is not okay to have a soon-to-be villain talk to himself for three minutes, just so we know what he’s thinking. At two separate occasions, we see a villain declare his villain name, just so we know.

All that to say, the movie could have used some more work on the script.

At this point, I would like to start a collection to raise money to buy tripods for these poor camera men, so they can keep their cameras still. Either the cameramen were hit with some of Electro’s blasts or the crew enjoyed shaky-cam just a little too much. Maybe that’s just a pet peeve of mine, but I like to have a clearer idea of what is going on.

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One of my biggest hopes for this movie was Dane Dehaan. The actor blew me away with Chronicle (seriously people, go see it now), so I was thrilled to see him cast as Harry Osborn. Unfortunately, he was not given much to work with. The character’s dialogue was often forced. At times, yes, I did feel his emotion and even fear him. Mostly, however, that was a let-down.

Summary

There was a lot wrong with the movie. That being said, it was a fun movie. If you miss the movie, I think you’ll live, but it was an enjoyable use of an evening.

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