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‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’: Likable, But Not Without Flaws

Let me try something new. I’m going to state what the pluses of this film are, because I am kind of torn here. It has many, many flaws. But somehow I am still compelled to like it. For the most, that is.

Yes, I am not and never will be a fan of “The Amazing Spider-Man” reboot from 2012. It was all too much treading the same water as the 2002 original, but by no means to me an improvement. Why redo it at all?

But now we’re onto the sequels. Maybe now there is a chance to steady the filmmakers hands, and find their way through the muck that is franchise filmmaking these days. In some ways, they succeed with this one. In other ways, they fail in exactly the same way other comic book films have failed before.

I really did enjoy the two lead actors this time around. As opposed to the last film, they actually do have chemistry this time, even when they are disagreeing with each other. The other thing is, of course, there are some exciting battles to watch here. But the most noteworthy thing about this film, and what helps it work for me the most, is the musical score. Hans Zimmer brings a grandiose sound to the action, mixing what’s expected of him, as well as some modern dubstep-like touches as well. It elevates the picture, whether you know it’s doing so or not.

Okay, with all that out of the way, let me state some of the more obvious flaws this film has. I’m not saying don’t go see the picture. I’m just merely saying be prepared for some ham and cheese with your viewing.

Tonally, this is a very different film than the last one. It seems more akin to the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire pictures. It’s brighter and funnier. Spidey’s costume is even more like the one in those films, with the exception of his big comic book eyes, which is fine and more consistent with the style of this picture. The opening action sequence, or should I say second beginning, with Spidey trying to catch some crooks, had me flashing back to why Star Wars fans never liked Jar Jar Binks.

But where the problems really lie are in the human forms or the villains. For instance, the central villain Electro idolizes Spidey before he becomes evil. Umm, so he gets super powers and then suddenly doesn’t like him? Why wouldn’t he just join up with him, because he forgot his name? Jamie Foxx hams it up in the first portion of the film. So does Paul Giamatti, who eventually becomes The Rhino in the climax of the film. There is also a side character that tortures Electro, Dr. Kafka. The actor in that role also gives another hambone performance. I kept thinking I was stuck inside “Batman Forever” or “Batman & Robin” again. You wouldn’t really know this film was helmed by the same director, Marc Webb, if no one told you.

Lastly, they try to pawn the whole Peter used to be best friends with Harry Osborn off on you in a very rushed fashion, like, let’s laugh, giggle, and sneak this into the plot. The 2002 film had the subtlety and patience to let that relation grow to its conclusion through three pictures. Here it’s just dumped on you and more or less over with, once more without a reasonable motive for why these people suddenly want to kill. I kept thinking that if the producers want so much to spread the wealth and make multiple films, why not have the faith in your product to just give one villain to each movie? Then you could go on almost endlessly.

Like I said before, this is not a deterrent to not see the film. Most definitely do so. Go see it. Have fun. Just sort of turn your brain off for a little over two hours.

About Michael Burk

An avid film buff, artist and aspiring filmmaker since childhood, Michael moved to the area in 2004 from Bakersfield, CA.

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