“… makes me sad that we aren’t going to get to see The Amazing Spider-Man 3.”
It’s finally time. The movie that I have been dreading watching since I started this Spider-Man marathon is next on my list. I never had the misfortune of seeing The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but from everything I’ve heard it is easily the worst Spider-Man movie, and quite possibly one of the worst movies ever. Reluctantly I loaded up Netflix and buckled up for what I was sure would be one of the worst experiences of my life; when I started enjoying myself I had to wonder if I had selected the wrong movie. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 picks up shortly after The Amazing Spider-Man leaves off: Spider-Man is still doing his thing, saving the city while also going on really cutesy dates with Gwen Stacey. Everything is golden (despite Peter being plagued by thoughts of Gwen’s dead father warning him to stay away from her) until Oscorp worker Max, who is also Spider-Man’s biggest fan, suffers a terrible accident which allows him to control electricity which turns him into the villain known as ‘Electro”. There is also a side-plot about Harry Osborn, but who gives a shit? Let’s get into the review.
So like I said, I actually found myself enjoying The Amazing Spider-Man 2. It started off as me just laughing at a few of the jokes, but then I started to come to terms with the reality of the situation: this movie is fucking hilarious. I’m not sure if I legitimately found it funny, or if the years of bad-mouthing lowered my expectations so much that I would have found anything funny at that point, but every single joke was landing. I think part of what made me love the movie was the decision to make Peter Parker have social skills. I’m not sure if it is cannon with him being more confident because he’s Spider-Man, or if they just decided that him being a bumbling idiot isn’t the best way for the character to go, but either way it was a welcome change. This change led to funnier jokes as Peter Parker, and it also took down how much of an asshole Spider-Man was. This was best for both characters, and I wish the first film used the same formula. Another thing I really appreciated was the ending of the movie, which was surprisingly dark and very mature. I know the first Amazing Spider-Man film tried to be dark (but just ended up being “dark”), but the way The Amazing Spider-Man 2 kind of lulls you into a sense of security with the jokes and then hits you with a left-hook right at the end was brilliant in my opinion. It’s going to sound kind of strange, but this makes me sad that we aren’t going to get to see The Amazing Spider-Man 3. It seems like everyone was just getting into the swing of things (get it???????? HAHAHAHAHA) and I’m interested to see what a third film would have looked like.
As far as the rest of the movie looked, I thought the plot dragged a little in the middle but overall he pacing was a lot better than the first film. To be honest it was probably because we didn’t have to see the origin story again, but The Amazing Spider-Man 2 just seemed to flow better than the first film. I also though that the CGI was greatly improved from the first film, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 not really having any missteps in the effects department. As for characters, I liked the way that Electro was set up (constantly being ignored, looking up to Spider-Man), but there were some issues I had with him. First of all, who just calls themselves Electro? How long was he thinking of names to give himself? Usually it’s the media that gives the super villains their names, but this guy came out of the gate screaming “Call me Electro!”. I also didn’t like Electro’s voice, specifically how it sounded like he was delivering his lines through a fucking fan. We’ve all done it when we were kids, the difference being I didn’t grow up and say “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if a dude in a movie sounded like this?”. It made him hard to understand at times, and I couldn’t get over how ridiculous it was. I also wasn’t a fan of Harry Osborn, and his eventual turn into Green Goblin. I’m not a fan of Dane DeHaan, I think his acting is pretty one-note and his portrayal of Harry Osborn was no different. He was always angry for no apparent reason, and his line delivery did not impress me. As for him as Green Goblin, nothing can top Dafoe’s portrayal in Spider-Man and DeHaan’s wimpy laugh definitely didn’t instil fear in my heart. Also, he looked fucking ridiculous, right? The last thing I want to discuss is the music in the film. In my review of The Amazing Spider-Man I mentioned that the music was always wrong; it never fit the tone of the scene. Well The Amazing Spider-Man 2 overcorrected, because most of the music in this movie is too on the nose for it to not be a joke. You know what I’m talking about (hopefully), the “They lied to you, they hate you, kill Spider-Man…” chant that played when Electro was on-screen. I understand that this music was trying to emulate the thoughts going through his head, but holy shit was it obvious. We get it, the character feels betrayed; you don’t need to outline every single thought he is having for us. We’re not that fucking stupid. And this was especially annoying when the real Electro would just parrot these words after they had just been said. “They lied to you…” “YOU LIED TO ME” “You hate them…” “I HATE YOU”; it’s needless and very annoying. I also wasn’t a fan of the use of dubstep in the movie, but that may just be a personal preference. I think dubstep is kind of clichéd, especially for anything revolving around electricity.
Overall I found The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to be quite enjoyable. I appreciated that the film didn’t take itself too seriously throughout, but I also really liked how dark the ending was. I had a few issues with some of the characters and music choices, but everything else was very well done.
I give The Amazing Spider-Man 2 a B