Monday, May 12, 2014
On the Amazing Spider-Man 2
I'll start off by saying that the Amazing Spider-Man 2 is far from a perfect film, but. Notice I added a 'but'-- not a major but, or a well rationalized but. But it's my butt.
I really enjoyed it.
I enjoyed it in a way that a lot of superhero movies failed to deliver or simply flat-lined on arrival. It was fun. But it's not without sin, although I have more of a fault with the advertising. Let's blame merchandising for that.
Couldn't sell all those Rhino action-figures if you kept it secret that he wasn't even going to be onscreen for four minutes of the finished film. That's the main reason I didn't get up in arms about having so many villains. Including Rhino was ... like taking the beginning of any Bond movie and putting it at the end instead. It was a teaser.
More butts. But... I think the Electro/Goblin aspect was still unbalanced. Then again, I've never been a fan of the Goblin (personal problems, don't read into them), but I still feel like the Electro confrontation played out abruptly. I'm willing to hold off judgment for how they lead this into the next film, but incorporating a full-on Spidey/Goblin battle in this film just struck me as wanting to kill off Gwen Stacy before the third film. Oh well. It's not what I would have done, but studio executives' brains work in mysterious ways, like god. Or don't exist ... like god. Anywho.
Andrew Garfield still brings it in my opinion. He captures a fantastic outsider sensibility without becoming the dweeb incarnation brought to us by Toby Maguire. I mean no slight against that portrayal, but it didn't resonate with me the same way. Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker clicks with me, and he has far more onscreen chemistry than most romantic interests in film/television.
I've read reviews claiming the film had too many storylines, although I don't feel like I found all that many (not in comparison to other Superhero movies). Aunt May still provided necessary wisdom for the young Peter, Max (fantastically portrayed by Jaime Fox) had a legitimately frightening obsession with the teen webslinger. Gwen was faced with the age-appropriate rite of passage of what college she can go to. The only one I found ... offbeat was Harry's motivation. I've thought about it quite a bit before sitting down to get snarky, but it still feels ... off. I might also be jaded toward Dane DeHaan's skill as an actor. I'm very back and forth, which is something I'm not used to.
Lastly, I just wanted to say, part of why I liked the movie was that it wasn't gritty. Silly as that is, it's the reason. It felt like Spider-Man (and during certain action sequences a video game, although I don't see how that refutes what I said). They've made enough of these damn superhero movies that they're finally getting a grip on just what they're doing. Batman is different from Spider-man, who is different from the Avengers, which is different from X-Men. I think the franchises are starting to reflect that.
Now if only someone could stop Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder from repeating the debacle that was Man of Steel in 2016 when they make Batman vs. Superman.