movies: the amazing spider-man 2

the amazing spider-man 2 - rise of electro
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a much bigger movie than the original... the stakes are bigger, the cast is bigger, everything is bigger.

Unfortunately bigger is not necessarily better.

In fact just about everything I loved about the first movie, the real performances, the beautifully written script... was pretty much ruined by the ham fisted first ten minutes of the sequel.

The movie does improve, but the who premise of the beginning, which is once again a flashback to when Peter's parents were still alive is so ridiculous it borders on insanity. Because if you're on the run from a large corporation, using the corporation's private jet to escape is exactly the thing you should be doing.

Before I saw the movie everything I'd been hearing said it was fairly lackluster other than the relationship between Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker and Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy... and that's definitely true, although at times I'm not sure where the fictional Peter/Gwen relationship stops and real life Garfield/Stone relationship begins. There are a couple of photos that Peter has that I'm pretty sure may just have been lifted from the actors real lives.

It does make their chemistry both incredibly natural and a little bit weird, and that weirdness did yank me out of the movie reality once or twice.

I also think they just tried to cram too much stuff into this movie... there's the whole Electro plot, then there's a Harry Osborn/Green Goblin plot, and given that they use the Rhino plot in the trailer, you spend the whole movie waiting for that to happen, only to find that it literally happens in the last five minutes of the movie. Then on top of that you have the Gwen/Peter plot and a Peter's parents plot... and it's all just a bit much.

To be honest, I kind of wish they'd dumped the whole Electro plot and just done the Harry Osborn plot... not that the Electro effect isn't wonderful, but cause it is, all of it, and I know we've seen a version of the Goblin in the previous set of movies but it could have been interesting. But Electro and his motivations were kind of lame.

And in the end he doesn't even drive his own story, he's just a tool of the other characters.

Jamie Foxx seems to be doing the best with what's he's given, but to be honest it's not much, and he doesn't really seem to add anything beyond what's on the page. Similarly Dane DeHaan, who was great in Kill Your Darlings resorts to something of the creepy emo version of Osborn.

And then there's the character played by Marton Csokas who seems to think he's in a whole different kind of movie and camps the living hell out of his fortunately very brief performance.

To come back to the two leads, Garfield still gives a great performance and fills both Parker and Spider-Man with compassion and pathos, however the script gives him much less room to do that this time around.

There are a few scenes at the end of the movie where he does get to stretch those muscles though. And I will admit that that scene did make me tear up, even before Garfield appears.

And Stone is still as feisty as ever and although she's in most of the movie it doesn't feel like she has as much to do this time around.

Whereas in the first movie it was very hard to tell what was real actors and what was CGI, for some reason this time around Spidey occasionally feels a little rubbery. Whether that's because he's doing much more extreme things and stuff that couldn't safely be done with a real person.

As I said before the Electro effects are great.

So given the fact that the first movie was my number one pick of 2012, I was more than a little sad that this one didn't measure up.

yani's rating: 2 special projects out of 5

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