When the initial reboot happened, I was pretty leery. I enjoyed the first franchise a lot, and pretended that the third of that series didn’t exist. I’m not the only one. I went in expecting something not quite up to par with what Marvel Studios was doing and was pleasantly surprised. This was a more character driven film with phenomenal acting. The best part is that we had a real Spider-Man this time. He was a smart ass that joked and laughed and didn’t know when to shutup, something Tobey MaGuire’s Spider-Man didn’t exactly fully grasp. I still love the first movies, and separate them as I do with the original Batman movies from the recent reboot.
I was pretty excited to see The Amazing Spider-Man 2, because I enjoyed the first one so much. I was a bit nervous when the previews started to come out and they revealed that not only would Spider-Man be up against the villain Electro, but two of his other big foes as well. I got nervous at this, because as much as we all try to forget Spider-Man 3, we all remember why it didn’t work. There was too much going on. I feared that the new Spider-Man movie would fall to the same fate, and for something that started out so well, that would have been a travesty.
I am happy to say that even with the proposed villain adventure we were getting from the previews, it was still a great movie. It was fun. It had the character drive that I loved from the first film, but it did have some issues, pacing being the major one. They was a lot going on in this movie, and they tended to present some aspects of the story as much bigger issues than they actually turned out to be, and the flip side of the coin is some big issues didn’t get enough focus. Being a comic book fan and knowing Spider-Man’s history, I saw a major part of the ending coming in the first ten minutes. That is to be expected. My problem with that is this plot aspect became repeatedly thrown at the audience throughout the entire movie through common and obvious foreshadowing tropes, that anyone coming in new to the Spider-Man world could have figured out in 20 minutes if they were quick or an hour if they needed more time to process.
There were other issues that I had that were probably small. Some dialogue, especially where poor Paul Giamatti was concerned was atrocious, so bad in comparison to the rest of the dialogue that it actually pulled me out of the moment of the movie. That is never a good thing. There were a few technical aspects that I really had to swallow down my pills of suspension of disbelief in order to move on. One dramatic scene was really hard. I think it had to do with the fact that my father is a retired airplane mechanic, so planes have always been in my life. I think they were going for dramatic effect, but my brother and I had to take a moment to look at each other and ask “Why the hell didn’t one just pull up and the other go down?” I guess they wanted that dramatic moment of to be memorable, and I know I’m being picky.
The other slight issue I had came from my comic book fandom, and it was with Electro. Yes, he has the ability to manipulate electricity and acts as a walking conductor himself, but the film version has Electro materializing and dematerializing at a whim as well as being able to turn himself into an a electrical current and being able to travel through anything that has one. I don’t remember those new abilities from the comics. I remember those abilities from a DC Comics character named Livewire, but definitely not from Electro. I know, I know. I’m being picky.
So what did I like. I like how they paced out the villains. That was blessing as well as a relief. The interactions of the proposed villains made sense. The focus was Electro and how he was sadly and easily manipulated. Maybe easy is not the best word. The character was on the cliff of crazy as it was, but sadly that was society’s influence. It didn’t take a whole lot for him and his misguided anger to put him in the situation that he ended up in. The other villains were used as a set up for a future movies and a constant thorn in Spider-Man’s side whether or not another film makes it out there, which I hear there will be.
I also just truly enjoyed Peter Parker’s character. His constant internal struggles of doing what is right for everyone as opposed to doing what is right by himself is a character quality that I love about him. He can joke and be funny, but he is also intelligent and loving and caring. He has had to go through so much at such a young age that people forget this. Other heroes make jabs and get annoyed by his constant blabbing and joking in the comic books, but they always forget what he’s been through. The fact that he can joke is remarkable and shows what a truly amazing character he is. It is no wonder why he is Stan Lee’s favorite.
I wholeheartedly recommend this movie, even with all of the trash I just talked about it. In the end, Spider-Man fans have seen worse and know what bad looks like. There are always bad parts of the best movies and in this case, it is easy enough to overlook. I think knowing them ahead of time will make it a little easier to look beyond.