REVIEW: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

TAMS2 Poster
Release Poster – Columbia Pictures

Today I want to talk to you about success. But before I do that, one should not be surprised to hear that I will be going over heavy SPOILERS for this movie and the franchise in general. Are you not caught up on the Spidey cinematic experiences, then stay clear. One of the most talked about movies in the last few years, at least on social media, was Sharknado.

An extremely poor movie that I rated at an extremely low score. But, even though critics might’ve hated the movie – that’s not what matters. What matters is that people talked about it, people watched it. Sharknado served its purpose, but can one call it successful? What makes a movie successful? Is it the merchandise it sells, the box office numbers or the score on metacritic? Think about this, as I go over my review of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

I loved the first two Sam Raimi movies, I loved the entire setting, the feel – everything. Then, along came the final installment consisting of two great villains… done poorly. When I look back at the movie, though, I am not sad – for I always looked at these three movies as the story of a friendship. The story of Harry and Peter. Franco and Maguire.

I loved how they worked together, those actors. Therefore I was very nervous going into this one, knowing that Dane DeHaan would be the new Harry. I like Dane, but I felt he might be too… Different from Franco. I didn’t know if he and Garfield would work together. In the end, I was satisfied. And that’s what is important. Each and every acting performance satisfied me… Except for one…

I love comic book movies, I read comic books, I love the characters. But it is important that you respect the material and take yourself and your material serious, as you try to adapt it. I felt that the Rhino fell flat. Take a great English-speaking actor, give him a weird look, a temper, and a fake Russian accent. Then make him scream his name like it was nonsense in the opening of the movie.

Here’s where it pissed me off, sure the Spidey universe has a lot of humor – but I expected Sony to take better care of the Rhino than this… I felt that the beginning of the movie was very odd, and it was not as serious as I expected it to be. Thankfully, Emma Stone took care of a lot of great scenes hereafter. Also, our new Spidey is really handling the comedic timing well, and I like his relationship with Aunt May.

If you know your comics, then you’re not going to be shocked that someone special dies in this movie – and I knew it would happen – but I was extremely pleased with the way it was handled, nonetheless. My two favourite parts of the movie are, one, when they are in a clock tower, and, two, when the plot deals with Peter’s family. Here’s the huge poblem also present, though.

This movie feels like 3 45-minute long Spider-Man episodes of a TV-show. Imagine if they took those three episodes and made them into one long movie. The pacing is off, there are way too many villains – and it spoils the fun we could’ve had with all of these various villains in separate movies. I loved how they handled the plot when it came to covering the Parker-family, but when they handle the Goblin, Electro and Rhino it doesn’t feel right.

I won’t remember this film fondly, but was it a success? It probably won’t get a high metacritic score, critics won’t be loving it for years and years. I’m sure it will make a lot of money for Sony, and if that’s the definition of success – sure, then it is. I wasn’t a fan of this film. Perhaps this movie is not for me.

That’s when I see this film’s definition of success. For while I did not feel happy about the movie itself, I saw someone else – a little kid. He was walking out of the theater with his father, and, I presume, his big-brother. As they walked out, I watched them talk about the movie – and suddenly I saw one extremely important thing.

The kid was playing and acting like Spidey – trying to crawl on the walls etc. etc… And that’s when I knew it. A movie is successful when it makes us smile, gives us hope and makes us happy. I watched the kid play Peter Parker – I smiled. The friendly neighborhood Spider had done it again. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was some kind of ‘success’.

Overall: 5.5 out of 10. Spider-Man returns with an intense movie, one that won’t break any barriers for Comic Book Movies, but one that does what it needs to do. 

– I’m Jeffrey Rex.

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