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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Josh Reviews The Amazing Spider-Man 2

May 4th, 2014

Get comfy, folks, we have a lot to discuss with this one.

When The Amazing Spider-Man 2 works, it works very, very well.  There are aspects of this film that are truly amazing (pun very much intended).  And when The Amazing Spider-Man 2 doesn’t work, and boy are there a lot of times when it doesn’t work, it is horrendous.  If this film was just terrible from start-to-finish I could more easily write it off and ignore it, but there’s enough that is great that the aspects of the film that fail are hugely frustrating, one enormous missed opportunity after another.

To re-cap, Sam Raimi directed a trio of Spider-Man movies (starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst).  The first two were incredible, thrilling super-hero films in their own right and, to me, pretty much a note-perfect way of bringing the character of Spider-Man to life on screen.  The films had some flaws (for example, in the first film, having the faces of both Spider-Man and the Green Goblin hidden behind inexpressive masks impacted the drama of their scenes together), but in tone they GOT it.  In particular, both films have terrific endings.  I loved that, in the first film, Peter Parker DOESN’T get the girl.  And in the second film, after Peter and Mary Jane are finally brought together, the pain and fear we glimpse in Mary Jane’s eyes in that final shot is spectacular, a wonderfully complex and enigmatic way to end the film.  Unfortunately, Spider-Man 3 stunk big-time, as Rami famously fought with the studio, and the result was an over-bloated, nonsensical mess.  At that point, the studio decided they didn’t want to continue paying Raimi, Maguire, and Dunst’s big salaries, so they rebooted the series with a new cast and a new origin.  I would have preferred for them to not have started over again from zero.  Just re-cast the series and tell us some new, great Spider-Man adventures!  But that’s not what happened.  The result was The Amazing Spider-Man (click here for my review), a very mediocre film that had moments of greatness but over-all was forgettable.

I had been hoping that this sequel would be able to take what worked about The Amazing Spider-Man and and improve about what didn’t, but unfortunately this deeply flawed film only cements this rebooted Spider-Man series as an over-all disappointment.  This film is a big-time swing-and-a-miss.

So what works?

Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy.  Ms. Stone is perfectly cast.  She looks the part (and I loved the way her outfits in the film perfectly capture the classic Gwen Stacy look, especially that iconic white overcoat), and more importantly she breathes spectacular life into the character.  We can … [continued]