The Amazing Spider-Man 2

This is a post that I have been trying to figure out how to write for about a week, maybe ten days now and each time I’ve come to approach it I can’t quite figure out how to get my thoughts down clearly. Normally I’d put in a little synopsis of the story but there are a few different plot lines that the film focuses around, and it’s hard not to stray into spoiler territory. We have Peter Parker’s relationship with Gwen Stacey, his friendship with Harry Osborn and his Aunt May. Now lets throw in the mystery surrounding his parents death and the difficulties that Harry Osborn is facing as he takes charge at his now dead Dad’s business, OsCorp. Norman Osborn dying isn’t a spoiler as he dies very early on, which is a waste of Colin Cooper if you ask me.

Let’s not forget Max Dillon who soon becomes Electro, Jamie Foxx looks like he had fun here, and his first of all idealisation of Spider-Man and then his pure hatred. Then we have the emergence of the Green Goblin and the Rhino, who looks kick-ass in a mech suit as opposed to a rubber one.

There is also minor plotlines with Aunt May and Gwen Stacey that I noticed, oh and another one for Harry Osborn.

So we have a lot going on in this movie and that is one thing that I’ve found I’m a little annoyed about. In my, humble, opinion we have three, maybe even four movies worth of story here. It almost feels like, as a movie goer, I’ve been mugged off a little. I’ve spoken on my blog before about how I was a little bored by the first film, but after watching it again I’ve got a lot more appreciation for it. So I was looking forward to seeing what the writers, director and producers did with this second movie. The first was used to re-establish the character and the world Spider-Man/Peter Parker exist in. My natural assumption was that they would have more freedom to give us a film where they are not establishing characters and relationships, but instead we get a film which is loaded up with at least four major story lines.

The acting is good, the direction is good. The action and special effects are breath taking and its a very easy film to watch and the story is easily followed. Its all very compact though, we get a small snippet of story and then BOOM huge leaps take the movie forward to a conclusion. I’ll speak more of that in the spoilers at the end of the post.

There are a fair few little Easter Eggs throughout the film to watch out for 😉

It was really good to see Spider-Man in action as he never kept his mouth shut. Throughout the opening action scene he is constantly mouthing off and almost being too casual in his crime fighting, its a lot of fun to watch 😀

Overall I did like this movie, it just feels like they’ve rushed over a lot of good story to build for future movies.

 

*****Spoilers Ahead*****

 

 

*****I’m Not Joking*****

 

 

*****Last Chance******

 

 

*****Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn You*****

 

As I said in the first part of the post there is a lot of story lines in this movie, I can understand the Green Goblin one being rushed through and altered (The storyline was a staple of Raimi’s trilogy) but I would have loved to have seen Colin Cooper as The Green Goblin, although a part of me kind of hopes that although we’re told Norman Osborn is dead I can’t recall seeing him dead. Even if we did that doesn’t mean anything, but I think that’s more wishful thinking because, as I said, I would have loved to have seen Cooper’s Green Goblin.

Speaking of Cooper’s Norman Osborn, we see him dying of an illness when he could be, I dunno maybe in his fifties and he tells Harry that it’s hereditary and it’ll start showing in Harry soon, which it does. He goes from looking pretty well to quite sick very quickly. When he injects himself with something he thinks will cure him it goes bad very quickly and he just so happens to crawl to the weapons and armour that make him the Green Goblin. Earlier on in the film he is trying to get Spider-Man’s blood as he thinks it’ll cure him. There’s more to this miracle cure but my mind is a little foggy with those details.

The Rhino is in the film for all of about a minute. Most of what you see in the trailer is in the movie, but how it is set up in the film it works well. As Spider-Man is about to fight the Rhino the film ends. This bit works really well but why did we not get to see Aleksei Sytsevich becoming the Rhino? Paul Giamatti looks awesome, if his accent makes it all but impossible to understand what he’s saying. But we get him before the Rhino suit at the start of the film and then in the suit at the end.

Electro get’s a fair bit of screen time and I think is pretty well handled, although the Max Dillon part of the story did remind me a little of Edward Nygma from Batman Forever.

I mentioned that I thought Colin Cooper was a little wasted, so was Sally Field. She is one of the most talented actors we’ve had the pleasure of seeing, give her more time to explore her relationship with Peter.

There is a reference to Peter Parker selling pictures to the Daily Bugle, which annoyed me as I love that part of the Spider-Man universe. I really want to see J. Jonah Jameson again, but only if J.K. Simmons is recast. he was born to play Jameson!

Peter and Gwen. Early on in the film Gwen dumps him, because he is guilt ridden because he broke a promise to her Dad. This wasn’t needed in my opinion. It was there just to add a little more conflict to Parker’s life, just have them being happy and maybe dealing with Gwen having a chance to go Oxford (I think it was Oxford). That would have worked better for me as a storyline then them trying to remain friends, there’s a cute conversation they have about being friends but I’d rather see Peter Parker in a steady relationship and not moping about. After she dies I can accept him moping (I did warn you about the spoilers).

I stick by what I said earlier, there’s a lot of story here that is rushed through. I do think they are trying to build a franchise with the legs similar to what Marvel are doing with their movies. They can do it with the right people, but don’t short change us next time. The way that Green Goblin is handled in this film is a great example. Dane DeHaan is really good here and I would have liked to have seen more of his Harry Osborn as a friend to Peter Parker and not as an enemy.

This is a good film but it’s one that is there to move the series along and build up to the Sinister Six. We don’t need so many plot lines in the next film, give us some decent focus on exploring individual characters and relationships as well as Spider-Man saving the day.

The Amazing Spider-Man

I wrote in a post recently that I was not overly impressed with this reboot of the Spider-Man movie series. Despite liking it better then Sam Raimi’s trilogy I found that I was a little bored by it. After having seen the origin story for Spider-Man so recently I found it boring. There were good points. Andrew Garfield looks very natural as Peter Parker and Emma Stone is really captivating as Gwen Stacey. Sally Field and Martin Sheen were awesome as Aunt May and Uncle Ben, their chemistry together is priceless and they look and act like a couple who have been together for a long time.

I’ve recently brought and re-watched it after I went and saw its sequel. I wanted to give it another chance because I liked the sequel (Mostly, but that’s another blog post) and I’m going through a stage in life where I’m feeling like I’ve been too critical with some things and movies are a big part of this.

On my first and only viewing when it came out there were a number of things which didn’t sell me on it. Like I said the origin of how Peter Parker became Spider-Man, been there and done that. I think they put it in to remind us all and to set up the story arc of Peter’s parents and the mystery around them. I really wasn’t sold on Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors either, but on watching it again he has won me over a little. I do like it when actors break from the characters that people typecast them as. In this case I think I was as guilty of that as the next person. Ifans is a very talented actor but normally in slightly odd, out there and louder then life roles. So I think that played too much on my mind at the time but give the man some serious credit for taking such a big jump away from what he normally does.

As for the storyline, there were times when I found myself looking at my iPad and seeing what was happening on Facebook and Twitter, but I did not find it as boring as I recalled it to be. I think the cast did a lot to keep my eyes on the screen. I’ve mentioned some of them above, but I’ll elaborate a little more here.

Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man looks right at home here. He’s got that quick wit that is needed and easily comes cross as someone who is highly intelligent. I heard a Spider-Man fan saying that Peter Parker is a genius and Garfield plays that side of Peter Parker well. I felt he also pulled off the awkward teen that Peter Parker is early in the film well. Tobey Maguire always felt more creepy then awkward in Raimi’s trilogy. Overall Andrew Garfield seemed to live the character very well and was very convincing. He held the screen, had a fair bit of charisma and pulled off the range of emotions that was needed.

Emma Stone as Gwen Stacey is just perfect. Let’s get the male oriented aspect out of the way, Emma Stone is a strikingly beautiful women, but instead of being there just to look sexy and supply someone for Spider-Man to save so serves a part in the conclusion of the film. She is just adorable, as well as being strong. That can be hard to pull off but Emma Stone does it really well. I’d not seen her in anything before this and she all but stole the scene each time she was on screen. She has a lot of charm and strength and isn’t scared of getting stuck in despite any threats that may be coming. Emma Stone looks very natural on screen, some actors look like they are trying too hard but Stone seems to be very at ease on camera.

The chemistry between Garfield and Stone is amazing and believable, to the point where they are in a relationship in real life. This just strengthens their on screen relationship.

The director, Marc Webb, does do a very good job with steering the film. It’s pretty well written and is not over inflated or trying to do too much, it’s very straight forward. I think having the villain be The Lizard was a good idea, although from my small knowledge of the Spider-Man universe it felt a little like the character was a little misinterpreted, but I’m willing to let artistic license be used here. The story isn’t about the Lizard, it’s about Peter Parker becoming Spider-Man and the Lizard is just a bad guy thrown into the mix so there is a conflict and threat that Spider-Man has to stop.

The performances, style and tone saved this movie for me. It’s not a bad film in any way shape or form but its core story has been done before. Webb has a great eye and gets the best out of the actors. he also made a fun film, Spider-Man had that smart arse wit that never felt quite genuine in Raimi’s trilogy.

This film is setting up a bigger story arc and I think it does that while also being a stand alone film. The sequel does step it up a notch and it felt like they let loose a little more, but I’ll talk further about it in another post.