amazing spiderman 2 review

amz2

Identity Crisis Ahoy

The Amazing Spiderman 2 is the second incarnation of this Marvel superhero starring Andrew Garfield with Emma Stone as his able assistant.  Taking the helm is director Marc Webb previously best known for (500) Days of Summer.

Those of us with a memory of more than 5 minutes still remember the glory days of Sam Raimi’s Spiderman franchise and I was at the forefront of the baffled masses asking why are you rebooting this?  Ah yes the studio must be desperate for its own tent pole release!

I went into this movie with low expectations as I found the first Amazing Spiderman a pointless waster of x million dollars as it added nothing to the mythology and had a so-so bad guy.  Let’s start with the good stuff and that is predominantly Andrew Garfield who makes an excellent Spiderman and his relationship with Emma Stone as Gwen Stacey.  They have a real presence with the off screen chemistry unusually surviving into the film world as well.  The visuals are undoubtedly spectacular, the stand out being the scene in Time Square when out spidey friend faces off against Electro (Jamie Foxx) for the first time.

Sadly there are plenty of negatives.  The single biggest problem I have with the film is its inconsistent tone.  One minute its broad comedy and the next its a serious scene between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey, or its Parker trying to pick up his friendship with Harry Osborne (Dane Dehaan).  This is made worse by the score.  I checked and while there is a sweeping classical score from Hans Zimmer there is also the influence of Pharrell Williams.  I’m sorry but you have to pick one or the other, the mix of classical and modern is at odds as are the different elements of the script.  Finally there are three bad guys.  Electro is joined by Harry Osborne’s alter ego The Green Goblin and The Rhino played by Paul Giamatti.  The appearance of The Rhino is inconsequential and the motivation for The Green Goblin is not well explained.  I’ll overlook the part in the trailer about Peter Parker being spied on by Oscorp that doesn’t feature in the movie.

In summary this is a perfectly functional summer blockbuster movie.  Unfortunately it isn’t a patch on Captain America 2 or X Men: Days of Future Past.  Andrew Garfield has great potential in the lead role but he is let down by an inconsistent tone and plethora of bad guys.

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