Movie Review
Amazing Spider-Man 2
Amazing Spider-Man 2 poster
By Scott Sycamore     Published May 21, 2014
US Release: May 2, 2014

Directed by: Marc Webb
Starring: Emma Stone , Andrew Garfield , Paul Giamatti , Jamie Foxx

PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action/violence
Running Time: 142 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $202,644,000
C+
Many are calling it a weak storyline, and I canít really say that I disagree, but this isnít the Nobel Prize for Humanitarianism.
This movie is not without merit. I know that the critics as well as many fans have taken a giant dump on this movieís street reputation. I, for one, feel they have been just a tiny bit too harsh. Not to say that the movie doesnít deserve harshness, but in accordance with the Sycamore credo, I want you guys to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the movie that is projected on the screen in front of your head. If you are looking for deep-meanings and incredibly developed characters, you are whatís known as a ďwishful-thinker.Ē You may even fall into the anti-Sycamore-ian category as ďthe fan-boy,Ē not to be confused with The Fan starring John Leguizamo. This is what we refer to as a ďSpider-ManĒ movie; itís not called ďThe Amazing August: Osage County 2.Ē There will be no Streep-ian displays of acting bravado, just some colorful visual flourishes and pretty tweenage characters to stare at. Do I go on too many tangents? PerhapsÖ boy, itís good to be back!

The main problems with this film boil down to: a lack of extended quality action set pieces, as well as very murky character motivations, especially on the part of the villains. The flick is really low on both Spider-Man and his nemeses. Now that right there could be viewed as a giant strike against the movie, but on the other hand, you can say that itís refreshing that the filmmakers were bold enough to hold back on their inhuman cartoon character creations. Now, even though I bitched about the same thing for the Godzilla movie, reaming the producers for not having enough Godzilla in it, the difference between that movie and TASM2 is that Spidey has a storyline. Yes, many are calling it a weak storyline, and I canít really say that I disagree, but again, this isnít the Nobel Prize for Humanitarianism, itís a Sony-Wannabe-Cash-Cow. Your directions as a viewer/consumer are to show up at the theater, grab your giant lard-filled popcorn, proceed to the auditorium and digest your filmed entertainment product accordingly. Afterwards, you will neatly file out of the theater, validate your parking if necessary, and then make your way to the parking lot to retrieve your vehicle. You may be granted extra time to discuss said film product with your peer group in a carport area.

I can see why the masses in general arenít really liking this movie. It does indeed have that Hollywood stench of low-quality and lower effort. My gripe is: There just needed to be more. Use that editing software to your advantage, Marc Webb, this flick is basically the Quantum of Solace of superhero movies: reboot franchise, second movie, stuck in the midsection of the story arc, and cut the good parts which need to be longer. There are many instances in TASM2 where the director frames a killer shot, only to cut from it before your eye can even take in the full landscape. This is not necessary. People like Kubrick got to the level of esteem that they did partially by lingering-on-shit. Marc Webb wants to take a panoramic CGI composite shot, reveal it for a split-second, and then cut away to a doucheís haircut, all while inserting a non-threatening indie pop-rock tune on ye old soundtrack.

We can talk acting and stuff, but you know thatís going to take a backseat in a flick like this, right? Andrew Garfield seems to have taller hair than the last movie. I think his voice and body frame work for the Spider-Man character, but I donít know if I fully see the connection between his Peter Parker and Spidey; they just donít seem like the same person. I had the same problem with Tobey Maguire and his Bassett-Hound droopy eyed face. Both of these gentlemen just donít seem like they would be cool enough to inhabit such an alter-ego. Emma Stone is very cute, but isnít an out-of-reach model-esque ice princess. Basically she serves her role as a young woman in a cheese-headed superhero joint. Jamie Foxx and Dane DeHaan actually bring credible turns to their villainous roles.

To restate my gripe; thereís just not enough of them. Electro actually looks and sounds pretty sweet. Green Goblin doesnít look as flashy, but for his brief screen time, he embodies a pesky and sinister and antagonistic force. The rest of the roles are serviceable, except for a blank-faced and silent Denis Leary. What is this, The Sixth Sense? What is this, a ghost story? How on Earth did he collect a paycheck to appear in this would-be-blockbuster without a speaking role? We all know that Leary stole jokes during the height of his stand-up days. Now heís managed to steal back his own role in a big ticket franchise.

So in summary, you know the drill: follow the programming that has been laid out for you. Have an Icee, turn out the lights, get into your underwear (only if youíre at home and not at the theater), donít be too critical like Scott Sycamore, turn off your brain and your mind, donít pretend that Nolanís Batman trilogy broke new ground for realism in comic-book cinema and you were brilliant enough to recognize it and forever hold every popcorn flick that comes down the pipeline to its exacting standard. Hey, itís better than Serenity.
Scott's Grade: C+
Scott's Overall Grading: 417 graded movies
A15.1%
B59.2%
C24.5%
D1.2%
F0.0%
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