Film Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

I remember when the first “Amazing Spider-Man” film came out with Andrew Garfield taking over the web slinging role from a not long departed Tobey Maguire that people were saying it was too soon and unnecessary to reboot the franchise but in fact, this reboot had wiped away the pain of clichéd upside down kisses and that the franchise had a stronger future now as a result.

I remember enjoying the first film, my IMDB rating is 8/10, but I can’t actually remember what happened. I think have the problem is that because so little timed passes between the rebooting I muddle up events and characters. And so, essentially, I sat down to watch the Amazing Spider-Man 2 completely blind. Almost in a state of starting fresh with no prior knowledge of past events.

James Franco - Harry Osborn - Spider-Man

This proved to be a slight problem, because the film did seem to demand a level of prior knowledge. There are a splattering of references to previous events from the first film that tie good and evil together and sadly, these passed me by as a result. It didn’t help either, that in my head I was expecting James Franco to appear as Harry Osborn rather than Dane DeHaan. Which resulted in some confusing moments as I tried desperately to split the various incarnations and stories that have gone before apart in my head.

But, that wasn’t my biggest problem. I missed seeing the film on the big screen when it was out during the summer blockbuster season. Mainly because it is rather long, but also because it wasn’t getting great reviews and combined, they formed to create a sense of apathy towards it. And so, finally getting around to seeing it, in all it’s 3D glory, took place at home. Now the virtues, positives, and light sapping negatives of 3D I have explained and debated on numerous occasions, so it seems pointless to really explore them again, apart from saying that this film suffers very, very badly with it’s stereoscopic handling. Large parts of the film use real people set in a real world with real scenery and that is always a recipe for disaster. The destruction of depth perception and flattening of backgrounds in a way that goes beyond that seen in any magic eye book is staggering, off putting and determinate to the film.

Jamie Foxx - CGI - The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Saying that though, I will concede that when this film really goes CGI-tastic; when they decide to do away with anything organic and create the entire world, characters and all, within the digital world the 3D comes alive and has it’s place. And really adds to the action on screen;but considering that happens, for approximately 25% of the film at best, it’s too little coming too late, to say the day. Or justify the running time.

There are also, people in the world who argue that you can never have too much money, but once again this film attempts to prove that you can. Huge portions of this film appear to have been included for no other reason that allowing the CGI team – although I assume it’s teams as it’s so heavy on computer generation that I wouldn’t be surprised if they employed the entire industry – free reign to create more and more and more elaborate elements whether they serve any purpose to the plot or not. Masses of this film feel more like they are there purely because they could be, because the CGI teams just wanted to show off, rather than because they actually needed to be.

Andrew Garfield - The Amazing Spider-Man 2

And the fact that it’s a CGI-fest of proportions like which I have never seen before, and which Michael Bay would be proud, mean that when things attempt to get serious, when they attempt to tell a story, or create relationships between characters, you are just unable to accept it. It just feels so, so wrong. It isn’t helped that when Garfield puts on the mask and swings around the streets, he turns for dorky fool to stand up comic, with a not very funny routine. While Emma Stone’s facial muscles appear to have fallen asleep. And the least said about the theme tune ringtone on his phone the better.

I’m being harsh, because I really don’t like it as a film. I will accept that the return more often than not, pails to it’s original. Sequels either never exist due to the failure of the first or fall short of it’s success, unable to live up to the hype. It’s the rock and a hard place. The you just can’t win scenario. But the makers of Spider-Man have fallen so far, so hard, that it’s scary. You almost feel as though the series needs another reboot to erase the mistakes it’s just made.

4 out of 10 stars (4 / 10)

Posted on by 5WC in Film First Edition

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