Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (PG-13/142 Min.)

A lot of people say that the sequel is never as good as the original movie. This held true for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. I enjoyed the first movie so I was excited about the sequel. I have to admit, it was a bit of a letdown. Now, before anyone gets their knickers twisted, I’m not saying Spidey 2 was horrible. It just wasn’t great. Has everyone I’ve talked to who saw the movie last night agreed with me? Absolutely not. A couple people said they loved it. My advice, if you’re reading this, is to read other critiques to help make your decision. Or ignore it altogether and go with your gut.

In Spider-Man 2, Peter is struggling to keep his promise to Gwen’s dad while continuing to date Gwen. Gwen is trying to be understand but it’s not always easy. Max Dillon, an electrical engineer for Oscorp, is feeling a tad invisible and grasps at the knowledge that anyone might need him for anything, much less remembers his name. After a terrible, but predictable, accident, Max becomes Electro and being cranky with the world in general and having super powers does not make a good combination. Meanwhile, Norman Osborn, owner of Oscorp, dies of a not so great disease (genetic, of course) and leaves the company to his son, Harry. Unfortunately for Harry, not only does the disease start showing up in his own body but the powers that be at Oscorp want him gone. Another not so great combination. So much stuff to fit in to nearly two-and-a-half hours. And we felt every minute of it.

Why didn’t I like it more? I hate to say it but a big reason was the acting, which kind of confuses me. I liked both Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in the first movie so why didn’t I like them in the second? Was it because of the writers? Or the director? I have no idea. The movie opened with a lot of silly lines. It got to be tedious. It was too comedic and people stopped laughing after a while. Then Emma just didn’t seem to have the same oomph she’s had in other films. She just wasn’t the Emma we’ve grown to know and love. The only acting I cared much for was that of Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon/Electro. He didn’t get to talk much so that may be why. He didn’t have many lines so maybe his writer decided to make them count. Who knows?

I almost forgot to mention what I did like about Spidey 2.  I thought the special effects were neat-o.  Especially Electro.  I've always thought the Spider-Man effects were cool but it's expected now so it's easily overlooked.  The one effect I thought was seriously overused was the slow motion.  They wanted to make sure that no detail slipped by us.  I would have liked it more if they'd used it less.

The only reason I can think of that this received a rating of PG-13 was the violence. The cursing was limited. I only recall one scene in which alcohol was imbibed. The film does include a few death scenes that are a tad emotional. The transformation scene was kind of creepy. There were several fight scenes but none of the very young children in the audience seemed to be much affected by them. The blood was kept to a minimum so no gore. Yea! While I think the rating was deserved, the fighting was no worse than any other of the recent super hero movies.

If you liked the first Andrew Garfield Spidey movie, I’d give this one a chance. You just might like it better than I did. If you weren’t that thrilled with the first, I’d skip this one. It’s definitely not better. Unless you just like reading the credits, there’s no reason to stay. No teaser trailers on this one.

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