[The first part in the 4-part series “Movies I Watched on a Plane Back from Barcelona”]
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxxx, Dane DeHaan, Sally Field, Paul Giamatti
Directed by: Marc Webb (music videos for Green Day, 3 Doors Down, Jesse McCartney)
Synopsis: Peter Parker mopes a lot, is occasionally Spider-Man.
What Works: Not much of anything. This is less a superhero movie as it is a boring love story.
- Electro was an ok villain… for a little while…
- There are a couple of decent action sequences, particularly the first fight between Electro and Spider-Man, but most of them look like cut scenes from an Xbox 360 Spider-Man game.
- Dane DeHaan was pretty good in this. Well, in his first few scenes he was kind of awful but once he became more evil he easily out-acted everyone, which isn’t too hard in a movie starring Andrew Garfield.
- At least the suit looks much better in this movie than the crotch-rocket motorcycle outfit in the last one.
What Doesn’t Work:
- The ability of this filmmaking team to produce a halfway decent Spider-Man movie.
- Seriously, 3/4s of the movie is Peter moping and complaining. It’s like watching the emo part of Spider-Man 3 for over two hours. Peter seeing Denis Leary everywhere will make your eyes roll so hard your optometrist’s wallet will tingle.
- Electro was a decent villain, but he basically gets downgraded to thug status during the course of the movie and his powers range from omnipotence to barely being able to hurt Spider-Man. And the origin of his powers is beyond dumb.
- I thought Peter Parker was supposed to be a genius? In this movie, he’s kind of a dope and Gwen Stacey is apparently much smarter than he is.
- In the climactic Electro fight, Gwen shows up, insisting that she can help because she knows the ins and outs of the power grid since she just graduated high school, so she really has a chance to shine and apply her knowledge by flicking a clearly marked switch.
- Rhino is in this for approximately 40 seconds.
- Everything else. Just, everything.
Overall: What an amazing waste of time. I hated nearly every minute of this movie’s 4-hour run-time. I’d put The Amazing Spider-Man 2 right down there with The Fantastic Four as far as mainstream super hero movies go. It’s definitely worse than Man of Steel and Thor: The Dark World, neither of which I particularly cared for, but TASM 2 (not to be confused with Phantasm II) makes them look like The Dark Knight (not to be confused with The Dark Knight Rises). It’s a complete mess from start to finish, with plot holes galore, character motivations all over the map, and dialogue that would make the Pope weep. It’s as stale as King Tut’s bread and tries to stuff waaaaaaaaaayyyyy too much into one movie. The best parts are Easter eggs for movies that will hopefully be better, since they’re being made by someone who is capable. Marc Webb should stick to Jesse McCartney music videos.
Score: 2 ghost dads (out of 10)