The not so amazing Spider-Man 2

As a long-time Spidey fan, I was disappointed to see that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was pulling mediocre reviews. I didn’t actually read them before seeing the movie as I didn’t want them to taint my own opinion, but I already knew from the trailers it was likely going to end up this way.

My first concern was when there were not one, not two, but three super villains in the movie. Oddly enough, the 2nd doesn’t make a real appearance until 30 minutes from the movie ending – and the 3rd approximately 10 minutes from the ending which really makes you wonder if they were even worth including. With so little foreshadowing it was nothing more than a weak attempt to setup the third movie in the series.

The film was far from perfect. I was really not a fan of Jamie Foxx as Electro – neither the actor or the character. I found his transition from bumbling worker to super-angry villain completely unrealistic (ok we’re talking about a guy made from electricity here – so I tentatively say unrealistic J ). I also found his utter hatred of Spider-Man completely contrived, particularly when he was supposedly a die-hard fan. It all just felt a little too easy.

Harry Osborn was a similar kettle of fish – both a conveniently easy hatred of Spidey, and a character who seemed to switch from emo to whoa surfer dude and the press of a button.

Throughout the movie there was dialogue that seemed to drag, character interactions that were nothing but filler, and various other characters – such as this weird, super camp German doctor, that just boggled the mind.

But in saying all of the above, I really enjoyed it. Yep – I did. I am willing to overlook a lot of things when it comes to Spider-Man as I love the character – and am mindful of it being a comic universe.

First and foremost – I really like Andy Garfield as Peter Parker / Spider-Man. I think this time round, they really nailed the character. He was more playful and fun than the first movie, and his one-liners didn’t come across as so harsh. There were several scenes, such as when he’s in the back of a truck and trying to collect a bunch of spilled fusion rods – and when he’s delaying the security in Oscorp from catching Gwen, that were fantastic examples of Spidey’s playful agility.

In addition, the actual web-slinging fx have never looked so good. There were so many recognisable poses as if lifted directly from the comics – and the over the shoulder view – which I thought might have just been gimmicky, looked bloody amazing.

I am also a fan of the Spider-Man costume – particularly the eyes. It looks by far and away the next best thing to the comic Spidey that I have yet seen – a real feat considering it’s a guy in a spandex suit.

There was enough heart throughout the movie to carry it past the real negatives. I enjoyed Peter and Gwen’s interactions, even if some of them were a bit drawn out. It was a quite touching romance, particularly the end which was genuinely touching. I also enjoyed when Harry and Peter met up for the first time after a 10 year hiatus – the exchange and eventual hug was really well handled.

All in all – I think Spidey fans will take something out of this movie, but for all others, it’s mostly just a mindless popcorn action flick. I didn’t watch it in 3D incidentally – which I hear was quite lame regardless.

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