Back in 2011, when Sony announced their plans for rebooting the Spiderman franchise, we were all struggling to grasp to concept. The question racing through mainly everyone's mind was "isn't it too soon?" The problem with franchises is that they have the possibility of never ending. Whether it be reboot, sequel or prequel, a franchise with a strong foundation has nowhere to go but up. With Sony, the Spiderman universe is probably their biggest franchise, so the continuation of their renditions of the web slinger is inevitable. So fast-forward to 2012 and the summer blockbuster revamp, The Amazing Spiderman releases. Although it was received both harshly and warmly, box office numbers speak more than reviews and due to the vast amount of income it received, we now have The Amazing Spiderman 2.
I'm part of the minority who really enjoyed the first The Amazing Spiderman. I thought it was the perfect origin story for Spiderman and did everything Raimi's first Spiderman tried to do, but better. Although Raimi's Spiderman 2 still stands as the best Spiderman film so far, I thought The Amazing Spiderman was a worthy reboot and addition to the franchise. That goes without saying that I was indeed very excited for The Amazing Spiderman 2. However, I found that as time went by and the release date approached closer, I started to lower my expectations. One of the biggest problems that the first film had was it's poor marketing. The trailers were giving everything away, some of them even revealed scenes that didn't make the final cut. I'm fine with two or three trailers but it got to the point where I could literally piece together what the story was going to be. The sequel suffers from this flaw as well and although the marketing isn't a direct outcome of the film, it definitely impacts the overall experience. Every week from March to April, we were getting some sort of new trailer, TV Spot, featurette or video of some sort giving something new away. I was questioning whether or not Sony wanted us to watch the film at home or in theatres. Furthermore, nearly every single trailer included a certain confrontation scene between Harry Osborn and Peter Parker that really grasped my interest. To my unfortunate realization, that scene wasn't even in the film, along with many other intriguing clips that were revealed through the marketing.
But onto the movie itself. Once again, Andrew Garfield proves that he can certainly embody the suit of Spiderman. He is charismatic and the moment he appears on screen, swinging through New York, I got chills. Garfield's chemistry between Emma Stone is worth praising but there's a certain and unique flair he brings to his character as well. He has perfect comedic timing and although he is much older than his character, he fits into the shoes of a modern teenager quite well. Jamie Foxx's electro is dazzling and has a very neat design. Hans Zimmer proves once again that he is the composer of our lifetime. He adds an entire new layer to each new scene with a dynamic score. I listened to the score several weeks before the film and was quite underwhelmed. However, hearing it with the film was a whole new experience and definitely changed my opinion about it. In fact, the score is probably the best aspect of the film. As for the cons, there are many.
I'm angered at many of the plot points and the usage of some of the characters. Many felt unnecessary, some misplaced and miscast and some just got on my nerves. In the trailers, The Rhino is marketed as one of the main villains and he only has a screen time of about three minutes. Why cast such a stellar actor as Paul Giamatti to play such a wasted character? The romantic aspect of the film is also unnecessarily dragged and very repetitive. The film runs at two hours and twenty minutes and I think it would have been fine thirty minutes shorter. There is an extravagant amount of useless scenes and as visually appealing it is to see Spiderman swinging through the city, even that gets repetitive. The film hammers you with way too much CGI , some of it not being too good. Electro is definitely an exception, he is probably the best looking visual effects enhanced character in the film.
The movie is vibrant, bouncing with hundreds of colors and the cinematography is incredibly dynamic. You can tell that everyone wanted to be a part of this movie but unfortunately it falls short. The script suffers from poorly written execution and a bombardment of useless characters. Hans Zimmer's score is beautiful and epic but when you don't really care about what's going on on screen, it feels unjustified. There are some well handled emotional scenes, especially one between Peter and Aunt May but on the other hand some feel way to forced. One in particular, which was completely spoiled in the trailers, is not half as emotional as I think the studio had hoped it would be. Garfield's acting during this scene is the only thing that almost pulled out the tears. In the end, The Amazing Spiderman 2 is an average sequel. It doesn't introduce anything new to the genre but holds enough on its own to be an enjoyable film.