OK, Let me start by saying that there will be MAJOR SPOILERS in this review of the film. STOP NOW!!!! IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE FILM, CARE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS OR ARE A COMIC BOOK FAN OF THE STORYLINE WHERE SOME OF THE PLOT COMES FROM. Of course if you are a fan of the Spider-Man comic then you probably already know what is coming.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!!..............
Let us begin. I have had four days to digest and mull over the film and well....I am disappointed. The more I thought about it the more I realized my issues with the film. I want to preface this by saying that the actors, Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Dane DeHaan are all exceptional and excellent in their roles but they are dis-serviced by the plot and script. Why do I not mention Jamie Foxx? Because his character was not needed for this story. If the writers and director had not gone in the direction they chose with the third act of the film then maybe I would be mentioning Jamie Foxx's performance as ELECTRO but his story arc was made mute once the third act went into effect.
ONCE AGAIN - SPOILERS BEGIN NOW!!!
OK, This is everything that is great and wrong with THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2. WHAAAAAT!!!
Yes GWEN STACEY DIES FOLKS...SHE DIES!!! Any fan of the comics or comic book fan knows the story well. The Green Goblin delivers a fatal blow to our favorite wall crawler by causing the death of Spidey's lady love at this time in his career. Issues # 121 and 122 of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN are comic book classics. Hands down they changed the face of the comic industry and changed the game on supporting characters in comics. So if this was such an important part of history in the comics medium how did the writers of ASM2 screw it up? They tacked on this plot point to a needless story involving ELECTRO who is billed as the main villain of the film only to be usurped by the Harry Osborne Green Goblin character who then hands Spider-Man this defeat.
This is the WRONG that I mentioned. The GREAT is the emotional punch you get once you realize what has happened to Gwen especially after seeing the chemistry from the two stars portraying these characters. You actually feel cheated after the whole thing because the showdown with the Green Goblin should have been the main emphasis of the film. You have us go through the whole reveal of Peter Parker's parents story, Electro's origin and confrontation with Spidey to literally have the Green Goblin swoop in and do the most damage. Once again, ELECTRO is billed as the main villain and the secondary villain is the one that impacts our hero the most.
Let me take a step back and reflect. I am not a screenwriter, heck I'm not a writer at all. I am a fan of comics and this golden age of comic book films that we as fans have the luck to be in right now. Hence my disappointment with this film. Overall you will enjoy the film. The acting is on point. Andrew Garfield fills the role of Peter Parker / Spider-Man just right. The early scenes he has as Spider-Man are literally lifted from some of the early days of the characters career. They are funny and engaging. His first tussle with Paul Giamatti's Aleksei Sytsevich who later in the film becomes The RHINO , is just a great scene. Gets the essence of Spidey just right.The relationship Peter Parker has with Gwen is just so touching that when she meets her demise it just hurts. Again as a fan of the comics and this particular story you will feel cheated but does it work in the context of the film? Sadly NO. I don't know what happened when they put the script together but they could have given this Spidey villain and story the proper respect it deserves by making this a two film story with THE GREEN GOBLIN being the main villain and showing us why THE GREEN GOBLIN is one of Spider-Man's greatest villains!
Honestly the sub plot about Peter's parents is just useless. I really didn't care and it didn't move the story forward for me.
Now ELECTRO. Damn, visually the character is great but his motivation and his change into the villain just isn't there. You really don't believe that Jamie Foxx's Max Dillion becomes this crazy bad ass that has his sights on Spider-Man. Again, visually awesome but once they fight and go all out to be defeated the way he was...well it is a let down. Which brings me to the missed opportunity of THE GREEN GOBLIN. It is obvious by the end of the third act what the writers are trying to do. Dane DeHaan's GOBLIN will probably be a major part of the next chapter in this film series but also be the focal point of THE SINISTER SIX film being made. He is a good actor that definitely grabs your attention. This is why I complain about why the writers went with ELECTRO? GOBLIN should only have been hinted at in this film to have the story fully realized in the third film. This would have given us another episode with GWEN'S character which would have given her story more depth making her death even more pivotal to Spidey's life.
Yeah definitely missed opportunities all around. Why cast an actor of Chris Cooper's caliber as Norman Osborn only not to have him become The Original GREEN GOBLIN. I get that the screenwriters are trying to distance themselves from the Sam Raimi SPIDER-MAN trilogy and not use some of the same elements but seriously, look at Tim Burton's BATMAN and Chris Nolan's THE DARK KNIGHT and you see how GREAT DIRECTORS can use the same villain and still make them their own!!
Is it a fun and visually appealing film? YES and YES but don't analyze it too much or you will get disappointed like I was. Our kids will eat it up. The scenes that make Spider-Man fun and connect with the younger audience are handled well. They get that aspect of Spidey correct but the explanation about Gwen's death will be a tough one.
Am I happy we have another visually appealing and fun Superhero film to discuss? Yes. Where do I rank this entry in the SPIDER-MAN franchise including the Raimi films? Hmmm...Out of five films it ranks # 4 and that is only because of the DEATH OF GWEN STACEY. So there are my musings on [The Amazing Spider-Man 2](movie:508593).
Now it's time to watch a GREAT SPIDER-MAN film...