I had my doubts about [The Amazing Spider-Man 2](movie:508593) for a while. I found the first film decent, but not that great. I wasn't a huge fan of Garfield or the storytelling. The second film seemed cluttered with villains, and looked like it was attempting to be too big and flashy. Now, after getting to see the film, I have to say it: I was right to doubt. (Some spoilers will follow).
The individual aspects of the film work pretty well. It's when they attempt to mesh them together into a storyline that makes no sense. The different parts have no cohesion. The mystery of Peter's parents doesn't line up with anything else. In fact, it's barely mentioned in the film, so the scenes were it does come up seem vastly out of place. The entire movie opens with the mystery, but it's so minor to the plot that the opening feels completely pointless. The relationship between Gwen and Peter works well, considering the chemistry between Stone and Garfield, but the issues seem forced, and they don't have anything to do with the rest of the film. The mysteries of Oscorp we were promised don't really come into play at all, considering that, despite being a part of the plot of the first film and being shown as important in all the trailers, Norman Osbourne is on-screen for 5 minutes and then dies, having done pretty much nothing important.
As for the main plot, the villains...
Jaime Foxx gives a solid performance, and the villain himself looks good when he's on screen. The entire idea of him makes no real sense. His powers seem to be made up as the film runs. Sometimes he's apparently not even solid anymore, sometimes he is. Sometimes he affects the electricity around him, and sometimes he doesn't. All of his actions are spliced in with awkward dubstep for no apparent reason (not just as a soundtrack, his abilities actually make those sounds). Most unfortunately, he has no actual plan.
Then there was the goblin. Harry had no real reason to become the goblin. Yes, he was dying and needed to use the spider venom to save himself, but there was never any reason to actually become a super villain. He went to a secret facility to inject himself with spider venom, and then just suddenly starts crawling towards to green goblin suit on the wall, in what seemed like a completely arbitrary choice. We only get one fight scene with the Goblin, after Electro has already been defeated. Worst of all, it's such an important scene, but it has no real reason to happen. Harry only becomes the Goblin and fights Peter at that point because the film needs Gwen Stacey to die. The entire purpose of putting Goblin in the movie was just to have Gwen Stacey die.
Then, of course, there's Rhino. Except, Rhino isn't really in the movie. At all. He gets a closing minute and a half of the film. The second villain we were promised, who I know many people were really excited for, is basically not in the film. We had images of the Rhino before we even had confirmation Goblin would be IN the film. We'd seen pictures of Giamatti in his rhino suit. He'd been in the trailer. And yet, he serves absolutely no purpose in the film. All of the brief moments of Rhino we get to see were those that we'd already seen in the trailer. The entire film ends the same way the trailer ends, with Rhino charging and Spider-Man leaping through the air. While I understand Webb wanted it to end on an exciting note, I would have felt a lot less disappointed if that exciting note hadn't already been seen multiple times, and with what seemed like a complete waste of a villain.
The film had its high points. Garfield's spider-man persona was still on point. Sally Field was as good as always. The visual effects were fantastic. But overall, the film failed to produce anything it had promised There was no real villain team up, there was no mystery about Spider man or Oscorp. The film further stressed the feeling it's prequel gave, that Webb is too concerned with distancing himself from the previous trilogy. Given the amount of hype that this film had built up, I honestly left feeling incredibly disappointed, and certainly won't be going to see
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