Friday, May 23, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - 2 1/2 stars

It's difficult to review a new Spider-Man movie without comparing it to Sam Raimi's Spider-Man movies.  I'm sure I said it two years ago when The Amazing Spider-Man came out, but it's way too soon to reboot the franchise.  Sam Raimi's movies came out in 2002, 2004, and 2007, and it's ridiculous to reboot the franchise in 2012.  They should have had Andrew Garfield take over the role and just made Spider-Man 4.  We didn't need Peter Parker's origin story again.

In this new movie, Peter Parker (Garfield) can't decide what to do about Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone).  He's in love with her, but he keep seeing the ghost of her dead father (Dennis Leary), who made him promise in the previous movie to stay away from Gwen.  He tells her they can't be together, but then he stalks her and won't leave her alone.  He's also decided to start investigating what his father was up to before he died, and he has a new villain to deal with, named Electro (Jamie Foxx). 

What I liked:

- The relationship between Peter and Gwen.  Garfield and Stone have great chemistry together (it doesn't hurt that they're dating in real life), and every time Spider-Man was on screen, I just wanted the movie to get back to focusing on Peter and Gwen.  Director Mark Webb is very good at dealing with relationships onscreen.  If you haven't seen 500 Days of Summer, you really need to.

- Electro was cool.  I've always been a fan of characters who can shoot lightning (Raiden in Mortal Kombat, that guy in Big Trouble in Little China), and I liked the effect they used on his voice. 

What I didn't like:

- Andrew Garfield is all wrong for Peter Parker.  I really like him as an actor, but Peter shouldn't be so cocky and confident.  The character works much better when he's insecure, shy, all the qualities that Tobey Maguire brought.  Garfield seems like the coolest kid in school, so it isn't that exciting to see him become a super hero.

- I got tired of all his quips.  It seemed like every time he was chasing bad guys, he had a bad one-liner.  It was funny once or twice, but it started to get old really fast.

- Way too much exposition.  I really didn't care what his dad was working on before he died, and when we find everything out, it doesn't seem to amount to much.  We've already figured it out anyway.  I also got tired of this:  every time Peter was in his room, he'd look at his closet, and the camera would focus on his dad's briefcase.  It happened several times.  We got it the first time.

Overall, the movie isn't bad, but it feels very routine.  I think there have been so many superhero movies lately that I'm sick of them.  Unless they can bring something new, or give us an interesting character development, there's no reason to exist.  It felt like I've seen this movie several times before. 

I'll stick with Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy (yes, even part 3).

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