Monday, December 08, 2014

"The Amazing Spider-Man 2": review

Some possible two-word reviews for "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," a misbegotten sequel in a misbegotten reboot series:

Enormous turd.
Abysmally bad.
Frighteningly awful.
Just shite.

I'd heard the bad press surrounding Jamie Foxx's performance as Electro. Personally, I thought Foxx did a fine job with a poorly written character. As the YouTube spoof video Cinema Sins pointed out, the character made no damn sense, and seemed to gain powers at random—powers that eventually made Electro into a low-rent version of Dr. Manhattan from "Watchmen." And as other critics complained, the movie was overstuffed with villains: along with Electro, we've got the Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan, essentially reprising his role as the freaky telekinetic kid from "Chronicle") and The Rhino (essentially a cameo by a Russian-accented Paul Giamatti).

On top of these problems, there's Andrew Garfield and his Spidey character. Garfield has a huge fan base, and I respect the choices he's made to portray Spider-Man in a way that's distinct from what Tobey Maguire had done in the Spidey role, but I'm just not buying it. Maguire's Spider-Man is diffident—something of a lovable loser who, despite his awesome powers, would never engage in cruel or malicious activity. Garfield's Spidey, by contrast, is an unpleasant smart-mouth who won't hesitate to web a criminal in the crotch just for shits and giggles. There's also the matter of the inconsistent portrayal of Spidey-physics: there are moments when Garfield's Spider-Man is unaccountably weak despite having only recently displayed enormous strength. All in all, I thought the protagonist was written almost as poorly as the villains.

The Cinema Sins video points out far too many embarrassing plot holes and continuity problems for me to list here, but it essentially brings together everything that's bad about "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," which is pretty much the whole movie. The story was awful from start to finish, and it's incredible that I managed to write even this much.


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