Thursday, May 21, 2015
Finally got to see the most recent Spider-Man movie, where I see most of them now, at home on my TV long after they have left the theater. And after seeing this latest one, I don't expect to change that approach.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a rather disappointing effort, especially following the first installment of this reboot, which I thought gave a nice grounding to the character. This spectacle lacked all of what made the first one approachable and rather gave us perhaps the most generic superhero movie I've seen in a very long time.
We begin with an opening action sequence establishing the hero's role in his world, we cut to quieter scene with his significant others which establishes either the stability or instability of that life, we then cut to the pre-villain who struggles to make us feel kinship with his noble suffering before being transformed into a ruthless killer, and then a bit more back and forth with these tropes until the battle is waged and ends up inconclusive leaving space for the secondary villain to appear which leads to the ultimate battle in which our hero wins with some great cost, the end.
Now that's pretty much what happens, a superhero movie by the numbers. The action scenes of Spidey's web-slinging around the city seemed less realistic than I remember in previous entries (perhaps that's the 3-D effect), and the battles seem less intense. Even when the Green Goblin shows up, the emotion is pretty low-key.
Electro was a nice choice for a baddie, but his look in this movie is so generically electrical-villain that it fails to connect. I don't expect the mask with lightning bolts on the side, but something with a little pizazz would've been nice. I spent a lot of time staring at his teeth. I didn't like that Electro was a daffy genius who is much put upon. It seemed so very cliched.
And the Goblin looked mostly goofy and decidedly unscary, though I will grant it's an upgrade from the first one many years ago which was just lame. Harry actually was much more menacing in his straight human form before the transformation.The scenes between Peter and Harry were some of the best in the movie which didn't involve costumes.
And now for the real stinkers. Andrew Garfield got some bones last time for a pensive moody presentation, but this time out he just seemed confused, his mopey face came across time and again as merely befuddled. There was absolutely no chemistry between him and the leading lady Emma Stone. As was the case with the Gwen Stacey of the comics, nothing became her more in life than her leaving it.
I will give a few props for some interesting battles sequences, I liked it especially when Spidey caught the car, but it did point out than he seems way stronger in this series than in the Raimi ones.
There was a distinct lack of luster and heft to his outing. I know a third one is on the way and it's too much to ask given the money which can be made on Spider-Man, but they really need to let the character rest for a decade before they reboot him again, just to let everyone get hungry for it again. No movie I've ever seen elicited more excitement from just plain folks (not fanboys) than did the first Raimi Spider-Man, but that energy seems to have all but sputtered out.
And what's the deal with the Rhino?!?