Yes, the trailers didn’t look so hot. Yes, the movie seemed way too crowded. But hey, it’s Spidey. So I caved and went to see The Amazing Spider-Man 2 today. Was it amazing? Well, no. It was a lot of fun though.
Although the movie is indeed packed with characters and plot threads, it flows surprisingly well. Some shortcuts are taken and some arcs progress way too quickly as a result, but it all clicks in the end. I guess some sacrifices have to be made when you want to adapt and streamline complex storylines from another medium, and the sacrifices made here are rather minor.
ASM2 is in many ways a better movie than any of its predecessors. The Spider-Man costume looks awesome, and Andrew Garfield has actually found a way to convey mood and emotion through the full-face mask, which couldn’t have been easy. The effects have also markedly improved since the last movie, making for a much more immersive experience this time around.
Of all the things the movie does right, Electro is the stand-out act. He is presented as a tragic figure, who, like all the best super villains, has issues long before he ever receives his powers. He’s an interesting, flawed character with a great design and superb special effects to back him up – not too shabby for a B-list villain whose main selling point has traditionally been the ability to throw lightning bolts. On the other end of the spectrum, you have Rhino, who’s in the movie for a cup of coffee and is saddled with a „toyetic“ mech suit that looks like it was stolen off the set of Transformers. The Green Goblin falls somewhere in between. He serves his purpose, but I wasn’t quite ready to see him „suit up“ yet, and the bland (re-) design of the Goblin costume doesn’t exactly help matters (Here’s hoping for another revamp before the Sinister Six spin-off!). That being said, the movie juggles the three villains pretty well.
Final verdict? ASM2 didn’t light my world on fire, but it kept me happily entertained for 2+ hours. Bring on the threequel! I give the movie 3 out of 5 webheads.
P.S.: Dear Sony, I know you hold the rights to Spider-Man. Cool. Still, can you please not plaster your company logo over every laptop, screen and toaster in the movie next time around? Thanks.
P.P.S.: Dear Sony, I hate to break it to you, but Dr. Ashley Kafka is a woman. She always has been. I’m okay with her being a bad guy and a prick in the movies. I’m not okay with her being a man for absolutely no reason whatsoever. That’s an unnecessary change if I ever saw one!