Only Kanye could say it better but, “Sony doesn’t care about moviegoers.” To subject the modern movie going public to The Amazing Spider-Man 2 reveals that they must really just be doing this for money. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a meandering mess of a film. Andrew Garfield returns as the titular hero, once again doing battle with an unfocused plot and little to no character development. Oh, and Spider-Man is not a hero, he’s a creepy, wall crawling stalker – but we will get to that later.
In this installment Jamie Foxx serves as Spider-Man’s accidental nemesis, Electro.
No … wait.
Nemesis is too strong a description for Foxx’s throwaway character, who ultimately rides the character development train backwards. Foxx’s, Max Dillon, is an eccentric, isolated electrical engineer played perfectly upon his initial appearance. It is after the transformation into Electro that all of the eccentricities, quirks, and even lines of dialogue, disappear. Electro fades to the background and for all intents and purposes becomes a henchman rather than the “Big Bad” of the film. This only adds to the several detriments of the film with the abrupt insertion of Dean DeHaan as Harry Osborn, adding more mud to the mix. Exposition tells us that the young Osborn supposedly was once a friend of sorts with Peter Parker, and now he has returned as a radioactive vampire. No, not literally, but he may as well be one since the majority of DeHaan’s screen time is spent rambling about using Spider-man’s radioactive blood to cure some vague illness that Chris Cooper in his minute and a half long turn as Harry Osborn, tells us will cause a trembling in his thumbs and dun dun dun … DEATH!
The film begins by following up on the barely memorable “mystery” of the truth behind the creation of Spider-Man and the disappearance of Peter Parker’s parents. This aimless storyline is just flat out dumb. The film opens with Richard and May Parker attempting to escape on a private jet. The duo comes under attack as an assassin murders their pilot and turns his attention to them. Ok, kiddies, now stay with me here – Richard fights for his life so that he can upload some HIGHLY IMPORTANT data to something called Roosevelt. He goes so far as to shoot out the jet’s windows just to buy more time to continue uploading the file and finally he succeeds.
Later in the film as Peter randomly angsts out over something or other, he accidentally smashes a scientific calculator and subway tokens spill out. Peter uses the internet to learn of the not so best-kept-secret subway tunnel that was used to transport Franklin Roosevelt. Peter somehow manages to find the location of said secret subway tunnel (the movie never tells us how he determines exactly where this location is), uses one of the subway tokens and a subway car containing a lab pops up from the ground. Cool in theory, right?
Except that inside this subway car is the lab where the data Richard Parker uploaded a decade ago is discovered by Peter. The HIGHLY IMPORTANT “data” is actually a video of Richard explaining that he was set up by Norman Osborn and has to leave the city and his son behind. Ummm, so why not send that video to a news outlet years ago? Why send this HIGHLY IMPORTANT video to an abandoned underground lab that can only be discovered by happenstance given that an absurd series of events occurs? And what does Peter do? He views the video and … that’s it. He doesn’t send it to the media. He doesn’t use it to expose (the dead in the film by now) Norman Osborn, and clear his father’s good name. So, yeah, that is one of several head scratching “why in the hell did you make me sit through that nonsense??” moments this films shits out onto viewers.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is like a monkey just slinging its feces at the viewers and it effectively demonstrates that Spider-Man is a creepy stalker. At least according to Sony and the filmmakers.
The Gwen Stacy subplot is another storyline that loop de loops its way to the finish of this forgettable film. The chemistry between Garfield and Emma Stone is one of the saving graces of the movie as the two actors have a good interplay. If only they had worthwhile material to play with. After missing her graduation speech at the beginning of the movie (where Gwen extols the virtues of moving on with your life and leaving the past behind) and forcing a break-up, Spider-Man silently stalks and stares down from the rooftops as Emma Stone’s, Gwen Stacy, goes about her day, swinging away when duty, or a burning building, calls. The only other important facet of this storyline is that her character is killed later in the film.
And then there is the Rhino. *sigh*
In an effort to shoehorn in a tie to the upcoming Sinister Six spin-off film, Paul Giammati pops up early in the film as the driver for a crew stealing plutonium for some purpose that is never revealed. Six months after the death of Gwen Stacy, he shows up at the end of the film in his ridiculous looking mech suit, as the Rhino. He shoots up the city until he is confronted by a little kid dressed as Spider-Man. This just so happens to coincide with Peter finally listening to a recording of Gwen’s graduation speech and deciding to suit up as Spidey once again, returning just in time to thank the kid for holding things down until he could return. It’s a corny bit, tacked on expressly for establishing the loose Sinister Six link.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is unfocused and by trying to do way too much, the film manages to accomplish nothing at all. I would not recommend anyone spending money on seeing this film. In fact, I don’t even think this is worth a bootleg download. You’re better off making a donation to a random homeless person so they can go cop something to make their life a little bit better. Trust that you will feel better about yourself afterwards.