Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

A Huge Mess

by Kurnia Cahya Putra

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
Directed by Marc Webb
Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx
Sony Pictures Production

Geez, seems like it's been ages since the last time I went here. I'm sorry, I've just been very busy with my campus life (yeah, I actually do have a life, which is surprising even to me). So, I've been watching plenty of movies lately, and I'm thinking of going back to what I like to do most; reviewing. For this entry, I have chosen The Amazing Spider-Man 2! Which I've watched like, weeks or maybe months ago. I have only got the laziness out of my way and write something about it. OK, so, in case you're wondering, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, or from now on, just TASM2, is a sequel to 2012 The Amazing Spider-Man, which is a reboot of the much-beloved franchise directed by Sam Raimi (arguably the coolest director ever), Spider-Man. TASM is a solid stand-alone movie. It certainly is different from Raimi's version, especially from the tone, and that's good new because we don't want the same thing to be rehearsed twice, do we? I prefer Raimi's version, though, by the way. Always have, always will. Spider-Man has always been a story that is larger-than-life, and Marc Webb's take on it is way too small in scale. OK, back to reviewing. This movie, on the other hand, sorry to say, is a heated mess. A mess which has heat applied to it (yeah, Pitch Perfect 2's joke).

Now, TASM2 follows Peter Parker (Garfield) again, the radioactive-spider-bitten teenager who is graduating from high school and dealing with New York street crimes. Peter feels responsible for Gwen Stacy (Stone) because her dad had made him promise to stay away from her for her safety. Moreover... hm... moreover... OK, I'm actually really trying to remember other things from the movie, and I'm actually blanking. Oh, there's Max. An Oscorp employee who feels overlooked and alone, and one day he accidentally falls into a tub of an experiment (for lack of a better word) full of... leeches? (I don't know what it is honestly)--and wires that electrocute him. Soon after, he becomes Electro (which looks a little too much like a hooded Dr. Manhattan), and he creates panic all around NY. As Peter tries to talk him down, and he actually starts to listen to him, a sniper shoots him from distance and causes him to go berserk (yeah, you know how it goes). So, now, it is up to Peter to stop him before it's all too late. There's actually a whole bunch of other stuff happening too but my fingers will get sore if I type them all in.

So, what do I think of it? OK, frankly, I think it was bad. Like, really bad. Even with two hours running time, the whole movie felt completely rushed and overstuffed. The story was all over the place, and you could totally see that a huge chunk of the film has been cut out of the final version--which was very lame as I think those scenes could actually help the movie by losing the plot up a bit and let the audience breathe a little. This theatrical version was just very, very messy. Electro was not very well-developed, and so was Harry Osbourne (even though the actor did a really decent job), and with three goddamn villains--yeah, I'm not kidding you. Apparently, they did not learn. This is Spider-Man 3 all over again--the movie just tried way too hard to cramp way too many things. The editing as the whole was bad, but on the surface, it wasn't even good either. There was one particular scene (the break-up of Peter and Gwen outside the dim-sum place) in which the editing was so jarring, it actually irked me--and I usually almost never notice this kind of thing.

However, one of the good things about this movie is the acting. The cast did pretty well in their respective roles (although I did think Garfield made Peter kind of douchey, which is a problem since day one), especially Emma Stone who was just adorable in this. Her and her co-star, and also real-life boyfriend then, Andrew Garfield, had some amazing chemistry. They worked so well with each other that I actually considered their relationship to be the best thing about this whole reboot. Webb just does wonder with romance. You can see it in his other well-known little indie movie, too, (500) Days of Summer. On the other hand, with such a material, Dane DeHaan did as much as he could with Harry Osbourne. There were some weak links as well, mainly Jamie Foxx who was kind of hammy as Electro, and Paul Giamatti (which was excellent in every role before this) who was so bad, it was hilarious. I didn't even recognize him as Rhino at first (well, his character itself seemed like an afterthought).

Another thing that I didn't like was the tone. It tried to be more serious than the original franchise, but occasionally, it threw some lame jokes that were not even in a good campy style like in the original and actually felt quite out of place. They were pretty cringe-inducing, actually. The movie also relied too much on CGI that it really looked like a video-game. Spidey looked like a rubber here, like that toy that you threw to make it stick to the wall. Furthermore, I must say that I also didn't really like the final battle between him and Electro, mainly due to that horrendous Dubstep music in the background (who would've thought that that was a good idea?). However, I gotta admit there were some action scenes that were pretty entertaining and even better than in TSM.

Now, I want to give a shout-out to a scene that in my opinion, was quite well-constructed from a technical standpoint. It was the death of a certain character (you know who). It was, fortunately, the one thing I felt they did right. Technically. Unfortunately, though, I didn't shed any tear, which was kind of disappointing because it meant the scene didn't do its job very well (it's really easy to make me cry). I felt sadder when I saw poor Aunt May pours his heart to Peter. I did feel really sorry for Peter at that character's death scene, though. Garfield sold it, bravo. 4/10.

Kurnia Cahya Putra

A self-proclaimed movie geek.

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