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Review The Amazing Spiderman 2 (2014)

genre: action, adventure, comic book

When news arrived that they were going to reboot Spiderman I was among the ones that was skeptical and not happy with this. Sam Raimi (even when he changed some details) captured the spirit of Spiderman superbly. It would take a lot to be able to come close to what he has made. And while The Amazing Spiderman was far from brilliant I had enjoyed it much better than I hoped I would. Still it was not a masterpiece and in fact made me have mixed feelings about the sequel also. 

Turns out it's even worse than I imagined. Not only is this Spiderman soulless it makes a mockery out of Spiderman and the villains. First of all there is no coherent story. Actually there is no story at all. We go from event to event that logically doesn't make much sense and everything is poorly motivated. The characterization of the villains is even worse. One minute Max Dillon thinks of Spiderman his best friend and one short altercation later he hates him. Spiderman did not recognize Max since he was all blue and electrified and did try to resolve the issue peacefully. Then a police officer shoots and Spiderman gets the blame. I am supposed to take it serious that just after this he turns into a super villain that wants to kill Spiderman and all people. Come on Electro was not that gullible and simple. He was one of the important villains in the comic book verse and deserved much better treatment. Don't even get me started about the Hobgoblin. His transformation was even more ridiculous since he was nasty and a creep right from the start. After a very awkward supposedly scene where we are told they are the best friends we are never actually shown that they are. Harry only is so chummy because suddenly he needs something from his friend Peter. Spiderman and especially his blood. When Spiderman is hesitant to help him, Harry gets a fit and cries murder. From this point on Harry already is a villain. You can say from Saim Raimi what you want but he treated the villains he loved like Hobgoblin with much more respect and was more faithful to the comics. I don't know what this Harry Osborn has to do with the comics at all. Harry Osborn and Peter Parker were the best friends, Even after he turned into the Hobgoblin. And like electro was always a serious threat. The Hobgoblin being Peter's friend made him a not so easy villain to defeat because he did not want to hurt his friend. That is a strong dramatic context which is essential for understanding why the Hobgoblin is so dangerous to Spiderman.  But even if I would not have read the comics, the way Electro and Hobgoblin transition from ordinary people to super villains is done incredibly poorly and made it quite hard for me to enjoy this movie. The other sub plots weren't build up properly and actually were distracting from the origin stories of the villains. Out of the blue Peter Parker feels compelled to find out more about his parents. Not that I don't believe someone could be that impulsive because I do, but the way they motivated his search came into the film after he had much more pressing matters to attend to. The beautiful romance between Gwen and Peter also took a big hit and the reason for it does make sense on the one hand but on the other so much fake dramatics is put into it that it made me dislike that plot to a bone. Then when the real drama occurs one which has to be gripping and grab you I could not feel what was intended. The bad treatment of the relationship between Gwen and Peter made it that way. Sally Fields as Aunt May was useless in The Amazing Spiderman but here she is even more so. One of my favourite mother figures in fiction has been changed into a younger whining woman that has nothing to do with the Aunt May I know. I loved that Aunt May. This one I don't. The best of what this Spiderman movie has to offer is the action and gorgeous special effects. Sadly it pales in comparison to how Sam Raimi choreographed the action. And there was not enough of it. At least with him you got excitement and epic moments through and through. Then there is the length. It makes sense for a movie that is dealing with so many topics to be longer. However since none of the drawn out time has been used to tell a proper story or motivate the villains correctly you wonder why it took so long to get to the end.

There is so much more wrong with how this movie is set up, build up and directed. It was way worse than The Amazing Spiderman. At least that one managed to capture why Spidey is so loved and popular as a comic book hero. In this sequel everything concerning him and the universe that is connected to him is made a parody of and has made me dislike this franchise even more. They could have made a believer out of me and they failed. 

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