The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man has lost his mojo. He would have been better off to vanish into the night like Christian Bale’s Batman.
Despite the quality of actors, some films dance on the edge of collapsing from the weight of their own exhaustion. Unfortunately, The Spider-Man series is one of them.
The Harry Potter films left you enthralled to the very end, while The Lord of the Rings movies were some of the best films ever made. In addition, the Hobbit follow-ups are nearly as good, while Thor was helped immensely with the focus on the talented Tom Hiddleston as Loki. Let’s just say that Spider-Man does not play in the same league as X-Men.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has been reduced to running around in circles that basically revisit everything that has occurred in prior films. Think of the sad boredom emanating from The Twilight series and you’ll know what to expect.
The only thing that makes The Amazing Spider-Man 2 tolerable are the energetic performances from three talented actors, Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Dane DeHaan. Though the script at times is both tedious and lamentable, these three bring some energy that makes it watchable.
Yes, while you do learn exactly what happened to Peter Parker’s parents (and no, they didn’t pick a poisonous pack of pickled peppers), you already knew what made him a reluctant Spider-Man. Though he loves a woman despite promising her deceased father (Dennis Leary) that he would stay away from, his depression is enhanced from the fact that many members of the public hate him regardless of his contributions to urban society. In a sense it reminded me of the way the business community in our country hates President Obama despite the fact that they have made a collective fortune during his time in office.
The movie also suffers from an adolescent attempt to display some humor in Spider-Man. His attempts at comedy are pointless, and he will never come close to appearing as a host on Saturday Night Live.
As many of you know, I don’t mind the length of films, although this one did seem to come very close to severing its attachment with the audience. I suspected that many in the audience felt as depressed as the aunt of young Mr. Parker, played with lackluster passion by Sally Fields.
Jamie Foxx is completely lost as the villain Electro, and Paul Giamatti is almost unrecognizable as Aleksei Sytsevich. On the other hand, Mr. DeHaan holds his own as the re-creation of Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin, and it is worth remembering his memorable performances in Kill Your Darlings (2013) and the tremendous Lawless (2012). Though Andrew Garfield is all but wasted as I noted, this is a talented actor as demonstrated in The Social Network and the heartbreaking Never Let Me Go, both in 2010.
At least Ms. Stone’s Gwen Stacy had the courage to die, something that spared her ever having to appear in Spider-Man again. Death at times can be a distinct advantage.