Mister Cinecal

Mister Cinecal

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Average Spider-Man 2

Entertain your kids with this movie/a kaleidoscope!

A couple of years back Marvel put out a comic aimed at teenage girls called Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane. It was from Mary Jane's point of view and was very much focused on relationships rather than action. After a certain point, I realised that if these Amazing Spider-Man movies were coming from that angle alone, I would like them a lot better. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are both good in their roles, they have lots of chemistry for obvious reasons, I liked watching them play off of each other and was actually invested in their relationship. They're a winning pair. Unfortunately every other aspect of these movies is terrible. I hadn't even planned on going to see this, I hated the first one and all the trailers for this looked really bad, but I was in town and I was bored and I haven't reviewed anything bad in a while so I thought I could use the target practice. And man, this is like shooting at a barn door from 5 feet away with a gun that shoots bigger barn doors. So you've already read what I liked...here's...everything else:

The CGI: I can't decide if the effects for this film just weren't finished or if they were finished but they were done by the director's nephew over a weekend. At no point does Spider-Man look like he's actually in the scene interacting with the world around him, I'd say he looks like something from a video game but even video games these days look better than this. When you have two Spider-Man 2s exactly 10 years apart and the CGI for him web-slinging around doesn't look much better in the new one that doesn't say much for the thousands of people the credits claim are responsible. I suppose all those names are just a lot of buck-passing.
Actual image from Amazing Spider-Man 2

The Parents Plot: For seemingly no reason other than to distinguish itself from the Sam Raimi Spider-Movies, the Amazing Spider-Man series is all wrapped up in the grand conspiracy and mystery of Peter Parker's parents.

Well, I say parents, I mean dad. Just like the Christoper Nolan's Batman, Spidey kinda couldn't give a shit about his mother, who appears in the film's opening scene but is never even mentioned by anyone again, not even Aunt May. Sorry Ma Parker, you don't have a penis, so your part in the Grand Conspiracy of Spider Health Regeneration or whatever the fuck doesn't count for squat. Honestly though, nobody cares about Peter's parents, it just takes away from his actual parental figures to put so much focus on them and the hoops the screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (who also wrote the Star Trek and Transformers movies which, Jesus Christ, you two are so on The List) have to jump through to shoehorn the parents father into the narrative make for some really clunky storytelling.
Richard Parker and some broad
The Action: This movie contains 5 action scenes, which in theory is pretty good innings but really, two are in the first ten minutes of the movie back to back and two are in the last ten minutes back to back, with one fight scene between Spidey and Electro somewhere in the middle. This movie is about 4 hours long, so that's a looot of scenes of people having conversations with each other in one office building for the middle of this movie. The actual action itself isn't that good; as aforementioned the CGI is bad and far too much use is made of the slow-mo-then-speed-up-really-fast-oh-god-you-are-stealing-from-Zack-Snyder-what-is-your-life technique. Compare the video game car chase at the beginning of this movie to the practical effects of the Captain America 2 chase scene and see how the non-Marvel Marvel movies just aren't operating on the same level action-wise.

The Villains: They say a movie is only as good as its villains, in which case The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is about as good as being kicked in the groin by King Midas only his touch doesn't turn everything to gold it turns everything into gross rashes. Sweet Christmas, what is Jamie Foxx doing in this movie? He is completely unsuited to the part of an ignored loser and his bright-blue Electro somehow looks even sillier than this guy:
Whiney Baby Harry Osborn is even worse. First of all, it's hard to care about his relationship with Peter Parker when it's clearly established they haven't seen each other for 8 years. Second of all, the guy playing Harry might be the worst actor I've seen in a movie this year. This is a major blockbuster, not a CW show about vampire freshmen or whatever, every time this DJ Qualls-looking fucker tried to look angry I just felt embarrassed for him. Embarrassed for the rich movie star, because my feelings are the correct feelings. I won't even address the strangeness of Paul Giamatti playing the Rhino, it's a small part in this movie and it's a casting decision I'm convinced was only made to get people a-clickety-clacking on the internet to create buzz. The villains have poorly established motivations and they're all miscast. They're seriously looking at making a Sinister Six spin-off, but between Rhys "My Evil Plot Is To Turn Everyone Into Lizards" Evans and these jabronis the villains are the worst parts of these movies!
In a hat like that I can actually buy Foxx as a social pariah. Probably spends all day on reddit complaining about misandry
So yeah, this isn't even the best Spider-Man 2 ever made. Between the quippy Andrew Garfield and the no-nonsense Emma Stone and their pretty, pretty faces there's a good movie buried very deep in here somewhere, unfortunately for comics fans it's a romantic film called Get Over It or something. And, unfortunately (SPOILERS AHEAD!)

Stone won't even be in the next one after Gwen Stacy got inevitably Gwen Stacied. Knowing what I do from the comics I felt it was pretty heavily telegraphed but it was still effectively done and the uninitiated clearly thought so too based on the loud cries of "bullshit" the men sat behind me felt necessary to exclaim in a cinema packed with children. So the one aspect handled well in these movies, the romance, is now gone. Who knows what's going on with Mary Jane in this series (Shailene Woodley was cast for this movie but was cut entirely) and Totally-Not-Catwoman-Shut-Up Felicia Hardy/Black Cat got an early-bird part in this movie, but still Stone will be a big loss.



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