Okay, so I saw this a while ago (bought the DVD when it was released):
Overall: 3 (slightly better than a shit sandwich)
Well, I won’t hold back – this was a shit film. Not quite as bad as Highlander 2, but bad. I wasted the cash I spent on the DVD. I took a risk, and it didn’t pay off. This was “The Amazingly Bad Spider Man 2”.
I’ll start with the Characters rating, which in my view is the weakest point of the film.
From the very beginning we are presented with a Spider Man character who – thoroughly unlike the Peter Parker of Tobey Maguire portrayal – just doesn’t seem to care all that much about collateral damage. He’s so busy showing off how much better he is than a common thief that he spends a few minutes blowing his own horn while around him the guy plows a semi truck through several intersections, probably killing quite a few people in the process.
He spends the rest of the film in some teen-angst-ridden inferiority complex, constantly showing off because he knows underneath he’s Spider Man. I think maybe this is the actor (Andrew Garfield) just demonstrating his limited range, but he had to have had permission or encouragement from the director, so let’s spread the blame a little more evenly, shall we?
The villains – both “Electro” and the “Green Goblin”, are echoes of personalities with all the depth of a Bud Light commercial. Electro is a passive-aggressive semi-genius with rage control issues who finds himself suddenly vaulted into super-hero power levels (and who nurses grudges for reasons only mildly related to reality), while Harry Osborne’s Goblin is the worst form of spoiled-brat charicature with delusions of Empire that one embraces the fact that he’s only a villain for the last fifteen minutes of the film. Sadly, during those fifteen minutes we are assured that there will be a release of SM3, involving more fucknuts-dumb villains.
Come to think of it, maybe that’s the whole point – maybe Marc Webb realized this turdburger of a script was sooo bad, that he just directed it and the whole time was hoping to move on to the next project…because that’s what this felt like. He just wanted to get it over with. So did I, by the end.
Gwen Stacey is trite, boring, hugely cliché’, but at least she’s mildly realistic. Until she’s dead of course, but we all saw it coming as soon as she gave her big “love every minute because you never know how long you have” speech.
Okay, plot – what plot?
There’s one small subtext which explains the disappearance of Peter Parker’s parents and why he lives with his aunt and uncle. That was mildly interesting and saved this film from a rating of 1. The rest is just action-reaction to the presence of Electro and the teen angst that overwhelms the film.
Yeah, lots of fighting. Enough that you get tired of it. Really. It’s tiring. In the earlier version of the films, directors knew to make the fights interesting, but keep them short – a fight is not the reason the film exists, it’s a friction point between the two or more competing characters, plus an opportunity to lighten or darken the mood as needed. Here the fighting seems to be the reason the film was made, because it is lengthy, accomplishes no worthy outcome (aside from one extra opportunity to play the tired “itsy bitsy spider” joke), and introduces levels of collateral damage that would make anyone want to put a bullet into Spider Man’s head.
The shooting was okay, no glaring errors in the cinematography. It’s New York, it’s day, it’s night…ultimately a bit boring, really.
Competently driven sound effects and music. Nothing to write home to Aunt May about. Very little atmosphere of any kind.
Save your money, but more importantly, save your time. Go rent Maleficent or something else if you’re in for a fantasy story. I imagine Stan Lee, even with his cameo in this film, was regretting its production.
We miss you, Toby. Yours was a very human Spider Man. This one…this one was a cardboard cutout.