The Amazing Spider-man Two Review

The Amazing Spider-man Two

I need a hero.

I’m holding out for a hero til the end if the night.

He doesn’t have to be big or even that strong, and I simply don’t care how fresh he may be from the fight.

Hell, he doesn’t even have to be a he.

I’d worship a transsexual hermaphrodite if they could save me from this superhero hell comic book fanboys have unleashed upon modern cinemas.

I remember back in the day, back in my day when comic book films were cool.

Superhero films were still something of a novelty in those days; George Clooney had managed to kill off batman better than any incarnation of the joker ever could have, and Christopher Reeve was still the only big screen Superman the world had ever known.

So when those happy few Marvel or DC shaped heroes hit the silver screen, like X-men and the not quite so amazing Spiderman, the studios seemed to make more of an effort to tell a good story.

The soar away success of this genre has changed all that though, with anything vaguely super being green lit by greedy film studios and a new comic book film released every other month.

Which pretentious grandstanding leads me not so nicely onto The Amazing Spider-man Two.

First things first, I still haven’t seen the Andrew Garfield shaped original reboot of New York City’s finest web spinner.

For me, Tobey Maguire is still the real Peter Parker, and I never could understand why Sony were so keen on rebooting this franchise a few short years since the god awful final instalment from Sam Raimi.

In Raimi’s defence though, I thought the first two films were pretty great.

There just wasn’t enough of a creative reason for spiderman to be resurrected so quickly after the last one, other than the god almighty buck that is.

But the trailer for Peter Parker’s latest amazing adventure seduced me easily enough into going along for the ride, with depressingly predictable results.

As you’d expect of a film with a budget of about a zillion dollars, director Marc Webb’s new spiderman film looks pretty, well, amazing.

The special effects feel as though they’ve jumped straight out of a comic book and into a pair of those cheap 3d glasses cinemas seem to love, but that’s the least I’d expect of a film that costs thus much.

What money can’t buy is a good script, and boy does The Amazing Spider-man Two prove this.

From the opening sequence featuring Parker’s real father, that peters out with an anti-climactic reveal towards the end of the film, to the lack of development in Jamie Foxx’s Electro character and lack of any attempt to explain how he became so electrified, to the ridiculously over the top score and heavy handed use of a child for cheap emotional point scoring during the film’s final act.

The Amazing Spider-man Two is not a particularly good or coherent film, and as it clocks in at almost two and a half hours long, you really feel this before then end.

But it is without doubt the most faithful cinematic adaptation of a comic book I’ve ever seen.

This isn’t a compliment.

Sure, plenty of fanboys and girls out there will explode in their spandex inspired undergarments from watching this, but they’ll be the only ones.

The problem is most comic book story-lines are ridiculously one dimensional, because their target audience are twelve year old kids.

There’s been a fair amount of comic book revisionism headed up by the two excellent batman films Christopher Nolan directed last decade, with the obvious exception of that truly abysmal final part in his trilogy, as well as sophisticated graphic novels like Watchmen that have been turned into complex and well-crafted movies to cater for an audience not made up of comic book aficionados.

The Amazing Spider-man Two

Also known as people with an emotional age above say eight and a half years old.

So I was hoping these new spiderman films would have taken a similar path, by trying to do something different and edgier with their original source material instead of pandering to a bunch of overgrown man-children who seem to have developed religious cults and even belief systems upon the comic books they love and adore.

And maybe The Amazing Spider-man film pulls off this trick, but the sequel sure don’t.

Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Jamie Foxx are all charming enough in their respective one dimensional roles here, but it doesn’t make much of a difference to the overall feel of the film; namely shut up, turn off your brain and look at the pretty special effects we’ve come up with.

If studios weren’t spunking such monumental budgets on these comic book yarns at the expense of making original and genuinely interesting films, I wouldn’t mind so much.

As it is, we in desperate need of a real life superhero to save us from the cinematic abyss comic books and their overzealous fans are driving us towards.

Jonathan Campbell

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April 2014
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