If anyone has caught my previous review for The Amazing Spiderman 1, then you know I gave it high praises; except for the fact that it didn’t feel very fresh and original because it was another origin story. Now before I go ripping this apart or commending it for being a delightful movie, I have to state that I was a huge Spiderman fan growing up. He is one of the iconic memories of my childhood. Therefore, I am both very critical, AND acceptant of what is presented on screen. I realize things can’t be exactly from the pages of comics. This review will be loaded with Spoilers, so if you don’t want to see any, then scroll down to the last paragraph for my score.
The overall darker tone of this series is not something I enjoy. Spider-man is a lot like Superman in many aspects. I want to see a bright and colorful display. I don’t want to see a whole lot of night battles. If I wanted that, I’d watch Batman or Blade. The whole parents of Peter Parker storyline seemed to flesh out in this one, which made for an interesting reason why Peter being bitten by the spider would have altered his DNA that way. I enjoyed this very much, and am glad they sort of put an end to it. It served it’s purpose so let’s move on. My character breakdowns from previous reviews seem to be attracting attention, so I’ll review the movie like that.
Spider-man / Peter Parker: Andrew Garfield is a wonderful actor, but I still don’t like him as Spiderman. I hate to compare, but overall, the more I watch this series, the more I want Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi back. Don’t get me wrong, there was tons wrong with the original trilogy, but Garfield’s Peter doesn’t seem right. It’s almost like they don’t know what to do with him. Parker is supposed to be a nerdy kid who wise cracks cheesy lines with his enemies. It is his staple. Instead, in this series, we get a punk Brooklyn kid who seems more like a douchy bully than anything else. At times he conveys what Spiderman should be, but I am not sure where they are going with him. This parker is a punk, then loveable, then wise cracking, and then emo. PICK A FRIGGIN’ EMOTION ALREADY! Everyone has mood changes, but this is ridiculous. It’s like he is four different characters. I was however happy with the updated classic look of the suit, and WHY he had a new suit. Spidey’s outfit here is the BEST costume overall in ALL the existing Spiderman films. I still can’t fathom how he can fit so much web fluid in those little cartridges, but I can suspend disbelief because it’s a comic book film.
Gwen Stacy: Emma Stone is a major highlight of this film. Or should I say was? Her purpose was meaningful, and although her dialogue was often horrible (As was most of the dialogue in the film), she was believable. My issue would be that they decided to make this genius level student a complete idiot in the end. She thinks she can help Spiderman take on Electro, and that’s just moronic. Yeah okay she overall did, but it’s not a smart move. She was that annoying girlfriend that just doesn’t go away. This leads to her ultimate death at the hands of the Green Goblin. In the comics she was thrown from a bridge by the Goblin (Norman, not Harry), and Peter tried to stop her fall with a web, breaking her neck. Here, she was thrown from a clock tower by Harry’s Goblin, and Peter snapped her spine with a sudden jerking stop. The scene was VERY effective and one of the best recreations of comic book lore to date. You felt the impact before, during and after her death. Gwen really is the one who let’s Peter know posthumously that he is destined to be Spiderman (even if those exact words weren’t used).
Max Dillon / Electro: Jamie Foxx really played this role well. I feel that this WAS the electro from the comics, despite the fact that they made him a genius engineer with obvious social and mental disabilities. The lack of social and mental normalcy made him seem like the dimwit from the comics. The fight scenes and effects with him too were just visually stunning. Is he dead? No I doubt it. He’s probably reserved in that little battery that was strapped to his head, at least as some kind of spark. I wouldn’t mind them bringing him back at some point in a lesser capacity.
Green Goblin / Harry Osborn: Dane Dehaan played the role of Harry well. He even played Goblin well. Let me say this though. Aside from the design being utterly horrible, I’m sick of seeing Green Goblin. This one is more akin to the ultimate version, but its just overdone. If you use a goblin, then for the love of God, please use hobgoblin or even demogoblin, because this is just getting redundant, and that is probably one of the biggest flaw’s that director Marc Webb has in these films…. nothing is NEW. BTW, I’m not believing that Norman is dead. His hands and look in his “final” scenes made me believe he’d be back as the Ultimate “hulking like” version of the character. Only time will tell.
Felicia Hardy: She has a minor role in the movie, but you can see that she would practically do anything for Harry. This is a perfect setup for her to become BlackCat in the next movie. I really think that is the way they need to go. Make her a villain who will eventually pick a side and team with Spiderman.
Rhino: SMH. I love Paul Giamatti, but his Russian accent is overplayed and not believeable here. AND I’m sick of seeing mechanical exosuit villains. WHY did we get a giant robot rhino with guns? All I have to say is that for the next movie or sinister six, he better have an updated form of the suit that is more akin to the comics, because this is just the WORST design EVER! Instead of the headfirst charging Rhino, we got a walking tank with machine guns, and a tease of a fight.
Aunt May, The Ravencroft Institute, Richard and Mary Parker, The head of Oscorp: all of these were delightful to see on screen and had a clear purpose. Nothing much can be said because they were practically flawless.
Alistair Smythe: An awesome cameo that I didn’t expect. In the comics, he creates the Spider Slayers. this is all a setup for future I believe, and since he was placed in a cryo type freeze tank, I believe he will be back (maybe with some cyber enhancements).
The man in the shadows: okay, so we still have no idea who this is, or do we? He showed up in the post credits from the first film. Now he shows up at the end to assist Harry in putting together a “team”. Who can he be? They called him Gustav Fiers. He must be none other than Chameleon, who was a key player in the comics in forming the Sinister Six. If this is the case, then perhaps we will actually have more than six villains. Here is my speculation as to where this will all go….
There are more films coming. It is confirmed that we are getting: The Amazing Spiderman 3, Venom, and Sinister Six movies, followed by The Amazing Spiderman 4. It is also confirmed that Andrew Garfield is playing the character through the year 2020. Now, with that being said, here is where I see it going.
TASM3: Felicia becomes Black Cat. She breaks Harry out of prison, and he and her team up to take on Spiderman. He is still coping with the death of Gwen, but this is where Felicia and Mary Jane being introduced into his life will cause conflict. He won’t know who to trust. In the end, I believe that Black Cat will turn against a super charged (more ultimate form of the goblin) and Harry will probably die. This movie is all about conflict… Felicia choosing a side, Peter moving on, Harry realizing his best friend is his worst enemy. There will also be setups here to the spinoff films.
I know I said that I don’t want to see Green Goblin anymore, but this is the only logical way to go at this point. To make him different, his DNA could be altered further to really fit that Ultimate Goblin look. Black Cat will be the first female villain for spiderman, and everything will feel a little fresh.
Venom: there were some easter eggs in the film. We had the mention of the Spidervenom which is the arachnid’s blood. In the ultimate comics, Venom isn’t an alien symbiote… it is instead a derivative symbiote from Spiderman’s blood. There is also a Morbius easter egg, but that probably wouldn’t apply. In the venom movie, we could see a classic Eddie Brock taking on the mantle of the villain, and going up against his own offspring, Carnage. This HAS to be a venom vs carnage movie. it has been something the fans have wanted for years. It could be a one and done movie, where in the end, Eddie Brock either becomes anti-venom for a future film where Flash Thompson takes over as venom, or something else.
Sinister Six: Chameleon will take on the reigns of moving forward with Harry’s original plans. Who should be in this movie? TASM 2 set up: Doctor Octopus, Vulture, and Rhino. Smythe would be a good add on, while bringing in Scorpion or Kraven the Hunter. actually, there are lots of things that they could do…. I could speculate for hours on what the GOOD thing to do would be. If only they’d hire me to correct the issues, I’d be able to set them straight.
TASM 4: could be a whole fresh start. The spiderman verse is fully established at this point and we can go back to one villain only…. bring in Mysterio. He’s a big enough threat on his own.
Sorry if I strayed with my speculations, but this is something I’ve been mulling over, and I’d like to hear your comments. All in all, with TASM 2, we had okay plot, GREAT character setup and building, HORRIBLE dialogue, and AMAZING action scenes. It wasn’t by any means a bad movie, but it certainly wasn’t a great movie. I have to rate it with a 6 out of 10 sCrypt Coffins. What did you think? Good? Bad? Did I miss something? Where do you think the series will go? One final thought. I felt gypped by the post credits scene. It was a scene from X-Men Days of Future Past, and while I’m excited to see the movie, an advertisement serves no purpose to the fans unless there is a potential crossover at some point… I mean, who wouldn’t want to see Spiderman and The X-Men on screen together?
Last week I posted my review of the previous Spiderman Trilogy. Now I bring my thoughts about the reboot. First off, there will be some spoiler material, so please scroll down to the last paragraph if you just want my rating. Here is the breakdown.
The casting was outstanding. Not once did I feel that any of these actors didn’t do their jobs. My only concern was the role of Peter Parker. I think Andrew Garfield played the part well, but I’m not sure if I totally buy him as Parker. He’s a bit over the top with cockiness. Emma Stone would have made a perfect Mary Jane Watson in a future movie, but her portrayal of Gwenn Stacey was perfect. All of the other actors (and I don’t need to list the names) I can say were just well done for casting. Aunt May could have been a little older, but I like where they are going with Sally Field in that role.
The Plot. This is where the movie fails in my opinion. Was the plot good? Yes, in fact it was great. It was even better than the first Tobey Maguire Spiderman movie. So why does this fail? Well, it WAS the first Tobey Maguire movie. We really didn’t need the origin story again. The villain was scripted out in almost the same way, and the new elements that they included seemed to be shadowed by the “Damn, I already saw this movie” feeling. IF Spiderman hadn’t been done before, then this movie would have been great! They should have made it a sequel, not a reboot. Here’s to hoping they correct that mistake in the future.
Visual effects were amazing. I didn’t get to see it in 3D, but I could see where parts of the film would have been cool in that format. The web swinging and action felt more natural than the previous trilogy. I would have liked it to be a little less dark and more daytime, but I can’t complain about how it looked otherwise, because that was the directors call.
Continuity with the comics. I don’t know much about the Ultimate Spiderman comics, as I was a huge fan of the original growing up. That being said, I am familiar with certain aspects. Web shooters being in this movie were a fanboy’s dream come true. How and where he was bitten by the spider, eh… I can get past that. After all it is someone else’s interpretation. Most of the elements were done in the same way. The only REAL problem I had with the continuity was the Lizard’s look. I don’t mind the way he looked, but wish that by the third time he injected himself, some kind of snout would have formed. In fact, my wife turned to me mid movie and said, “If he is a lizard, they should have given him a snout.” Okay, my wife never knew what the Lizard looked like in the comics, but she knows her animals. Therefore, common sense would tell anyone that the decision might have been slightly subpar.
Direction and use of characters: Marc Webb really did bring the Amazing into the title. As I said earlier, this would have been the best spiderman movie to date IF IF IF it hadn’t been done already. I wanted to see a new story. All I got was a new villain and a too cocky peter parker. I DO love that we didn’t get a repeat villain though, and I hope it remains this way. The addition of the mid credits scene was cool too. My thoughts on who that was? Well Webb announced who it wasn’t, so I will narrow it down to two villains who could appear and disappear like that. Villain for TASM2 will be either Electro or Mysterio based on that scene.
Acting as I said was superb, and worked on every level. My criticism of Andrew Garfield wasn’t on his acting ability. He just had to work with the script he was given. His emotional scenes felt real, he looked as though he was in pain, and you really felt for him in his time of struggles.
The music was perfect for the picking too. The only scene where music didn’t feel right to me was when he was skating through the halls of his school. Even that wasn’t too out of place.
The audience could relate to what the protagonists had to endure emotionally, and there was enough in there to set up other stories. I really want to see what happened to Richard and Mary Parker in this version. I hope they don’t forget that either. When I was a kid, I remember when he found out his parents were alive. It was an emotional roller coaster, and I think they could play this out well for the next endeavor and the following one. The genetics stuff and hints at Norman Osborn, really make me think that he wasn’t “sick” as they said. I think he is building an army to do his bidding. Perhaps there are six of them and quite sinister at that… (sorry, always wanted to see that on the screen). I could see it now. The Amazing Spiderman vs. The Sinister Six.
All in all, I have to give this movie two ratings. The first rating is what the movie is worth in my book. For that I give it a 9 out of 10. My second rating is because it was the same stuff seen on a different day. and for that I give it a 7 out of 10. Just as a reference, the original Tobey Maguire Spiderman movie was given my 8 of 10 rating, so I guess this incarnation tied for that spot. I think we are in for a good ride to come, and can’t wait until the next chapter.