Anyone can review The Amazing Spider-Man 2. It’s a popular property that accumulates truckloads of moolah, merchandise, and movie goers. It’s an easy film to seek out and watch, and afterwards, the consensus is measured on whether that audience was thrilled enough. Marc Webb’s sequel is popcorn entertainment that either comes through or doesn’t. There’s no middle ground.
Instead of using this space to write about how much I was thrilled during The Amazing Spider-Man 2, I’m going to use this opportunity as a plea to Sony Pictures – the studio behind this Marvel yarn. Or, at least, the seven producers behind this rebooted series.
Whether the movies have quality to them or not, Sony Pictures is confident with most of its filmography. Just look at how much good will they shell out towards Happy Madison. However, the web slinging superhero is that one character that has the suits shaking in their boots. Producers and screenwriters become hesitant when further developing Spider-Man, and waffling opinions have the tendency to make these movies uneven.
After Sam Raimi’s foul-up titled Spider-Man 3, Sony Pictures decided to start new. They hired on Webb (who was still championing after his indie hit (500) Days of Summer), and asked for a modernized retelling. In return, movie goers received a redundant remake which salvaged itself with a new kind of energy.
The Amazing Spider-Man was a hit, but the suits were still scratching their heads and questioning the tone of its sequel and the future for Spidey. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 arrived and was welcomed with mixed reactions. Funny enough, a lot of movie goers claimed the movie was uneven. Huh…
For all the things I liked about The Amazing Spider-Man 2, I saw them as setbacks for others. Consider the aforementioned tone conundrum. Since this new take is darker than Raimi’s world, the continuity gets mucky when camp enters the equation. Unless audiences are ready for a film with personality shifts, these sort of things don’t necessarily sit well. Especially over a beefy runtime.
I, on the other hand, thought the incorporation of goofier action and jokes broke the pace up and returned the teenage hero back to his grassroots. Spider-Man is a geeky screwball amidst the danger, and that’s what The Amazing Spider-Man 2 gets right along with Andrew Garfield’s amiable performance. It was also clever to remind the audience that Peter Parker isn’t invulnerable. He still gets sick, bruised, and fed up with the amount of crime.
The only time when matters get to be too silly is when Jamie Foxx is introduced. Webb underlines too heavily how submissive Foxx’s character is and doesn’t give enough of a backing to the origin of Foxx’s crackling alter ego Electro.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 also includes more than one bad guy – another move that doesn’t sit well after Spider-Man 3. However, I thought Webb and the film’s script (written by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Jeff Pinkner) juggled these destructive personalities rather well. Electro, Dane DeHaan’s threatening Green Goblin, and Paul Giamatti’s psychotic Rhino get the correct amount of face time without hogging any of the story. Fans of the comic book may wish for another vehicle for Rhino, but maybe we’ll get more in an inevitable third feature.
My point: Sony shouldn’t be so worried with Spider-Man. For every negative bash, there’s someone like me who genuinely had a blast with the superhero. There’s a lot of exciting things going for these films and it’d be a shame if double guessing and nervousness led them to a demise.
Even though I had fun, I can still recognize these films need to have a mission more collected and less crazy. Studios and producers need to know that not everyone is going to be pleased with the final product, and thus, they shouldn’t break their necks trying to tend to everyone’s taste. The suits have to take a deep breath, make the movie the filmmaker wants to conceive (in this case, Mr. Webb), and stay faithful to the source material. I like the risks that were taken in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but Peter Parker’s future adventures should be more composed.