Last Friday, I saw the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man and I want to talk about it. This review does contain spoilers because it’s pretty much impossible for it not to considering what happens at the end of the movie. But we’ll get to that.
First off, I just want to get something off my chest: I actually liked the movie. Shocker, I know. When they announced the sequel’s release date, I was super excited. I liked the first one a lot. Plus I love Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone so it was pretty much a given that I’d be pumped for this movie. Then months passed and the rumors started about multiple villains appearing in the film…then Mary Jane was cast and then her scenes were cut…then the first trailers came out and then the first reviews came out…and then I got nervous. Everyone seemed to hate it.
Needless to say, I was already apprehensive when the credits started. But when the movie ended, I became confused. What was so wrong with it? I liked it, but the fact that so many people didn’t made me like it even more. I’ve even become weirdly defensive about it. I call it the “John Carter effect”. Yes, it’s not a perfect movie. And no, it’s not better than Captain America 2, which is still the best superhero movie or movie of this year (subject to change after Days of Future Past). But I don’t think it deserves to get that low of a score on Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s why:
Let’s just get this out of the way: It’s a comic book movie so instead of tearing it apart plot point by plot point, I’m just going to accept that it’s ridiculous and move on. Ok, then. I liked the fact that they revealed what happened to Peter’s parents. My only gripe was that it dragged on for a while. Of course your dad is not a cold-hearted criminal, Peter. Stop being so angsty. I wasn’t so annoyed by the on-again, off-again relationship between Peter and Gwen. I think the whole “I can’t live without you but you’re better off without me because I love you too much” melodrama is pretty realistic for a teenager’s first love.
Electro was a great villain. Jamie Foxx of course was awesome. But I thought that at least this villain’s dastardly plot was way better than The Lizard’s from the first movie. One hour of no power on Earth Day is pretty much all I can stand. I would freak out if Electro suddenly became real and sucked out all the electricity from Toronto.
The actor who played Harry Osborn, Dane DeHaan blew me away. His performance was so good and I can’t wait to see more of him. I did think that him showing up right after Electro was defeated felt tacked on but I guess they had to do that so SPOILER ALERT Gwen could die in this movie (I don’t know why I still have to warn people; that storyline is so old, much like the Winter Soldier, but OK). And they couldn’t make Electro the reason she died because it wouldn’t have stayed true to the comics.
I also read the issue of when Gwen died and yes, the circumstances are different, e.g., Norman Osborn was the Green Goblin, Mary Jane was already in Peter’s life, Gwen came back from London to be with Peter and most importantly, Peter made no such promise to Captain Stacy to stay away from Gwen, in fact Stacy told him to take care of Gwen. But I think the film still got the essence of the tragedy. It didn’t matter if she fell from a bridge or a clock tower, what matters is that the love of Peter’s life just died in a very tragic, very sudden, very unfair way. There’s a reason why they started and ended the movie with Gwen’s speech, aside from foreshadowing. Gwen’s death is one of, if not the most important defining event in Peter Parker’s life. Sometimes the hero is too late to save someone.
I thought it was wise of them to hold off the Mary Jane storyline until Gwen was gone since the best part of this reboot is the chemistry between real-life couple Andrew and Emma. Seriously, how much more adorable can they get? I’m really going to miss seeing them together on-screen. And I have a feeling I won’t be the only one. Mary Jane has some big shoes to fill.
The Rhino was unnecessary, sure, but they just want to set up the Sinister Six for the next movies. If your biggest problem about the movie is that there are too many villains, just pause for a minute and think about that. Last movie had one villain and not a very good one. And then they decide to spoil us in the sequel and put three in. Three! That’s amazing, pun intended. Is everyone going to complain when the Sinister Six all assemble on-screen? Six villains?! That’s way too much. But I guess haters are gonna hate. I for one can’t wait to see where Peter and Spider-Man go from here.