I saw a Thursday night advance screening of the Amazing Spider-Man 2 the other week, as any loyal Marvel nerd would, but I didn’t want to post my thoughts on it until after everyone had gotten a chance to see it. It’s been a week and a half now and I feel safe in assuming that the type of people who read action figure blogs are the type of people who go see new Spider-Man movies on their opening weekends. If you haven’t seen it yet you may want to skip this post because I’m gonna drop some serious spoilers.
Amazing Spider-Man 2 SPOILER ALERT! There, that was your final warning.
I hated this f***ing movie. Well maybe hate is a strong word but it definitely wasn’t good. But I’ll try to focus on the good points first. Spider-Man looked the best he’s ever looked on screen. The costume from the first Amazing Spider-Man movie looked kind of off to me with its beady yellow eyes. This new version has wide, crisp white eyes that look great. The rest of the costume is fine as well. Some of the moments between Peter and Gwen were sweet. There were a couple of jokes that worked such as an abrupt email response from the still unseen J. Jonah Jameson. That’s about it. Those were the things I liked.
What didn’t I like? Where to begin? The tone of this film was all over the place going from sad and sentimental to teen rom-com sweet to over the top popcorn action. Sometimes a blend of action and comedy and romance can work. It doesn’t here. I felt like at least 2 completely separate mediocre films had been mashed together. There was far too much slo-mo “bullet time” and it didn’t look good. I found many of the special effects scenes were lacking and looked more like a video game instead of real life. I won’t out right bash the effects as some of them looked decent, the best ones are usually the ones you don’t notice anyway.
Also, Peter was a blubbering wuss most of the time yet he was still cool enough to high five his teacher at his graduation ceremony and run around with his skateboard. I realize this “cool outcast” Peter is probably more realistic and more relatable to todays teens than the 4-eyed geek, sweater vest wearing version of the comics, but it’s not working for me. Give me Tobey’s aloof emo Peter over this dude with the One Direction haircut any day. I didn’t mind Andrew Garfield in the first movie but he’s worn out his webbed welcome in my eyes.
Emma makes a fine Gwen but I don’t care for Sally Field’s Aunt May. They’re pretty much the only non-villain supporting characters in the film. There is a lengthy flashback about Peter’s parents that felt like a waste of time. The parent storyline was dumb and, even in the over-the-top, suspension-of-disbelief-required world, unbelievable. His dad has a secret lab under the tracks in an abandoned subway tunnel? Give me a break. Ultimately the parent thread didn’t amount to much so I don’t know why they wasted so much time on it.
The villains: Norman Osborne? Sucked. Rhino? Sucked. Harry Osborne? Sucked. Electro? Oh my god how he sucked. Electro was the worst thing about the movie. Jamie Foxx played Max Dillon like Jim Carrey played Edward Nigma. His performance made me cringe. He was awful, just awful. And how can they keep getting the Goblin so wrong? Dress a guy up like he’s an orc from Lord of the Rings. He’d look cool and scary and most importantly, like a goblin. I found this version actually worse than the Rami/Dafoe version. And at least in the original trilogy they built the Peter and Harry relationship over 3 films, here the whole thing is crammed into the second act. And I like Chris Cooper and I’m almost certain they intend to revive him in one of the upcoming sequels but I’m praying they don’t. Let’s just lay these horrible Green Goblins to rest and move onto the Hobgoblin.
The climactic death of Gwen at the end was sad. I felt my eyes welling up. Spider-Man is important to me and this is one of a handful of moments that truly defined him and it has never been seen on screen before. I felt his anguish and that made me mad. This movie hadn’t earned my tears. You can’t feed me two hours of shit and then win my approval by playing to my emotional connection to this character in the last 10 minutes. I hope Mark Webb is sent packing after this. I’ve enjoyed some of his music videos and 500 days of summer was alright but he has produced 2 subpar Spidey movie now and it’s time to go. Film review: 2 out of 10.
This Spider-Man action figure is nowhere near as bad as the movie but it’s not great either. This figure is not associated with the movie. I don’t plan on buying any Amazing Spider-Man 2 related merchandise. I had considered getting an Electro but I am no longer interested. This figure was released multiple times during the first year of Hasbro’s 3 3/4″ Marvel Universe line. I wouldn’t have bought it on it’s own but I got stuck with it twice when buying a Secret Wars 2-pack to get Thunderball and in an Amazing Friends 3-pack to get Iceman and Firestar. It’s very posable but the joints are kind of weird and his neck is pointed in a wonky position. The paint job is nice with a black wash highlighting the sculpted web detail in the red parts of the costume. Better Spider-Man figures have been released since so if you can avoid this one do so. 5 out of 10.