Here we are, exactly 10 years after Spider-Man 2, witnessing The Amazing Spider-Man 2. For me, Spider-Man 2 was really the highest point for superhero films till Nolan came along and showed a different side to this genre with The Batman trilogy. So it is safe to say that the highest point was way out of reach for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, even in it’s second try.
I had written about the level of involvement Marvel Studio has with Spider-Man films in Marvel Redefines Synergies and it shows in The Amazing Spider-Man series. The issue I had with the first Amazing Spider-Man was that there wasn’t a good enough story to tell. Over here however that is not the problem as in a complete contrast, we are given an overdose. The story telling is extremely convoluted and over loaded with sub plots. It would be an achievement to remember all the plot lines after coming out, even then I will try and give it a shot. There is some secret about Peter’s father, then there is the obvious love story, there is Electro, and Aunt May trying to forget Uncle Ben, then there is Harry Osborn (Peter Parker’s long lost friend). Oh and yeah, there is also lot of screen time given to Peter Parker’s guilt trips about breaking his promise. I mean c’mon, is this a superhero flick or what?
The previous Spider-Man versions scored hugely on the strength of its central character backed by fresh writing. I feel bad in saying this but Andrew Garfield is possibly one of the biggest problems with the film. He is not able to portray the character convincingly & seems even more out of place then the first film. The writing is uninspiring & tries to throw in too many witty lines but fails to get the smiles. Another strength of the older films was the superbly choreographed action sequences. I mean the sequence with Spidey & Doc Ock fighting on a moving train was just spectacular. We don’t see anything like that this time around. Yes the special effects are right up there. But then wouldn’t they be for any film that comes 10 years later? The villains too are poorly conceived and suffer from lack of character development. This is actually a huge problem because 1) villains are the life lines of such films (remember Green Goblin & Doc Ock) & 2) This in spite of taking the entire first half to get a back story in place for them.
Fortunately there is something in the film that is truly amazing and that is Emma Stone. She is sweet, charming, witty & natural. It is only because of her that we see some chemistry on screen as she overshadows Andrew in every single scene. She is the reason why the second climax (there are actually 3 of them!) hits you and stays with you. Sadly that cannot be said about anything else. Overall a total drag. Watch it only if you must.