Thursday, 7 August 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

The Spider-Man is back and this time he's got a new villain to fight! The same complete principle yet again but...a different villain, or two...wash rinse and repeat. The inevitable third film will obviously see Spider-Man back fighting another entirely new villain yet exactly the same thing will happen all over again...but glossier.

OK so we know the plot (see above) but let me start by saying one thing, this film was totally a Schumacher inspired vision if ever I saw one. Case in point, the entire plot and character development for Electro. Man I couldn't believe how daft gimmicky and cliched this guy was, its like Webb literately watched 'Batman Forever' and thought it would be a good route to follow. Foxx plays the stereotypical cookie cutter comicbook type geek with goofy teeth and glasses because that must obviously mean the guy is academic. Just like Schumacher's Riddler vision Dillon loves Spidey in a creepy stalker-ish kinda way, but due to an accident that borders on Schumacher's 'Batman and Robin' offering, he gets transformed into a living electric generator, cunningly calling himself Electro.

'They should call you the amazing Spider-Man'  

Now I gotta moan about this character because he's the central villain yet his entire plot development makes no sense. Why is he so mad at everybody? why does he try to kill hundreds of Gotham citizens...oops! I mean New York citizens. Are you trying to tell me that his whole reason for being a rampaging villain is simply because Spidey didn't pay attention to him and neither did anyone else?? he basically has thrown a complete hissy fit over not getting any attention?! Does this really enrage him so much that he decides to kill Spidey (despite him saving his life), lots of innocent people and blackout New York city?! Jesus bananas! well I guess he's ready for the Arkham Asylum, although I suppose that would tie in with comicbook bad guys in general lore. Oh and where the hell did he get that supervillain suit??! the supervillains R' Us superstore!

This leads me to the other villain which we see for around five minutes...Rhino. Why is this guy here? because its all a setup for the 'Sinister Six' movie of course. But is this character even needed at all within this universe? the bloke is a regular guy who wears boxer shorts with cartoon rhino's on them...does this qualify him for operating the huge metal rhino mech suit which we see at the end in dodgy CGI. Why was this guy even chosen? surely it could have literately been anyone, why bother breaking him out of jail. I also don't follow how a bloke in a simple mech suit would fit in with a supervillain team, without this suit he is utterly useless, just a regular criminal. In the comics wasn't he some kind of Hulk like character? I guess a spandex rhino suit would look too daft.

One aspect I did like was the intro of the third villain in the form of the Green Goblin. I really thought the overall portrayal of the young Osborn by DeHaan was very good, spot on for ominous smarmy and quietly disturbing...with that greasy hairstyle. I did find myself buying into his frustration at Spidey/Parker and actually rooting for him. His Goblin alter ego was also well portrayed and well designed too, the Raimi version was a decent idea that was well crafted but I'm glad to see a more classic approach this time. Would have preferred some more goblin-esque features in there though. I thought the finale battle against Spidey was excellent and its a shame we didn't see more of that frankly, loved the glider again in this, shame we still aren't seeing any pumpkin/jack O' lantern bombs though.

On the whole the film is of course extremely slick and glossy visually and I'd expect nothing less. Yes Spidey looks fantastic leaping around, yes his web swinging POV sequences are truly sexy and yes the action is impressive. Problem is there isn't very much action and I did find myself getting bored for a lot of the time. The character building between Parker and Stacy is well done and its believable...but boy is it dull. I liked how we got some back story for Parker's parents although plot holes arose. Richard Parker was working with Connors from the first film on the limb regeneration project apparently...aaaaand?? should that lead into anything or am I missing something? Plus it is really extraordinarily lucky that a genetically modified spider fused with Richard Parker's DNA should bite his son, seeing as the spiders are only encoded to Parker's bloodline. Of all the people a spider would bite eh.

I still find myself wondering what that gigantic power plant place was where Spidey fights Electro, the hell was that? looked like something outta Star Wars. I am also still confused (not being a true comicbook fanboy) at Spider-Man's powers, I know his regular powers but is he (or should he be) really as strong and powerful as say...Superman?

On the visual side this movie is solid no doubt, each comicbook movie just gets better and better, but this is far from a solid movie overall. I found it quite dull for the most part, a terrible soundtrack and score which didn't fit with most scenes, another obligatory hideous hip hop track over the end credits, more Lee cameos, a God awful self referential gag with the old Spidey theme tune and quite frankly a stunning leap backwards in the terms of comicbook movie progression because the film is basically a super slick Schumacher adaptation with all the same childish quirks. Crazy cackling evil German scientists with heavy accents torturing Electro in a laboratory full of flashing neon lights and whirring sounds?  I'm surprised no one had nipples on their super suits.