- Review: 6.3
When it comes to Spider-Man, I have very high hopes for what will come from a movie with our friendly neighborhood hero. I even give it a little more wiggle room; a bad Spider-Man film is better than most other just decent films. The last movie left me disappointed, but I still held out that this one would be better by ironing out the problems from the first I had. This was not the case, as I left this film feeling even more empty than before, wondering what has gone wrong with one of my favorite super heroes.
Peter Parker is coming out of the first Amazing Spider-Man happy in costume as the city embraces and loves its protector, but is still in turmoil out of it as he tries to make things work with Gwen Stacey. Every time things seem to be going good for them, he can’t help but think of her father who died in the last film and the promise he made to stay away from her. His friend from childhood, Harry Osborne returns from his time abroad as his father, Norman’s, health begins to take a turn for the worst. Whenever the Osborns enter the picture, of course things get complicated for Spider-Man. Not only this, but Max Dillon, an Oscorp electrical technician and Spider-Man fanatic finds himself having a bad day after an accident at work turns him into Electro.
In the first film, I did not like Andrew Garfield in or out of the costume. I felt his Peter Parker was to whiny and his Spider-Man wasn’t funny or light enough. One side was fixed as I actually enjoyed his portrayal in costume. He joked and prodded his enemies as he had fun before taking care of business. As Peter Parker, I still had the same complaints. I couldn’t keep up with how many times his eyes started to water and he was ready to burst out into tears throughout the film. A lot of this came from his relationship with Gwen as it got annoyingly back and forth whether they could be together or not. Every scene together had them decide to go in another direction. He also is not portrayed as intelligent as he really is in the comics, having to go to YouTube for some science help at one point, and relying on Gwen for other answers and suggestions. They do give the wrap up on what happened to his parents, but it really is not that exciting and a let down after so much build up.
The villains were another big problem. In the comic books, I really like Max Dillon. Unfortunately in the film they made him uninteresting. Before his accident, he is a goofy character that almost brings back flash backs of Richard Pryor in Super-Man 3. After his accident he moves quickly from Spider-Man super fan to wanting Spider-Man dead over what was really a misunderstanding as Spider-Man tried to genuinely help him. From there he becomes Harry’s lackey, happy to be wanted and not have to think for himself anymore. The music, which was fairly bad throughout the entire film, didn’t help him either as the situations he was put in along with the music turned near campy during parts. Especially with parts involving him and Dr. Kafka in Ravencroft which were eye rolling. Usually Jamie Foxx is terrific, but this easily ranks as one of my least favorite roles he has ever done.
Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn was actually one of the bright points of the film, at least at the beginning. The story did a good job of reestablishing Harry and Peter’s friendship quickly and developing his motivations going forward. Unlike Electro he was a likable character whose path to the dark-side was at least interesting. Once he gets to that dark-side and turns into the Green Goblin, all bets were off. The transformation is terrible, from the suit to the actual physical alterations he goes through. His face looks horrible, especially his hideous teeth and crazy hair. If you thought James Franco’s Harry look was bad, prepare for worse.
The film does throw in several fan nods, many of which have been shown in the trailers already. The Rhino does have a small role to bookend the film, and his costume is just as bad as I feared. Sure, an actual Rhino suit wouldn’t work in a film, but neither does a giant mech suit. Luckily there isn’t a whole lot to suffer through as his scenes really do only total four minutes or so. You also get Felicia Hardy and Alistair Smythe, but neither have very important roles; maybe they’re being saved for the Sinister Six? As seen in the trailers, you do get to spy Dr. Octopus’ tentacles and the Vultures wings, but they’re just eye candy for a moment.
What the film did right is the action. Spider-Man swinging through the skies and leaping around has never looked better for one. His webbing was used in some incredible ways that they hadn’t captured on film yet. As much as I hated normal scenes with Electro, when the action started, he did look incredible. The magnitude of his powers were done to perfection and not something that could have been fully realized on film just a few years ago in the original trilogy such as when he tears apart time square.
Good action scenes were not enough to carry the film. Especially when so many scenes between Peter and Gwen became overly cheesy and the camp factor started creeping in with Electro and some other cheap laughs they went for. There are still at least two Spider-Man films left with this continuity, not counting Venom and the Sinister Six along with any other spin-offs they do. It makes me very sad to say that after watching this, I’m ready for another reboot already. Sony could also concede the rights back to Marvel so we can get the Spider-Man film we deserve.