To start off, let me say I love a good long movie at the cinema and at 142 minutes runtime, I felt pleased walking in to watch The Amazing Spiderman 2. It however got to a point where it felt so very long, unusually coming in at four acts – FOUR ACTS. I counted!
Act one starts off well enough, giving us a bit of back story to flesh out the movie and give the cast a bit of meat to bite into. It however begins to lose itself by giving in to a myriad of clichés and B-movie stupidity. Even the transformation of the Electro – the film’s primary antagonist – is caused by some basic imbecility: he fiddles with live wires because someone somewhere in the building could not be bothered to turn off power in his sector. It’s in the trailer so this cannot be a spoiler. In all, the script was messy, unbelievable and trite. We did not need to see a manifestation of Spiderman’s inner conflict all the time and that “will–they–won’t–they” nonsense between Peter Parker and his love interest Gwen Stacy was unnecessary and ate up too much time that could have been used to develop the story in other directions.
Act two is an odd mixture of the beautiful and the mediocre. The movie invites us to believe that the primary antagonist – Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon an engineer at Oscorp – is driven by an incandescent rage yet the whole time before his transformation we have only been told about how he struggles with feeling invisible.
His battle with Spiderman, however, in Times Square scene is glorious and the movie begins to get into its groove at this point and so too does Spiderman.
One scene in particular where we get a sense of how Spiderman views and reacts to critical situations was the highlight of the movie for me and I loved that the director let us see every little bit of it.
Act three introduces a new antagonist: Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn. Why? I haven’t the faintest. I personally didn’t think it was a positive introduction and it only served to make the film longer and nothing else. Even the reason for his ire towards Spiderman seems rather flimsy to me. However it serves up yet another beautifully filmed battle scene which at least deflected from the drab, poorly thought out story preceding it.
The fourth act introduces yet another antagonist: Paul Giamatti as Rhino. Why? And that atrocious accent he was using was anything but Russian. There is also a smidge served up of very bad mothering at the end there whose only purpose was to tug at our heartstrings. It failed!