When I first watched Amazing Spider-Man 2 at the cinemas I’ll admit that I left feeling fairly deflated. This was mostly due to Sony and Marc Webb’s decision to skip the traditional end-credit teaser in favor of a mid-credit X-Men: Days of Future Past plug. However it was also partly to do with the rather abrupt ending mid-way through an action shot and also that shocking denouement even if I did see it coming.
However when my copy of Amazing Spider-Man 2 on Blu-Ray arrived I was determined to give it another chance, there were a lot of things I had forgotten since watching the movie and the constant stream of negative press and reviews that I saw online after watching it may have tainted my opinion, and warped the movie that I saw.
I’ve always been fairly cynical about Blu-Ray and HD in general due to the fact that the perceived difference is usually minimal however Amazing Spider-Man 2 may have changed my mind. My television is a fairly old Matsui but from the moment Spider-Man falls from the sky and his blue and red suit is clearly rippling in the wind the film visually knocked my socks off.
The Blu-Ray extras are also all fantastic, I really enjoyed the 103 minute documentary ‘The Wages of Heroism: Making the Amazing Spider-Man 2″ giving us interviews from most of the cast and crew as well as behind the scenes special effects and other goodies. The filmmakers commentary is also golden, and it’s completely made by Stan Lee’s participation.
The other highlight of the Blu-Ray are the deleted scenes that are presented alongside commentary from Director Marc Webb himself. These deleted scenes are frustrating because one of the main criticisms from the first time I watched the film, and the second time via the Blu-Ray was that the film was disjointed and uneven, there were equal parts too much going on, and also not enough at the same time.
One particular victim of this was a scene-grabbing, completely up-for-the-task Dane DeHaan who felt sorely underdeveloped as the Green Goblin, who let’s not forget is Spider-Man’s most iconic and prominent villain. Several of the deleted scenes included the Green Goblin and I honestly feel that the film, and the character would’ve been better served had they made the final cut.
Now, moving on to the film itself. I’ve already mentioned that there was too much going on and I stand by that. On top of the unnecessary Aunt May becomes a nurse sub-plot I honestly feel that almost all of the Richard Parker scenes should’ve been cut from the film. As viscerally exciting as the opening plane fight was, it simply wasn’t needed. In fact its inclusion in the film, but the decision to omit the ‘Peter Meets His Father’ scene is quite frankly bizarre when you think about it.
However when Spider-Man/Peter Parker really does appear the film really gets going, the second-opening sequence of Spider-Man acrobatically soaring through the sky and apprehending a bunch of Russian mobsters stealing a truck full of Plutonium is really how the film should have started because it was superb.
Then there’s another weird lull as the film labors to introduce all of the main characters such as Donald Menken, Max Dillon/Electro, Harry Osborn, Felicia Hardy, Alistair Smythe, that’s only saved by the the chemistry between Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield that’s more electrifying than Electro will ever be. Honestly if you approach this film as a sort-of superhero romantic dramedy you’ll struggle to find better.
You’ll probably wonder why I said that Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy’s chemistry was more electrifying than Electro. Well, I personally feel that despite having an actor of the caliber of Jamie Foxx the character was written to be such a cliche that it was bordering on B-movie horror film hilarity. I also can’t for the life of me why Marc Webb made the decision to end the first confrontation with Spider-Man comically dousing Electro with water whilst he was in the height of his powers and rampage. That moment completely put a dampener of Electro as a character and ruined him for me.
Also, whilst the film will remain adamant that it didn’t fall victim to the villain over-stuffing that ruined Sam Raimi’s third Spider-Man film and forced Sony to reboot the franchise but Amazing Spider-Man 2 was definitely affected. I get why Paul Giamatti’s Rhino was used to book-end the movie and honestly it made the whole thing feel more like a true comic-book movie. But Electro and Green Goblin could’ve been handled a bit better, it felt like there wasn’t any room for Goblin in the latter stages of the film and he was forced in.
However despite all of these negatives Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a more-than enjoyable superhero flick. As previously mentioned all of the actors did a superb job with Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield excelling. The ending to the movie is arguably the most dramatic and emotional scene to feature in a superhero film to date and that alone makes the film worth watching. Plus, it is visually stunning with the epic confrontations really jumping out of the screen. If you’re a Spider-Man fan there really is nothing better.
Whatever a Spider Can’s Rating – 6.5/10
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