Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

The Amazing Spiderman 2 – 2014

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It’s official, all superhero films are exactly the same. They always have been to an extent, however nowadays, with the obscene amount of nonsense that Marvel and DC churn out in order to make another $100 million, nothing is original, and everything is so painfully formulaic. The superhero story is simple and rigidly structured; innocent nobody accidentally gets themselves in a situation where they shouldn’t, resulting in a freak accident that ultimately gives them an unfathomable ability that is then used to stop evil from destroying the city. But what about Batman, Thor, or Superman? Sure, they have unique backstories, yet their abilities are all used in the same way against very similar forces of evil. In the present day, this is still occurring, even more so than before, however nowadays, the city is getting destroyed by both parties in combat, and everything attempts to have a darker, gloomier feel about it.

Having recently watched the first instalment, “The Amazing Spiderman” and admittedly enjoying it in some measure, the sequel looked both promising and grand; yet it was foreseen that this grandness would ultimately be detrimental.

Aforementioned in the previous review, the reason as to why “Spiderman 3” crumbled was partly due to the crowdedness of the cast. Having 3 villains in a film doesn’t leave room for development of a solid character profile; the antagonist’s motives are underdeveloped and thus, unconvincing. They feel rushed, forced and lose any sort of potential to become something special.

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Unfortunately, “The Amazing Spiderman 2” did not learn from the previous franchise’s mistakes and decided to tackle the ‘triple-threat’ approach, so to speak. As opposed to the first instalment’s well established, deeply explored villain Dr. Curt Conners, the follow-up story included ‘Electro’ (Jamie Foxx), ‘Rhino’ (Paul Giamatti) and the arch nemeses of ‘Spidey’ himself, ‘The Green Goblin’ (Dane DeHaan); all of which (particularly Giamatti’s Rhino) were severely underwhelming and overly cliche.

The film overall is in fact one big cliche. From the cringeworthy dialogue that includes endless one-liners to the Spiderman theme song ringtone on Peter Parker’s phone, this film has it all, and it’s disgusting. Peter Parker is different this time around. He’s more comfortable and as a result, he now possesses a heightened sense of arrogance which really doesn’t suit him at all. The borderline hubristic nature of Spiderman is very hard to watch and at points it makes you want to see his web-shooter malfunction mid swing.

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The film begins similarly to the first, with flashbacks showing Peter’s parents, in fact it’s the identical footage, only now, those flashbacks are explored even more. The opening scenes showing Parker’s parents after they leave him with his aunt and uncle are disturbingly dark compared to the rest of the film. It’s almost disappointing that the darker route was not taken with this instalment as it would most likely eliminate the cheesiness of it all and allow for some really potent, gritty characters.

This, like every single superhero film out there today falls flat on character development and basically gives the audience some world class special effects to distract them from that fact. It’s sadly the case but as long as the monetary figures continue to increase, we’ll keep on seeing franchise after franchise, sequel after sequel and cross-over after cross-over.

So basically, if you’re a fan of stunning visual effects and not much else, do go and see “The Amazing Spiderman 2”. If you’re a Paul Giamatti fan, stay at home, you’ll be incredibly underwhelmed. And finally, if were hoping for an appearance of J. Jonah Jamesson, you’re out of luck. He does feature in the film, yet not in the flesh…very very disappointing.

1.5/5

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