Jump to content

The Amazing Spider-Man 2


Peter T Chattaway
 Share

Recommended Posts

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 72
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
First Look: Green Goblin From The Amazing Spider-Man 2

 

 

Not sure what to make of the design, or the fact that there are so many supervillians in this even if most come at the end.  Isn't too many villians considered to be part of the ruin of the third Raimi film?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

And I didn't really like The Amazing Spiderman.

"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

It's not so much that I hated this movie as....well, okay, yeah, I hated this movie. I guess maybe if I was in college and poor and it was a 100 degrees and I couldn't afford air-conditioning I might appreciate a long, bloated, mindless place to catch a few winks.

 

Level of the script is this: Gwen (Emma Stone) has a huge argument with Peter that she must go to a battle scene because she is the only one with the expertise to reset the grid! (We know she's super smart because she is valedictorian.) The process entails, pretty much hitting the "reset" button. Thanks Gwen!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like it's time for a Morefield vs. Greydanus cage match.

 

From SDG's review:

 

 

The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s biggest liability is that it follows The Amazing Spider-Man. This sequel is so much better than its predecessor that I’ve gone from being merely disappointed with the 2012 reboot to being downright angry about it.

 

From the new film’s gripping opening scene, a flashback involving Peter Parker’s parents, it’s not entirely clear that the earlier film will be a liability. The Amazing Spider-Man suggested a mystery around the death of Peter’s parents, and the revelations here offer a new angle on Spider-Man’s origins, along with some nifty set pieces.

 

Best of all, the new film delivers on the potential of one of the strongest moments in the 2012 film: a terrific sequence on the Williamsburg Bridge that I called out in my review as “a better character moment than anything in the Raimi films.”

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
Twitter Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not so much that I hated this movie as....well, okay, yeah, I hated this movie. I guess maybe if I was in college and poor and it was a 100 degrees and I couldn't afford air-conditioning I might appreciate a long, bloated, mindless place to catch a few winks.

Level of the script is this: Gwen (Emma Stone) has a huge argument with Peter that she must go to a battle scene because she is the only one with the expertise to reset the grid! (We know she's super smart because she is valedictorian.) The process entails, pretty much hitting the "reset" button. Thanks Gwen!

Sounds exactly like what you'd expect from Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My rather different take.
 

The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s biggest liability is that it follows The Amazing Spider-Man. This sequel is so much better than its predecessor that I’ve gone from being merely disappointed with the 2012 reboot to being downright angry about it.
 
…the new film delivers on the potential of one of the strongest moments in the 2012 film: a terrific sequence on the Williamsburg Bridge that I called out in my review as “a better character moment than anything in the Raimi films.”…
 
It’s a touching, human moment — but just one scene in a film that I argued largely botched the iconic character and his defining motivations. Now, a funny thing happens: Spider-Man becomes the guy from that scene. Or rather, he becomes a more experienced, confident version of that guy: someone that guy would plausibly become.
 
This webslinger doesn’t just swing in and out saving generic New Yorkers, the way Tobey Maguire did in the Sam Raimi trilogy. He connects with individuals, taking the time to catch their names, from a distracted electrical engineer whom he snatches from the path of a hijacked truck to the firemen who help Spidey hose down a hot situation…
 
Spidey doesn’t just connect with individuals: He has a relationship with the whole city. There’s an element of self-aware performance art in his persona; he might be the first big-screen superhero who gets that being a public hero of any kind involves playing a role

 
Spider-Man's "role-playing" has intriguing implications for the main antagonist this time around: 
 

As villains go, Electro has never been an especially well-defined character; here, he’s defined precisely by his lack of definition.
 
Max is a marginal character — a case of borderline personality disorder, with poorly regulated thoughts and emotions, inexplicable outbursts, extreme reactions to real or perceived abandonment or betrayal and highly volatile perceptions of other people, swinging from idealizing others to regarding them with enmity and rancor. For awhile after their initial encounter, Max idolizes Spider-Man; then he does the other thing.

 
My main problem with this film…is the legacy of the previous film. 
 

The sequel can’t escape the 2012 film’s fatal flaw: the wasted death of Peter’s Uncle Ben. This Peter never grasps the tragic consequences of his selfish failure to use his powers to help others, driving home the great lesson of power and responsibility. There are efforts to ground his responsibility in other things, but none that have that existential power of flowing from his moral failure and resultant tragedy. I can’t overstate how problematic that is.
 
Now, Peter is haunted by the death of Captain Stacy (Denis Leary), the father of his girlfriend Gwen (Emma Stone). Leary actually appears as Stacy in Peter’s imagination, silently convicting Peter over his broken promise to stay away from Gwen for her own safety. Even the deaths of his parents loom larger than Ben Parker’s, which is just not right. Peter’s life is touched by other tragedy as well. None of this is out of place, but Ben’s wasted death will be a sore tooth until Spider-Man’s next big-screen reboot.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Sounds like it's time for a Morefield vs. Greydanus cage match.

 

 

 

Or couldn't we just have different takes and still be friendly and collegial? 

 

I mean, I know you're joking, sort of. But it sure feels like you stir the pot an awful lot for someone who professes to dislike conflict as much as you say you do. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I mean, I know you're joking, sort of.

 

But it sure feels like you stir the pot an awful lot for someone who professes to dislike conflict as much as you say you do. 

 

 

Yes, I was joking. Sometimes it seems like adversarial is the default (and only) mode of interaction on the internet.

 

Also, I dislike conflict when I'm involved in it directly. I probably enjoy foisting it on other people more than I should. Sorry if I come across that way.

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
Twitter Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found myself with a couple free hours last night and headed to the movie theater. I noticed this movie was playing and expected lots of large crowds and costumes... but the theater was less than half full (there were a few costumes).

 

I was not a fan. How many times can we re-hash the "I don't think I should be in a relationship with you because I'm a superhero and it puts you in danger" conundrum? That started getting old in the 2nd Raimi movie, and has been pretty dominant in all the others (and yes, I know this is a reboot and not in continuity with the Raimi films). Nevertheless, most of the themes and plot points here could be easily exchanged with the other films. At one point Peter and Gwen entertain the idea of moving to London together. I would have loved to see that even though it would dismantle the image of Spidey as NYC's hero. But at least it would have been different.

 

I did like some things:

*Jamie Foxx's electro villain was cool... he had more weight and physicality than a lot of characters in the digital era. I didn't feel like I was watching a CG creation.

*Hans Zimmer's score was good... bombastic as usual, but it works here. And it was fun picking out the occasional Johnny Marr guitar solo.

 

That's really about all I can say. I'm already having trouble remembering a lot of this movie.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Walter Chaw is a fan.

   

A notable improvement in almost every way on Marc Webb's first film in this reboot series, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (hereafter Spidey 2) sports the same weaknesses, the same bloat, the same catering to the summer cult of boom-boom, but it ramps up the intelligence and a certain comfort with darkness that pays off in a pair of genuinely gratifying character resolutions…

 
It's a film about class struggle, as May picks up double-shifts and moonlights in nursing school to provide tuition for her adopted boy (giving Sally Field the chance to resurrect her blue-collar Norma Rae), while shut-in Max (Foxx), electrical engineer at monolithic Oscorp and low man on the corporate totem pole, comes clear, fascinatingly, as a riff on the unnamed protagonist of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man.
 
Spidey 2 is also, by the end, the rare film in any genre that sports a strong heroine, declaring in an obvious but bracing way that the risks she takes are hers to make--that she may in fact be the only person other than the baddie with the knowledge to affect a situation. Through it all, Peter Parker/Spider-Man emerges as the kind of hero Superman was always meant to be until Zack Snyder made him the despoiler of worlds/leveller of metropoli: the kind derided for putting on spandex to rescue kittens in trees. And while Garfield will never be the dork that Tobey Maguire is naturally, his Peter Parker earns empathy for just the number of impossible decisions he's forced to make throughout. There are obvious things that don't work about it, but Spidey 2 is rare for wanting to tackle race, gender, father issues, the shrinking middle-class, and education at all, much less in ways that offer meaning and purpose to comic books and their adaptations…
 
Spidey 2 is so strong as comic-book fantasy because it centres itself on the weak (Gwen, Max, Harry, Peter) and paints all the rest of it as cycles of the seductiveness of wish-fulfillment, along with the limits of it. When Harry asks Spider-Man for something the hero refuses to give, there's genuine melancholy there in the realization that the things we elevate to the heroic are imperfect and subject to doubt and weakness. This is again paralleled in Peter's continuing investigation into the identity of his father--a fate that, giving nothing away, is viscerally depicted in the film's accomplished, doomed prologue. At the bottom, though, Spidey 2 is grounded by two women (Gwen and Aunt May) and their determination to forge their own paths in an unforgiving world.

 

I was struck by Chaw's invocation of Ellison's Invisible Man: I also called Foxx's character "an invisible man," but Chaw backs it up with detailed quotations from Ellison. Check it out. 

 

Chaw concludes: 

 

Spidey 2 has a core of ambition, even brilliance, and makes a genuine attempt not just at transcending the expectations of its masters, but also real relevance. Find it in the film's women characters and their struggle for individuation, in its uncompromising beginning and bleak ending, and in a black anti-hero modelled after one of the foundational works of the Civil Rights movement. I know--I was surprised, too.

 

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was not a fan. How many times can we re-hash the "I don't think I should be in a relationship with you because I'm a superhero and it puts you in danger" conundrum? That started getting old in the 2nd Raimi movie, and has been pretty dominant in all the others (and yes, I know this is a reboot and not in continuity with the Raimi films).

 

When I think of this theme, I think of three films, each of which makes a different statement: 

  1. Superman II: Hero can never belong to the girl, because he belongs to the world.
  2. Spider-Man 2: Girl to hero: "Who are you to tell me I can't be with you because it's too dangerous? Isn't that my choice?" 
  3. Amazing Spider-Man 2: Girl dies.

2 and 3 each seem to me to go beyond the previous film, thus adding to the overall cinematic development of the theme. 

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I was not a fan. How many times can we re-hash the "I don't think I should be in a relationship with you because I'm a superhero and it puts you in danger" conundrum? That started getting old in the 2nd Raimi movie, and has been pretty dominant in all the others (and yes, I know this is a reboot and not in continuity with the Raimi films).

 

When I think of this theme, I think of three films, each of which makes a different statement: 

  1. Superman II: Hero can never belong to the girl, because he belongs to the world.
  2. Spider-Man 2: Girl to hero: "Who are you to tell me I can't be with you because it's too dangerous? Isn't that my choice?" 
  3. Amazing Spider-Man 2: Girl dies.

2 and 3 each seem to me to go beyond the previous film, thus adding to the overall cinematic development of the theme. 

 

Those are good points. My negative reaction against this theme was tempered somewhat by the end of the movie. But the first half of the film definitely struck me as beating a dead horse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...