Blu-ray Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The reboot of Spider-Man from the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire version to the Marc Webb/Andrew Garfield version was one that garnered a lot of buzz on both sides of the coin. In rebooting the franchise back to Peter Parker as a teenager, donning the red and blue tights, the outcry was fairly predictable. It was a fairly unimaginative move as it wasn’t doing anything new or substantial with the character but would nearly ensure a mass appeal to international audiences as well as domestic ones. We were just reliving what Raimi had already done, nothing more, and yet The Amazing Spider-Man was a much different take on the same material. It was one of 2012’s better films and a sequel felt like it could be interesting, if a different take on the character.

It was the sort of Spider-Man film we should’ve gotten originally. And if they’d had just left it there it’d be fine. Unfortunately with success comes sequels and the plummet downward is a hard one. The film’s sequel may have been financially successful but it’s arguably the worst film in the franchise as a whole.

Peter Parker (Garfield) is now a fresh high school graduate as is his girlfriend Gwen (Emma Stone). Trouble is ahead of them as she’s got an internship that could change her life in Britain, of course, and he has no idea what it’ll do to their relationship. Throw in a new villain with the ability to use electricity in Electro (Jamie Foxx), and someone from his past (Dane DeHaan) in charge of OsCorp, and Peter’s life is going to be changed forever.

With one of the most shocking moments of the year in a comic book film to highlight the finale, there were high hopes coming into the film because of how well the first one launched the franchise anew. The problems begin because the film wants to set up so much in the future but isn’t focused on the here and now.

There’s an interesting setup with Electro being someone with profound mental issues, finally getting his chance to strike back at a world that’s screwed with him one too many times, but it’s lost in a plot using Harry Osborne (DeHaan) and OsCorp as this boogeyman to set up a future storyline of significance. ASM2 has too much on its plate for this fairly perfunctory story about a super powered stalker wanting revenge on the world. One can see where Webb is going; he wants to showcase Spider-Man against a future league of villains to really amp up the odds.

This is the setup to something big to rival Marvel’s The Avengers but featuring a plucky hero against a cavalcade of villains. It’s easy to see where Webb is going … he just doesn’t do enough to make this film feel relevant. This feels like we’re treading water, making this about the setup to something bigger.

There are a handful of additional scenes that are fairly interesting but were fairly easy to cut from the film.

There’s a substantial amount of behind the scenes materials that shed light into the a/v task that ASM2 was.

Sony presents The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Directed by Marc Webb. Written by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, James Vanderbilt. Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan. Running time: 142 minutes. Rated PG-13. Released August 19, 2014.

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