In a world of anti-heroes and deep superhero universes, is Spiderman cool anymore? Has he gone down the road of Superman as being culturally dorky and lame? I mean, we're on our second Spiderman trilogy in ten years, so maybe enough is enough. Spiderman is known for his quips and quick wit during fights, but perhaps The Amazing Spiderman 2 took it too far. While a new take on the Spiderman universe continues to be interesting, it may be moving in the wrong direction.
Before I get to how the movie may have failed, I'll start off with what I liked about the film. The updated character of Spiderman is much more likable and relatable than Tobey Mcguire's Spiderman. Mcguire's Spiderman was mysterious and hyper-emotional, the typical hero in the superhero cinematic climate of 2001. 2014 is a different time, we want heroes to have a dark side, but we want to be able to see ourselves in the suit. Andrew Garfield does a great job of making us feel like Spiderman is just a normal guy who happens to have powers, while Mcguire's Spiderman felt like an outsider, and at times, an outcast. Garfield's Spiderman interacts with people, and maybe comes off as a little arrogant at times, but he actually ends up being a "friendly, neighborhood Spiderman".
In making the new Spiderman more likable, they may have gone too far with how funny of a character he is portrayed as. There were scenes that were uncomfortably cartoony and cheesy, which made you wonder if this film was aimed at a younger audience, but then there would be a heartfelt, deeply emotional scene that actually makes an impact. The alternation between these extremes begins to make a confusing, mess of plot lines.
Speaking of plot lines, The Amazing Spiderman 2 went in the direction of the old Spiderman 3, adding one too many villains to the mix. Most of film focuses on Electro, played by Jamie Foxx, who's character's lines were just plain weird and uncomfortable. Then comes Harry Osborne, very much not James Franco. You're expected to have a connection with each of the characters, (Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield are the only ones you'll care about) and understand the a thousand different plots and stories going on in that film. At one point, it feels like the writers couldn't even keep up, so one plot gets closed out without a second word about it. They tried to stuff too much in Amazing Spiderman 2, and they would have done much better if they focused on one set of characters like they did in the first film.
It's hard to make a new Spiderman series so closely after another. Even in this new sequel you feel like they are loosely moving with the plot of the old ones, and it just isn't exciting. Maybe after the atrocity that was Spiderman 3, my taste for Spiderman has been ruined forever. Honestly, I enjoyed the action scenes more in the old trilogy; the new ones just feel like a video game. There's clear moments when CGI takes over and when it doesn't, making half of this movie feeling like an animated film. I understand that Spiderman's reflexes and "spidey-sense" is part of his skill set, but they overused slow motion in this film. The result making action scenes cheesy and honestly, downright boring.
I don't know where they are planning to go in the next film, but the third movie was a curse for the Venom vs. Sandman vs. James Franco version of Spiderman, hopefully not for this new one. Maybe they will recognize that they need to trim it down, but if the ending of The Amazing Spiderman 2 was any indication, it looks like it may just be more of the same. The movie is definitely entertaining and enjoyable at times, but it suffers from cheesiness and bad writing which no amount of stellar acting from Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone will fix.