Recently: “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”

IMG_0324.JPGThe comic book adaptation has become increasingly popular over the last few years. Each one seems to do better than the last, even though there’s really nothing of substance that draws people to these films.

The Sony Pictures Entertainment film “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”, is one film that fits this mold nicely and then some, but not for the bettering of the film itself.

This action film stars Andrew Garfield (“99 Homes”, “The Social Network”), Emma Stone (upcoming “Birdman”, “Magic in the Moonlight”), Jamie Foxx (“A Million Ways to Die in the West”), Dane DeHaan (“Life After Beth”, “Devil’s Knot), Campbell Scott (“The Blacklist”, “Royal Pains”), Embeth Davidtz (“Paranoia”, “Europa Report”), Colm Feore (“Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit”, “Revolution”), Felicity Jones (upcoming “The Theory of Everything”, “The Invisible Woman”), Paul Giamatti (“Madame Bovary”, “Saving Mr. Banks”), and Sally Field (“Lincoln”, “Brothers & Sisters”).

The film was directed by Marc Webb (“The Amazing Spider-Man”, “(500) Days of Summer”) and written by Alex Kurtzman (“Star Trek Into Darkness”, “People Like Us”), Roberto Orci (“Cowboys & Aliens”, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”), and Jeff Pinkner (“Fringe”, “Lost”).

The film originally opened in theaters on May 2, 2014.

I may be used to the notion that every year there will be another comic book adaptation, but that doesn’t mean I will be one of those people lining up to waste 10 dollars for a film that will, more likely than not, suck. I liked the first one, more than I thought, and became really excited upon seeing the first trailer for the sequel. It wasn’t until later, when I started hearing rumblings about people’s dislike of the film, that I was afraid. Turns out, everything I had heard, no matter how much I tried not too, was correct.

The only good thing to come out of this movie, other than seeing Field on screen, was the relationship between Garfield and Stone. The chemistry from the first film carried over nicely, even if at times, the comedic elements seemed a bit too forced. They were still plenty amusing, mind you. I was able to believe them at every moment, and was actually a little sad when they broke up. They were able to be adorable and funny, even when dealing with dangerous situations. In fact, if it weren’t for these two and the type of relationship they had, this film would’ve been an even bigger waste of time than it ended up being.

I’ll grant you that the special effects were pretty amazing, and could keep me entertained for the moments that were meant to serve as action. But, at the same time, they still didn’t keep me from being bored by the uninspired storytelling.

There were too many villains as well. You’d think that Sony would have learned its lesson from the final film in the original “Spider-Man” trilogy, but clearly they didn’t. So, out trots a grand total of not one, not two, but three villains. Good grief. Making matters worse, none of the villains were really that interesting, in any way, shape, or form.

Surprisingly, I was sad to see Foxx featured in this film. Sure it seemed somewhat exciting that he’d join this film, and would be playing a villain, but ultimately it ended up being a waste. Every aspect of his character was lifeless. His characters look, his strange obsession with Spider-Man, and even his reasoning for going after Spider-man was all poorly conceived. I feel like, in an effort to pick a unique or little seen comic villain, the writers scraped the bottom of the barrel and came up with Electro. As the film kept going all I could do was wish Foxx would go back to being ignored and treated badly. I could also understand why his coworkers and everyone else, would be so heartless. Foxx’s characterization of Electro definitely made it hard to sympathize for his character.

Then there was DeHaan. He was absolutely boring and didn’t seem all that interesting as any kind of adversary. For me, it’s even more unfortunate, as I’ve never seen any of his work before. I can’t tell if it’s bad acting or just a badly created character that has me not caring for him. Villains, while you’re supposed to dislike them, should also be fun. There’s supposed to be a kind of reason to root for their being evil. There isn’t any of that here. His reasons for wanting to destroy Spider-Man, are just as lame and uninspired as those of Foxx’s character. My next grievance is that we already got this character in the first “Spider-Man” trilogy. Why would we want to see him again?

Giamatti was always an interesting choice. I never would’ve thought he’d take part in film like this. My problem is with the ridiculous use of Giamatti in the last five minutes or so… Okay, so apparently he appears much sooner, but that shows how useless his appearance was. I never noticed him at the beginning and then clearly forgot about him. That’s not good, especially if you plan on bringing that character back in the last few minutes of the film. Which brings me back to the bad use of Giamatti. He was wasted and his character looks dreadfully dull. Much like with “Iron Man 2”, his villainous character will probably be the worst thing about the upcoming third film. It added to what sucked about this film.

While it’s a common understanding that comic book films aren’t going to be well thought out with regards to story, but you’d expect everything else to be well worth it. Unfortunately, and this is probably due to the rushed nature of any comic book film, the script was mediocre and never given time to be refined. Perhaps writers and studios should stop forcing these films out faster than good scripts, actors or anything, can be thought out. If not, then the third or fourth films will likely suffer.


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