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THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 (2014)

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THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 (2014)

Sunday, 04 May 2014 19:06

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Written by 

The Buzz:

 

     Peter Parker has settled into his role as Spider-Man, but the truth about why his parents abandoned him still haunts him. Now his long time friend, Harry Osborn, is back and finding out he's dying of a rare genetic disorder in which Spider-Man's blood may be the only cure. Additionally a new menace is ravaging the streets of New York and hell bent on Spidey's destruction. What is the price that Parker must pay to be a hero?

 

Life of the Party:

 

     The movie is entertaining and largely well acted. I'm actually regularly amazed (HA! GET IT?!) at how much I actually like Andrew Garfield as the titular character. And Sally Fields is always awesome even though she's so far off mark of what the comic book Aunt May is. She still is phenomenal, though, and so the difference is easily ignored. People complained a lot about Foxx being Max Dillon/Electro when the announcement was made, but again... I think he really stole the screen every moment he was on it. The guy has an incredible ability to go from humorous to dramatic and back. Special effects are top notch. And you kind of expect that from a blockbuster like this and from Sony Pictures on top of that. They do some really interesting things with the music that I loved as well. Whenever Electro is on screen there is this techno/dubstep type score that seems to react to the action on screen and really added great effect to those scenes. In the final battle with Electro the electronic pulses bouncing through different sized pillars actually make different tones and end up as part of the score of the battle itself. I thought this was a very creative play between the audio and visual components of the film that also made sense scientifically. Another positive note is that the writers stepped up the emotional impact of the film and the chemistry between Garfield and the rest of the cast really helped drive that home. Lastly I really loved how this series has captured the wit of Peter Parker while donning the mask. The playful youth of the character is really part of the charm of the comic series and Sony has done incredibly well at capturing it.

 

     In the end I walked out having had a good time watching Amazing Spider-Man 2 and I recommend it to any one who enjoys super hero action films. That being said, there is a lot I could knit pick about and I'm going to below...

 

 

Potential Hangovers:

 

     I'm always bothered by trailers and promotions that set expectations inappropriately through out right lies. Amazing Spider-Man 2 kinda does this in spades. There are numerous scenes that are not even in the picture but emphasized in trailers. The Rhino is pushed as one of the three villains of the film, yet is largely irrelevant to the story and could have been left out almost entirely with little impact. In the end it works in the film's favor as the lack of presence of a third villain helps the film from suffering too much from what destroyed Raimi's Spider-Man 3.

 

     And that brings me to another thing. I think the director (Marc Webb) was so frightened of succumbing to the curse of Spider-Man 3 that he ended up swinging the pendulum the other way and making some choices that still hurt the picture. Everyone screamed that too many villains decentralizes the plot and weakens character development... to which they're right. So Webb focuses on Electro and really nails him, yet STILL introduces two more villains who were largely unneeded and added extra character arcs that slowed the pace of the film. Why? Because Sony wanted to use Amazing Spider-Man 2 as a jumping off point for two spin-off movie franchises – Venom and Sinister Six. So now Spider-Man 2 has to suffer just so we can cram some origin crap into it that they didn't want to cram into the respective spin-offs? How does that help anyone?

 

     Next I want to knitpick about character designs. Electro was great, but Green Goblin was terrible and so was Rhino. Goblin's transformation makes no sense... the same spider venom that transformed Spider-Man mutates Harry's body and gives him fangs and creepy eyes that are not spider-like in any way? Oh also starts killing him because he's not a Parker... so he has to put on the Goblin suit that will counter act the venom? But when we see him later without the suit we're told “it comes and goes”? After that Rhino is just a guy in a tank... shaped like a rhino. The Rhino's power is supposed to be a guy of great strength and durability who is able to take huge amounts of punishment and basically ram through anything. Super simple concept. But now we just have a tank with guns and missiles shooting out of it? How is that ANYTHING like the comic? I'm fine with straying from the source, but why call this version Rhino? If you wanted robotics you could have used Tinkerer or even Alistair Smythe (Spider-Slayer) who's ALREADY IN THE PICTURE!

 

     As minor humorous annoyances I also found it interesting that at once point when Harry Osbourn and Electro decide to break into a taken over Oscorp you basically have a 5 minute reboot of Gremlins 2 where Electro plays that one gremlin that becomes pure electricity.

 

At least we didn't have Foxx as that weird big boobed lady Gremlin...

 

 

     Then not too long after that Spider-Man chases Electro through New York in what seems like a scene stolen straight out of Infamous: Second Son.

 

 

Hmmm... curiously  ALSO produced by Sony...

 

 

The Vibe: Casual Gathering, Family Night

 

In the end despite some disappointment in decisions made, I did leave entertained and I did honestly like it. It's by no means anywhere near on par with Captain America: Winter Soldier or what I expect Guardians of the Galaxy will be later this year, but that's what you get when you don't have the full power of Marvel behind you.

 

 

Plus/Minus:

 

+ The story arcs that focus on Peter, Gwen, and Electo were well done

+ Great special effects

+ Wonderful use of score

+ Great portrayal of the web crawler

- Too many character arcs that were poorly or not at all resolved

- Some poor design choices

 

 

Drinking Games:

 

- Drink every time Peter lays on his bed

- Take a shot when the Spidey-sense goes off

- Drink any time a reference to another Spider-Man villain is made that isn't Green Goblin, Rhino, or Electro

- Finish your drink when... that one scene occurs. You know the one. We all knew it was coming eventually.

- Drink any time Peter throws his father's bag or the contents therein.

- Drink any time Peter uses his webs to perform a rudimentary task that he otherwise could have performed himself, but didn't out of laziness.

HARDCORE MODE: Drink every time a light goes out.

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About Us

Tanked Matinee is the place to go for good drinking movies. What do we mean by that? Simply speaking, we evaluate and recommend entertainment media based on how much fun it is to watch with friends on the sofa and a cold beer in hand.

Everyone knows "The Godfather" is a great movie, but is it as great to drink with as "Roadhouse?" We can appreciate "Citizen Kane" as a masterpiece of cinema, but is it as good a centerpiece for your party as "Santa Clause Conquers the Martians?"

Tanked Matinee appreciates film as art, but when you're kicking back on Friday night with a tall Rum & Coke, you're not looking for art, man, you want to be entertained. We're here to recommend the best movies for your night in, whether it's a big party, small get-together, or just a quiet night alone with a bottle of wine or three.

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