Five(!) years after ‘Spider-Man 3‘ under performed in both reviews and box office, Sony decided to reboot their Spider-Man film series with an eventual view to creating their own cinematic universe centered around arguably one of the best superheroes and inarguably the highest earning superhero in merchandise by far. A smart move, but this is Sony we’re talking about…
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Here we go. Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man. He’s not too bad. He’s fun and has a good time. As Peter Parker, he’s okay. He’s a bit too cool to play a nerd really, but he’s serviceable. Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. Very good. And she and Garfield have really great chemistry. Their relationship is one of the best parts of these two films. It feels real, and that is largely probably down to great performances and director Marc Webb. Fresh off of directing a rom-com, Webb seems like an odd sort of choice, but does some good work with his characters. Rhys Ifans is good as Dr. Curt Connors, mainly because he seems pretty menacing. But when he turns into the Lizard, boy oh boy, that doesn’t look great. The Lizard is meant to be some huge, kind of crocodile looking monster, but here he’s just a slightly taller green dude without a nose. Yes, Connors can grow his arm back, but why he would want to turn everyone into a lizard as it’s better is beyond me.
This film as a whole is okay. It’s got some good things and some bad things. The bad things are mainly to do with the story. The Lizard, his plan and the villain part of the film aren’t that great at all, but the action is kind of decent. I don’t mind this film, it just never really captures me or my interest in the way the Raimi and Maguire trilogy did. It’s just a bit of a bland superhero movie overall. Nothing stands out as being amazing, just okay. Garfield and Stone are highlights, but other than that it just ends up being an okay reboot of the series.
JACK’S SCORE: 3/5
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
Now this is where things go way off the rails. Before I rip this film apart, let me say some good things. Garfield and Stone are still pretty good together, this is the best Spider-Man suit we have ever seen and the special effects look very good. Now, the bad. Where to begin? The story is a mess. There’s so much cinematic universe planning and foreshadowing shoved in here to bloat the runtime that it ends up being very messy. They shove in three villains, none of which are all that good and set up the ‘Sinister Six‘ movie by literally having a basement full of villain costumes and weapons to ‘tease’ what is coming next. This film is essentially a 2 and a half hour set up for the future with very little concern of the present.
There’s a complicated, very unneeded backstory about Peter’s parents, there’s Jamie Foxx as Electro who has zero motivation other than somebody forgot his birthday and Spider-Man doesn’t know his name. There’s Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn’s Green Goblin who whines and screams and then turns himself real green and ugly at the end for little reason. There’s Paul Giamatti as the Rhino, who bookends the movie and makes a real fool of himself. Oh, and there’s also a lot of relationship drama between Peter and Gwen. The thing is, this film deals with some really big issues (one in particular right near the end) but then just doesn’t really spend enough time with them to do them justice. I don’t care about anything in this movie because it’s too busy beating me overt he head with what is coming in the next few years. The villains are rubbish, the story isn’t very great and even the things they’re setting up don’t seem all that interesting. Some good action stuff and great special effects definitely don’t save a movie, and Sony definitely couldn’t save the Spider-Man franchise.
JACK’S SCORE: 2/5