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Movie Review: 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' random thoughts edition

The Amazing Spiderman 2
The Amazing Spiderman 2
Sony Pictures

This is the first installment in my series Random Thoughts. These articles will resemble the kind of topics that may arise in conversation between you and your friends after you've seen the film. Therefore, some of following observations may contain some spoilerific information, so be warned.

The following were some of the topics brought up amongst friends, immediately after viewing the first Summer (late spring) Blockbuster, "The Amazing Spider-man 2" :

This film is a great example of how adding too much eventually leads to the under-usage of great talent – Paul Giamatti and Chris Cooper have about 15 minutes of screen time between them.

I can’t think of the last time I’ve been able to actually feel the onscreen chemistry bubbling over the screen, oozing throughout the movie theater, and sticking to my shoes. Garfield and Stone are terrific together.

For a span of about 20 seconds I thought there was a good chance that Peter and Aunt Mae were going to make out. Is it bad that I wanted that to happen?

Whoever is in charge of putting up barricades around highly dangerous battle zones in New York deserves a raise. Every time Spidey gets involved in an epic fight in a populated area, barricades miraculously appear and the public miraculously stays behind them with minimal police intervention.

Even more amazing, the crowd not only sticks around to watch the carnage, but in one instance a woman presses her son up against the bars – you know, just in case the shrapnel, debris, and bullets weren’t visible enough.

And wow, these barricades are some sort of magic. Prior to their erection (giggle), people get zapped left and right. But, as soon as those 4-foot-tall shields of cheap metal are raised, anybody who stands behind them are safe. All hail, mighty barricades – the real heroes.

If they ever decide to remake "What’s Eating Gilbert Grape," Dane Dehaan has the Arnie role locked up.

I liked Sally Field better when she was banging her son’s teachers and dying of advanced Syphilis in "Forrest Gump."

The special effects in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" are top notch. In particular, the shots of Spidey web-slinging his way around the city are sensational. This is easily the best portrayal of Spider-Man's natural movement we've seen thus far.

The choreography is visually spectacular. It’s rare that fight sequences in comic book films appear to be much more than the director checking off a list of the superhero’s signature moves. But the fights in this film, and pretty much all of Spider-man’s movements, have a rather organic quality to them.

Emma Stone is frickin’ adorable.

All of the necessary detail involved in the discovery of both Peter and Harry’s families’ paths is all there. Unfortunately the film would have had a much more smooth and cohesive rhythm had the various plot points been allowed to take a more natural path over the course of two films. Their friendship ends up feeling forced and unnatural, but I imagine that this is a byproduct of Sony trying to play catch-up with Marvel and DC. Instead of waiting until the third film to begin interweaving the members of the Sinister Six into the storyline – therefore allowing for a more natural process for character and story development – Sony is speeding up the process so as not to get left behind. And, in doing so, Sony is forcibly truncating the story beats that need the most time to marinate.

Was anyone else expecting Sherlock and Watson to be on that hidden underground train attempting to defuse a bomb before it blew up Parliament? Wait, Parliament is in London? The one in England? But Spider-Man's in New York. Damn.

Peter still lives off a salary from photographing Spider-Man, right? Yet there’s only one scene in which he’s selling his photos and it’s through an email. No Daily Bugle; No J. Jonah Jameson; No bueno.

Why in God's name is Jamie Foxx sporting a comb-over in this film? I know that in the comics, Max Dillon's hair looks similar, but in the comics Max Dillon is white. If you're going to change the race of a character, you might want to make sure that you change any race-specific attributes as well. Hopefully gender-specific attributes are common sense. If they'd changed the character to Maxine Dillon they probably wouldn't have given her the same comb-over hairdo.

After "The Avengers" and "Man of Steel" completely flattened New York, it’s nice to see that there are any buildings left for Spidey to swing from. But, it is a refreshing change of pace to see a superhero put as much effort into protecting innocent civilians as beating up the villain.

I hope that there's footage of Giamatti's face while Spider-man has a full-on conversation with the token stupid kid, STANDING DIRECTLY IN THE MIDDLE OF A SHOOTOUT. There's a thirty second pause in the shootout between The Rhino and whichever police officers are left alive after The Rhino's first few thousand bullets make all the cop cars look like Sonny Corleone's Lincoln Continental. I like to imagine him eating a Reuben sandwich while he's checking his Facebook.

At least Giamatti's Russian accent isn’t as cheesy as Dr. Kafka’s comical German accent. I’m guessing that the doc’s name carries some sort of symbolism, but I haven’t been able to figure out. To be more honest, I haven't tried.

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the film's screenwriters, seem to have been pressured by studio heads to cram in as much as possible to begin the transition to the Sinister Six plotline. They've previously written strong villains who were able to provide the protagonist with plenty to worry about (The late Phillip Seymour Hoffman in "Mission Impossible III"; Eric Bana in "Star Trek";Benedict Cumberbatch in "Star Trek: Into Darkness") Something's just a little bit off with the execution here.

We attended the 8:45 p.m. showing, and by the time we got out I was expecting to see sunlight. In short, it’s a long ass movie; it clocks in at just about 2 and 1/2 hours. And unlike ‘The Dark Knight’ or ‘The Avengers’, it feels as long.

[SPOILER ALERT] What was up with the mid-credit scene? What does ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ have to do with Spider-Man besides the fact that they’re both Marvel characters? The rights to Spider-Man are currently owned by Sony Pictures and Fox owns the rights to the X-men. As long as their rights are owned by two separate production companies, there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of seeing a crossover. If there was a post-credit sequence, I missed it. The mid-credit scene was so meaningless that I didn’t see the point in sticking around.

Overall, I thought the second installment of the second installment of Spider-Man was solid and worth seeing. It had plenty of flaws, but I felt that its positives added more than its negatives subtracted. Including the Sam Raimi 'Spider-Man' trilogy, I'd put this one in a solid second behind the original 'Spider-Man 2'. Agree or disagree? Did you share any of my opinions? Feel free to mention any that you think I missed in the comment section.

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