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A-MEH-zing Spider-Man: A Review

Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield star in The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

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The following is a conversation between myself and myself. A conversation about the movie The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which dominated its opening weekend between my Rational Mind and the Comic Book Mind that takes up the bulk of my thinking.

Rational Mind: So, what are we here to talk about today?

Comic Book Mind: The movie The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

RM: That's the second one in the reboot series, right?

CM: Yeah, that's the one, with Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and the great Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy.

RM: We really liked the first one.

CM: Yes, we did. A lot of comic book people hated it, but we enjoyed it thoroughly. We liked Andrew Garfield better than Tobey MaGuire as Spidey and the whole movie was a lot of fun. We still rank it second best of the Spider-Man movies, after the original Spider-Man 2.

RM: So, what did you think of this one?

CM: *big sigh* meh.

RM: Meh?

CM: Yeah, meh.

RM: Gonna need more than that, you know, word count and all.

CM: Well, this one brings back Garfield and Stone and Sally Field as Aunt May. However, this time Spidey faces off against the threat of Electro, played by Jamie Foxx, as a guy who ends up with electrical powers. He also has to face off against Harry Osborn as The Green Goblin and there's even an appearance by old Spidey villain The Rhino at one point.

RM: That's a lot.

CM: Plus, Pete is still trying to figure out what happened to his father, and deal with the fact that he promised Gwen Stacy's father that he would stay away from her. So, we have three villains, a mystery around Pete's parents and tons of angst over the relationship. Did I mention that this movie is two-and-a-half hours long?

RM: Sounds like it would have to be. I think I see where this is going. Is this movie Spider-Man 3 territory?

CM: It gets very close. Very close, but not quite. It's just too much. In the first movie the villain was The Lizard and, just like in the original series, facing off against one villain just tends to focus the movie. This one is so filled with things that elements get rushed. It's like: Hey, here's Max Dillon, OK, Spidey saves him, now he's obsessed, we need to make him Electro. OK, here he is over a bunch of electric eels that look more like moray eels, but whatever, and why does Oscorp have electric eels? We don't know, but he falls in and now he's Electro and now let's cram the Green Goblin stuff in!

RM: OK, so, is this a bad movie or what?

CM: Not bad, just sort of - meh. All of that stuff crammed into one movie detracts a bit from the involvement of the audience and the enjoyment of the film. If they had focused just on Electro, for example, and then set up the Green Goblin stuff for the third movie maybe that would have worked better.

RM: So are you recommending it?

CM: To fans of Spider-Man, they will probably enjoy this.

RM: You're a Spidey fan, right?

CM: Diehard. I was Spider-Man, when I was a kid and watching him on The Electric Company, for about three or four Halloweens. I am a lifelong Spidey fan.

RM: OK, just gotta establish your credentials. So, what else do you want to say?

CM: Emma Stone, as Gwen, is probably the best thing in the movie. She is funny when she needs to be and dramatic when it's required. I still like Andrew Garfield as Peter. The rest of the cast gets pushed to the background when the CGI action really kicks in at the end. The final third of the movie is very good, and it does set up the third installment in the film, as well as the reported Sinister Six movie Marvel wants to make.

RM: Anything else?

CM: I hope they tone it down a bit in the third movie in this series to focus more on story and development of the villains. Or, they can just start with developed villains like they did with the Joker in the Batman movie.