Well, what do you say about this film? Cheesy? Check. Corporate? Check. Turkey? Check.
I couldn’t believe it earlier when I read some other critics reviews of this film that viewed it as a positive step forward. This film is perhaps one of the worst films of all time. I would rather watch Batman and Robin (1997) before I viewed this atrocity, at least it has Arnold Schwarzenegger and some jokes.
The story of Spider Man on film is not a great one. The first two spidey films at the start of the 00’s were pretty good outings, not great, but completely fine in terms of run of the mill Summer family blockbusters. The 3rd was worse, but still kept some dignities. Then time flew by and we reached 2011, and the supposed fourth film being touted fell through when Sam Raimi had some creative differences and left the project. The problem was, if Sony didn’t get a film out the license would expire and a big money earner lost back to Marvel, who were probably eager to reclaim the franchise for their own comic book movie endeavours.
So, they rebooted the franchise and rushed out The Amazing Spider-Man (2012). This was not a great film in my opinion, although people clambered for it. It went in the wrong direction and failed to match the earlier franchise.
This brought us to the sequel, something many hoped would return the films to glory and flesh out it’s own pathway. But the reality was deafeningly awful. The trailer itself put me off the film and when I finally got round to my viewing, it was like painful torture.
Long, complicated, and cheesy, the film was just awful. The moment I saw Spiderman swing onto the screen and start playing Mr Funny, dropping jokes as he ‘saves the day’, I knew we were in trouble. We are then launched into the absurdly layered plot that swings and moves into so many directions you get lost in the fray. And 60% of the movie is taken up by Peter Parker’s love story with Gwen. It drags on and on and I felt like I was watching Notting Hill (1999), with all the cheesy romance clichés dropped in one by one and all I was clambering for was for Spidey to return to some god damn action. I thought it was The Amazing Spider-Man 2, not Peter Parker’s Love Boat.
The problem then lay in the fact that when the action did come along, it was ridiculous and so unbelievable that you can’t settle into the movie. We are taken on a journey of 3 villains in the film – Electro, Green Goblin and Rhino – and none of them felt at all important to the plot.
The casting was off – particularly with Andrew Garfield pulling off ridiculous gurning throughout and the cat like features of Emma Stone. The whole film felt like a cartoon with the over the top CGI sequences that were done pretty damn badly. The texturing and lighting of these special effects felt completely out of place in the film – you knew exactly which scenes were CGI only and this to me defeats the object of having CGI and takes the viewer completely out of the film.
The other glaring annoyance of the film was the hideous soundtrack which was taken up with a variety of Dubstep tracks and cheesy power-ballad tunes. I’m not a fan of Dubstep anyway but it just didn’t fit the tone of the film and really grated the ears. All I thought was why this choice of music? Is it because of electro in the film? That’s a lame reason to choose. It was awful.
The other thing that has been pointed out by many critics is the corporate product placement prevalent throughout the movie from every sign in the busy streets to the Sony Vaio laptops and other branding nods (including, shock horror, McDonald’s). Now, I don’t have a problem with subtle product placement to be fair, it’s part and parcel of film-making and can generate great revenue for the film-makers, as long as it makes sense. It isn’t awful in the film at times, because the item is a logical prop anyway. But in the first Electro and Spidey showdown, it suddenly becomes Transformers-esque in it’s shoveling of brands down the throats of the viewers and for no logical reason.
But what is my biggest gripe about the film – well it’s probably the Spiderman ringtone on the phone – now that is stupid.
In summary, this film is a turkey of grand proportions, a film of no merit and value and the entertainment value was only alleviated in sitting with my friends destroying the movie through out disparaging comments. If this is what is classed as a Summer blockbuster in 2014, then I want no part of it. Hideous and vile, if I was the director, I would be ashamed to put my name to it.
By David Roberts