May 8, 2014 1 Comment
I am a sucker for superhero movies. I rarely ever dislike them. So, my reviews are unabashedly biased in their favour. More often than not.
But this time, that’s not the case. Because Amazing Spider-Man is not really a super-hero movie. It’s a Romtion movie. I am not sure if I am coining a new term. But what I mean is that AS-2 is a romance drama disguised or wrapped up as an action movie.
Why do I say so?
A big part of the movie is dedicated to Peter’s estranged (and non-existent) relationship with his parents who left him at his uncle/aunt’s doorsteps, his maturing relationship with Aunt May, his on and off and on and off romance with Gwen Stacy, a confused friend (Harry Osborn), a distraught fan (Electro/ Max) and life in New York. Somewhere in there is a bit of a thriller plot about what’s really going on at Oscorp, the power politics, the hidden secret projects, a dying Norman Osborn, and so on. And somewhere towards the end, are a few well choreographed action sequences. And a mechano-Rhino.
Should that matter?
Not quite. A the Dark Knight taught us, Superhero movies can be as much about heroic action as they can be about the internal conflicts, the moral tussles and great character depth.
Is AS-2 that then?
No. The movie drags on for most part.
So, what went wrong?
While Peter’s story has always been the conflict between his personal sacrifices and the greater good, one wonders whether the construct is stretched too thin. Next, the adversaries. In the spiderman arc, most of his archnemesis have a human side too, whether its Otto Octavius or Norman Osborn. So is the case of Max/ Electro this time. However, unlike the other instalments, Max does not ring a strong connect this time round, and his self-obsessed insecurity complex works only because Jamie Foxx desperately tries to pull it off. Jamie Foxx is wasted as Electro, even as he shines as Max. Harry Osborn on the other hand is blah, at the best.
Andy Garfield, I think, is a finer spiderman, with a little more of the spidey charisma and humor quotient than Tobey Maguire. And he plays the conflicted yet responsible Spidey very well. Emma Stone seems continuously clearheaded about not having too many expressions, but is probably still an improvement over Kirsten Dunst in the looks department. Jamie Foxx, in his effort to make Electro credible, makes a worse caricature of himself than Suniel Shetty. Dane DeHaan shows promise as Harry, only to make it a rather unfulfilled one by the end of it as the new Green Goblin.
One expects long shots and droolworthy action sequences. And when they are there, they are as good as any that you’ve seen. But they are fewer.
The editing leaves a lot to be desired.
And before I forget, James Jonah Jameson has no role this time. How could you Webb?
Net net – the movie did not work for me. Slower pace, confused positioning on the dark side for a rather clean super hero, lack of action, and not so awesome electric adversaries.