The Movie: 6.5/10
A recent high school graduate and his girlfriend live the life of “Superhero and significant other” through the trials and bad guys that all seem to challenge their relationship. Never mind that a whole city and millions of people are at risk, just keep in mind how important this little duo and their banter, their cuddles, and coy glances really are. OK, so I sound a bit anti-romance, and that would be accurate. It gets a bit boring when time after time the heart of a superhero’s story revolves around their weakness, which is usually a female. Sure, Superman has Kryptonite too, but he can suck it up when Lois Lane is in danger. Yes, there are female superheroes too, but think about it, what are their weaknesses? Right.
So Spider-Man isn’t that amazing to me, but in this piece of his story I felt a lot more of the intensity of his strength and the web flying is much more visceral. The special effects have a few glitches with how his body looks flying around, from time to time, but other than that it’s quite the spectacle. Electro looks very cool, if not a bit too small. I would like each bad guy to grow to the size of a building, if you movie makers could take note of that please. I would feel more menaced if they weren’t just the normal human size. Then again, Magneto is pretty scary and he’s just a dude, so it doesn’t need to be a hard fast rule. If the bad guy needs to be bigger, maybe the fear hasn’t kicked into me the way it should have. Electro is scary because can he can go into the power lines and use anything to destroy stuff, but he doesn’t get much of a chance to do all that. That’s a whole other review.
I don’t really like the multi-villain story telling. I get it, Osborne was bad and his son Harry is troubled, and has pending villain status (come on, you’ve read enough comics and watched enough movies to know this). Then we have the added inconsequential Rhino. Seriously, I felt it was a waste of several minutes of the movie. He was not menacing to me, not scary, not even something that seemed hard to defeat. He’s a tank that can walk, not that big of a deal. If he were the size of a building….SEE, THAT would be menacing!
Gwen Stacy is my favorite part of the story. She’s smart and not too much of a girly girl when it comes to the romance stuff. She does that cutesy thing with Peter that is eye-rollingly obnoxious, but tolerable. There is the tug at Peter to choose between their relationship and his responsibility as Spider-Man, which is kind of silly really. I mean, if my husband were to reveal to me that he goes and saves women from rape, old ladies from being robbed, whole cities from being destroyed by maniacs, I would NOT be pouting and crying that he didn’t make it home in time to sit on his but and watch Antiques Roadshow with me. These days putting a bit more of a back bone into the female characters is tricky. I mean, if you make the woman strong and independent, it will take a lot to convince people she needs to be saved. However, if you make her boring and soft and whiny and needy I won’t care of she is snapped in half by a crazed villain. Sad, but true, the woman characters need to be a balance of strength and weakness, which I do think Gwen is almost representing, so I give Emma Stone credit for her portrayal of her.
Aunt May is a good female character, adjusted for modern sensibilities but hanging on to some old school ideas. She’s mostly alone now, and trying to support herself and her nephew by starting a whole new career. She’s not needy and she is not in danger, thankfully. She’s wise but also doesn’t have all the answers. She’s funny and sweet, but Sally Field puts a certain kind of honesty into her that she’s compelling as a character I would like to see more about. Well, that is if you don’t dangle her from a bridge for Spider-Man to rescue, got that!
Overall I enjoyed the Amazing Spider-Man 2, it overdid the bad guys and the Green Goblin looked absolutely horrible (I didn’t want to mention that, but I had to get it off my chest), but it’s an action packed fun movie. The ladies saved the whole thing with their presence and well filled roles. Here’s the thing, watch the first one before you venture into #2. I had forgotten almost the whole thing so I needed a refresher course.
- 13 Deleted Scenes With Director Commentary – 23 minutes of deleted scenes which would bring the movie to almost 3 hours. The best scene of the bunch is entitled Peter meets his father, you will see what I mean when you view it.
- The Wages Of Heroism: Making The Amazing Spiderman 2 – A huge 1 hour and 43 minute making of documentary split into several sections. There is an option to play all which is very welcome. The documentary itself is well made with tons of on the set interviews and close ups of how the movie was made.
- Filmmakers Commentary – Writer Alex Kurtzman and Jeff Pinkner and Producers Matt Tolmach and Avi Arad deliver one of the most entertaining technical commentaries I have heard. It’s mostly about the special effects and assumes you know a little about film-making , but overall the insight it provides is priceless.
- The Music Of The Amazing Spider Man 2 – Director Marc Webb discusses the soundtrack which features a ccollaboration between Hans Zimmer, Pharrell, Johnny Marr and Alicia Keys.
- Alicia Keys It’s On Again Music Video
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 2/10
OK, I won’t shock you when I say I hate this cover. It’s boring. I would not have it as a poster. The menu is pretty much the same in terms of excitement. We did however get the Best Buy Exclusive Magno case with the edition we reviewed which is a major improvement over the stock cover art.
Audio & Video: 10/10
Right on the back of the box Sony boast that this transfer was mastered in 4k, and it shows. The 1080P AVC transfer preserves the look the theatrical vision. The Amazing Spiderman 2 was shot on film which adds a nice fine grain to the picture giving it a more lifelike look. Black levels are perfect, colors are vibrant and detail is impeccable. This is a stunning transfer of one of the most technically advanced movies of the year.
Sony chose the DTS-HD Master Audio codec to bring the movie to life, and with a soundtrack that literally kicks ass this is one of the best sounding discs this year. Special attention should be paid to the scene in Time Square listen to your rear speakers as Electro starts to get mad, its an effect that can only be reproduced in surround sound. Dialog is sharp and centered and never muddled. Give your ears a treat and turn it up LOUD.
Overall Score 7/10