Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 54% (Critics) / 77% (Audience)
Directed By: Marc Webb
Written By: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Jeff Pinkner
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx and Sally Field
Studio: Sony Pictures
Synopsis: Peter Parker runs the gauntlet as the mysterious company Oscorp sends up a slew of supervillains against him, impacting on his life. – (Source)
Visually this was a spiffy looking movie for the most part with the re-design of the Spider-Man costume loking more like the one from the comic and the design choices for the look of Electro being really cool. Also on the high end of the coolness scale was the way that the scenes of Spider-Man swinging around new York were shot. Those scenes were thrilling and exciting and worth the price of admission.
Garfield and Stone have a nice chemistry (due in no small part to their being a real life couple) and when in Spider-Man mode, Garfield was great with all of the jokes and quips that are a major part of the character’s personality.
I also liked the way the film set up Jamie’s Foxx’s Electro as an emotionally damaged lonely man who was obsessed with Spider-Man and turned that obsession into hatred once he gained his power.
The movie felt like it rushed the entire intro of Harry Osborn and everything that evolved from it. There was more than enough there to mine in another movie instead of speeding through it all to the point that it lost all the emotional heft it really should have had. Electro was more than serviceable as the sole villain of the piece…we really didn’t need The Green Goblin. Plus the look of the Goblin was really bad.
If there was one thing in the history of super-hero origins that really didn’t need to be retconned was Spider-Man’s parents. I was perfectly fine with Mr. and Mrs Parker dying under very normal circumstances when peter was a kid resulting in him being raised by Uncle Ben and Aunt May; making them super-scientists with secret underground labs was just goofy.
There was so much angst in this movie. Peter Parker had angst over his parents and angst over his relationship with Gwen Stacy and angst over the guilt he felt for Gwen’s dad dying. This movie was operating at greater than CW teen soap levels of angst…it was more like ABC Family levels.
And man, was that Rhino armor seriously crappy looking. It was almost as bad as the silly Russian accent that Paul Giamatti chose to use.
Final Verdict: The second installment of the revamped Spider-Man franchise is an entertaining if a bit crowded and messy affair. The visuals are top notch and the performances from the film’s leads are more than enough to still be enjoyable and worth the trip to the multiplex if you are a Spidey fan.