Sunday 15 June 2014

An Amazing Spider Dud

I'd reached the point where my praise of Marvel comic book movies had become so all pervading and almost automatic (see recent examples here and here) that it's a considerable relief to report that one is a real stinker.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a complete dud. And in discussing it I shall be revealing some plot twists so you may want to look away now. 

There have always been some built in problems with Spider Man movies. For a start — unlike Batman, say — Spidey's adversaries are some of the worst and weakest super villains imaginable.

This film begins with our hero battling a stupid blue electric guy (Jamie Foxx wasted in a thankless role) and ends with him confronting a big stupid rhino guy. Other crappy Spider Man villains include Doctor Octopus and the vulture guy. Even the goblin guy is a bit dull.

Yet none of this has prevented some fine earlier films. Indeed, the first Amazing Spider-Man was well made, impressive and great fun. So why is this sequel, still starring the excellent Andrew Garfield, such a comprehensive failure?

Well, it's the script I'm afraid. It gives me no joy to say this because two of the writers involved, Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci are among my favourite writing partnerships while James Vanderbilt wrote the superb White House Down. (The fourth name on the screenplay credits is Jeff Pinkner who was, like Kurtzman and Orci, involved in the TV shows Alias and Fringe.) 

But this movie is a mess. And boring. A whole bunch of big noisy stuff happens but the audience (or at least this audience member) remained completely uninvolved. There was nothing to invoke sympathy or interest. It was a long dull slog. The only brief flickers of relief were the scenes about Peter Parker and his girlfriend Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). They are an appealing, engaging couple with great chemistry.

So when Gwen is perfunctorily bumped off at the end of this film, the only possible source of interest is cut off. Oh well, now we need never watch one of these abjectly apathetic arachnid adventures again.

(Image credits: Not surprisingly, no shortage of pics available for this mainstream multiplex blockbuster. All courtesy of Ace Show Biz.)

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