The Amazing Spider-Man 2 3D Blu-ray Review
Since he’s arguably Marvel’s most beloved superhero, it’s hard to make a bad Spider-Man film. If you get a halfway competent director and match up the characters with decent actors, you’re all but guaranteed to make a fun Spider-Man film. But now we live in a world where there are four or five superhero movies a year and the standard of which we hold superhero movies has been raised substantially since the first Spider-Man movie hit theaters in 2002. And since he is such a beloved character and there is a lot of quality competition, there’s infinitely more pressure and scrutiny on Marc Webb’s THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN franchise than Sam Raimi ever experienced. So although I understand the challenges and perhaps the unfair nature of this statement, the fact remains that THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 just doesn’t hold up to other superhero movies.
Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is in full swing as Spider-Man and we pick up with him saving the day on his way to his graduation. But the teenage angst comes in quickly when Peter and Gwen (Emma Stone) break up because Peter doesn’t want her to get hurt (the first of many amateurish foreshadows). From the awkwardly delivered dialogue, we gather that Peter and Gwen have gone through this many times before since the end of the first film. Later, Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) gets a surge of electrical power and turns into Electro while Harry Osbourne is turning into Green Goblin. Oh, and we assume Rhino (Paul Giamatti) is going to pop up somewhere (although he doesn’t, until the very end). Each of the villains have a beef to pick with Spider-Man, so teaming up is a natural step for the villains. But really, none of them have a legit gripe, which makes all of the villains seem petty.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN suffered greatly from an air of familiarity since we had just seen that same story play out ten years earlier. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 doesn’t feel quite as familiar, but unfortunately, it suffers from a host of other problems. The main issue is the drama surrounding Peter’s parents. The storyline never picks up the steam they were shooting for and it becomes a distraction to the rest of the story. So his dad didn’t run off, but was trying to protect him; what does that have to do with anything else going on in the film? Also, I don’t mind my superheroes brooding or complaining about their responsibilities, but I draw the line at them pouting and whining, which is what it felt like Parker did all too often. Maybe it was the script, but Andrew Garfield seemed to deliver every line like he was on the verge of tears. The highlight of the film is also the low point, and that’s Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy. The scenes with Gwen and Peter were the most interesting and had their relationship been explored further and had more focus, it would have made the ending much more efficient. As it was, it felt like they ended it that way because a famous Spider-Man comic ended like that, not because they honestly felt that was the proper way to end the movie.
In some sense, there are too many villains, but really, there are too many characters in general. Each of them have drama and baggage that needs to be touched on, but with three villains, one hero, one family member and one love interest that all need to be explored, the film simply ran out of time. But no one wants to sit through a five hour superhero movie, so I’m not even sure more time would have fixed the film’s problems. Rumor has it that there’s a longer cut of the film somewhere out there, which helps to explain why the film seems so choppy, with questionable edits. The choppiness isn’t a huge distraction, but it is noticeable.
I think I said this about the first film, but if THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 had been released 10 or 15 years ago, before the recent superhero craze, I think it would have been better received. As it is, many directors have proven that you can have several characters and a flawed hero and still make a quality, enjoyable film. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 is actually a good movie, it’s just not good enough.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 3D BLU-RAY REVIEW
The 3D release of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN still goes down as one of my most disappointing 3D releases in terms of 3D quality. I’m happy to report that the sequel fixes a lot of the bad 3D and actually utilizes some nice 3D effects. The depth was really on display as Spidey was swinging through New York City. I was pleased with the depth and the overall 3D experience.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: The picture looks incredibly sharp on Blu-ray, with even the most minor details shining through perfectly. Overall, it’s very impressive.
Audio: The audio was just as impressive, making for a near-reference quality audio track.
Commentary with Alex Kurtzman, Jeff Pinkner, Matt Tolmach and Avi Arad: This is more my problem than theirs, but I wanted them to address the controversy around the film (Shailene Woodley’s exodus) as well as the negative fan reaction. I appreciated all of the details about the film, but whenever you get the writers and the producers together, it’s an opportunity to really dive into some of the drama around the film, which these guys avoided.
Deleted and Alternate Scenes (23:03): Those hoping these scenes would make up a longer, director’s cut of the film will be disappointed. There was nothing here that added another storyline or fixed any of the film’s problems.
The Wages of Heroism: Making The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (1:43:30): Six separate featurettes that cover just about everything you wanted to know about the specifics of making the film.
The Music of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with Director Marc Webb (8:10): Marc Webb talks about the score.
Trailer and Music Video