Amazing Spider-Man 2: The Rise of Electro

I went in to The Amazing
Spider-Man 2: Rise of Electro
with mixed feelings. I was excited because The Amazing Spider-Man was a top-notch
flick, and the second instalment was shaping up to be more of the same.
However, the same teasers and trailers that had me amped up also created some
doubts. Primarily, I was worried about the “too many villains”
factor. We’d seen Electro, Rhino and Green Goblin in the marketing materials,
and there were some teasers for other Sinister Six villains there for the sharp-eyed
trailer viewers. After the disaster that was Spider-Man 3, I feared a mish-mash
of villain stories that lost focus and ended up lacking.
Thankfully, these fears were somewhat unfounded. I’ll try to keep the
spoilers to a minimum, but I’ll start off with a minor one here. Rhino is
hardly in this movie at all. Seriously, I’m not sure why he was even included
in marketing material. Total screen time for both his pre and post suited up
incarnations was around seven or eight minutes. So in a way, this helped to
reduce the overall villain saturation somewhat. The Goblin himself also
appeared only late in the film, although with slightly more screen time and a
hell of a bigger part to play than Rhino.
The film has a somewhat slower pace than the first one. A large section
of the middle of the film is devoted to Peter’s reconnection with Harry Osborne
and his internal struggle with the vow he made to a dying Captain Stacy at the
end of the last film. Peter also spends a fair whack of time investigating more
about his father’s work. In many ways this instalment makes the last one feel
like a giant set up for the (admittedly minor) payoff of finding out what
Parker Senior was up to and why he abandoned Peter.
But for all this, the film does at least pretend to be about Electro,
which is odd, because he’s really nothing more than a pawn in the grand scheme
of things here. He starts off quite sympathetic, and they do an okay job of
showing his motivation for turning evil, although it does feel like a bit of a
cop out when Electro tells Spider-Man, “I just feel so angry” or
something similar, as though the power itself is somehow making him act evil.
This is far from the only reason given, and the rest of that scene plays out
reasonably well as far as falls to evil go. Just a minor quibble.
The interplay between Peter and Gwen is the real star here though.
Clearly the real-life romance between Garfield and Stone creates an amazing
chemistry that is a delight to watch. You can feel why it’s so hard for Peter
to keep his vow to stay away from her. And Gwen is no screaming damsel in
distress either. She is the mental match of Spidey and helps him out on more
than one occasion. Of course, this has dire consequences. I’m sure most people
have made the connection between some of what’s shown in the trailers and a
particular Spider-Man story. I must say I was worried they’d wuss out at the
last minute, but gladly (or not) they didn’t.
Overall, this movie felt too much like a middle movie. An Empire Strikes Back, if you will. It
ties up some loose ends from the first movie, whilst working very hard at
setting up the next one (and the other planned spinoffs). I’m not saying it’s
not entertaining, but it doesn’t really stand up on its own, and it’s far from
being the story of The Rise of Electro.
Just a final word to say,
unlike most recent Marvel movies (either licensed or Marvel Studios produced),
there was no post-credit sequence. There was a mid-credits interlude showing a
short scene from X-Men: Days of Future Past, but hardly worth waiting for. I’m
not sure if this will change for the US release, but I was bitterly
disappointed about that.

Leave a reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>