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Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 4DX


My reaction at the end of the movie The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was to exclaim quite loudly, "Great screenplay!" And after absorbing the entire experience, filtering out the fancy 4DX gimmick (which shall be discussed in another post), I wondered what made me say it was a great screenplay. The best Marvel movie for me so far is still Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and that was a great screenplay. Some have called Spider-Man 2 a "bridge movie", defined as a second film in a franchise trilogy with no other purpose than to connect Parts I and III together.

Almost became a bridge movie were it not for Heath Ledger.

So why did I say the screenplay was great? Was it just a knee-jerk reaction after being overwhelmed by the good converted 3D? Maybe. But I don't do that. Yes, sometimes my thought process moves so fast it seems reflexive, but I can always justify it with solid evidence.

Though not as fast as Spidey's reflexes.

This time, though, I couldn't seem to defend my stand on why it felt like a great screenplay. Because I was stumped when asked the question "What's the story all about?" One of the basic rules when pitching a film to a producer is you have to be able to tell in one sentence what the story is all about. And I couldn't even do that in this particular case. So I decided to retreat inside my head and debate with myself.

Is it the story of Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man?
Yes, it's always Peter Parker's story. He is Spider-Man, and that is the name of the franchise. But it has to be more than that.

"Let me teach you all about women..."

Is it the story of Max Dillon a.k.a. Electro?
Maybe. But he’s the antagonist here, and this is not an anti-hero story. But even if it was, it would be a weak story, as it doesn’t go deep enough into Electro’s character. So scratch that. This isn’t Electro’s story.

"Yeah, you're a heartthrob Brit with a believable American accent...
but do you have an Oscar?"

Is it the story of Aunt May a.k.a. Ben Parker’s widow?
No. She is a supporting character. You shouldn’t even be asking this.

Is it the story of Gwen Stacy a.k.a. Blonde Mary Jane Watson?
Maybe. I think you’ve got something there. Because Peter Parker keeps seeing Gwen Stacy’s dead dad everywhere, right? So yeah, maybe.

Is it the story of how Peter Parker parts ways with Gwen Stacy?
I think you’ve got it. That’s the climax, right? Everything that happens leads up to that moment. That sad, sad moment. Especially that web thing reaching out like a hand to touch Gwen one last time. Sad, but beautiful.

This scene fogged up a lot of 3D glasses.

But is it a bridge movie?
Have they confirmed a third film? If they have, then yes, this could probably be considered a bridge movie. Not all second films in a trilogy are bridge movies, by the way. The Empire Strikes Back, for example, is not a mere bridge movie. It is the second act of a three-act play. This rebooted franchise isn’t a three-act play. But if you’re going to do a bridge movie, do it like this.

And let Messrs. Pharrell Williams and Hans Zimmer score it.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2. USA. 2014.

Original rating: 7.5 / 10
Using converted 3D: - 0.1
Andrew Garfield making my girlfriend squeal: - 0.1
Jamie Foxx's horrible hair: - 0.1
Dane DeHaan looking like a young Leonardo DiCaprio: + 0.1
An almost-unrecognisable Paul Giamatti: + 0.1
Emma Stone's stupid decisions in the movie: - 0.1
Final rating: 7.2 / 10

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