Posted May 11 2014 - 08:30 AM
I finally saw this yesterday, and I was happy to find that I enjoyed it.
Warning for potential SPOILERS!!!!
It certainly has its flaws. The pacing could have used some tightening up, especially around the middle act. Electro was ok. The portrayal of Max pre-transformation was a bit over the top, but just a bit. And it certainly set up that this was an unstable individual.
The Harry thing seemed a bit rushed. If he had the same condition as his father he seemed to be progressing quite quickly at age 20. I suppose if Norman started trying "cures" on himself quite a while ago that would explain why he managed to hold it together through his 50's/60's. I think the Harry arc would have been stronger if he had been a presence in the first film and had more of a real adult friendship with Peter rather than re-establishing a childhood friendship.
I thought Spider-Man's web swinging was superb. His quipy demeanor was straight out of the comic books. As with the first film, the relationship between Peter and Gwen and their chemistry remains a strong point of the film. I thought Peter's struggle with his guilt over breaking his promise to Captain Stacey and trying again to keep it was well handled. And that, of course, flowed through the main narrative culminating with Gwen's fate and Peter stopping being Spider-Man for half a year.
Sally Field's Aunt May was well used. I think her acting in the scene with Peter in his room when she discovered he was obsessing about his parents' fate was a highlight. I was certainly moved by her performance.
The score was pretty cool. The Electro "paranoia" theme seemed to capture the mental instability of Max pretty well. And it had a unique sound. The new Spidey Theme was good, and I think "It's On Again" over the end end credits was quite good and really captured the emotional state of Peter at the end of the film.
Peter's ringtone was great!
I think shaving off maybe 10 minutes or so, tightening up the pace, and re-working some of the villain stuff would have made it a stronger film. They were certainly ambitious with the script. Probably too ambitious. It's easy to see why they cut out Mary Jayne. The story was a bit "stuffed" and dropping her in this to streamline was the right call. It would have been stronger if they did a bit more streamlining, I think.
I enjoyed the first film, and I think I enjoyed this about as much. Maybe a little more, maybe a little less. I'll have to see it again to see where it falls.
I can understand criticisms about pacing and maybe uneven tone. I can not understand complaints comparing it to Batman and Robin (or Batman Forever). Ridiculous comparison. Aside from some levity from Spider-Man (which is comic accurate) and pre-transformation Max being a little goofy, the movie still had a serious story about choice, consequence, love and loss.
I don't believe in transcending the genre, I believe IN the genre - Joss Whedon