At 142 minutes this is the longest Spider-Man movie to date. For some reason it seems like 242 minutes. There’s not a lot of magic created in this film. Not much humor either; just an abundance of angst and emotion. All of this involves lots of talking and on-screen suffering. You’re forced to sit through it to get to the film’s opening and closing, and the action that takes place between the dull spots.
TASM2 was filmed entirely in New York at a cost of $200 million. It seems it costs more and more to build a film around an hour of acting and an hour of computer-generated special effects. With that kind of money invested, this film looks terrific – as do all of the films coming out of Hollywood with big budgets.
TASM2 picks up where TASM1 left off. Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man, is again struggling to understand his purpose. He wants to kiss his girlfriend and she likes being kissed, but there is so much emotion dripping from every scene they’re together, that when kisses take place they seem passionless. The bad guys are a cross of those from the original series – with Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man – and from part one of this rebooted series. Jamie Foxx shows up as a nerdy electrical specialist who turns into super baddie Electro. Sally Field returns as the ever emotional and devoted Aunt Mary. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone play the main characters, Spider-Man/Parker and Gwen Stacey.
The two big opening scenes lead up to a graduation ceremony for Parker and Stacey. This is where Stan Lee makes his perennial cameo – not as a graduate, but as a guest. After that, the film is a long and emotional soap opera, followed by terrific action scenes – most of them done by imagers in a room with an extremely high-performance computer system and plenty of external storage. Soon, anyone with the money to buy a super high performance computer system will be able to create these movies on their own, and share them on YouTube.
In the meantime, these films will be cranked out with the hope of sustaining gigantic worldwide profits. While I enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man (2012 reboot), this time out they needed to cut about 45 minutes to keep the story moving. I feel a lot of angst about the following rating, as I expected more from TASM2 but it didn’t deliver.
NOTE: There’s an additional film clip about three minutes into the very long end credits. It’s a promo for the upcoming X-Men movie. If you’re an X-Men fan you should stay for this mini-scene. If not, it’s okay to leave.
Rated 2.5 out of 4.0 reasons that big budgets and big special effects do not necessarily make for big entertainment.