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May 10th, 2014

Amazing Spider-Man 2

I saw this movie the night before nationwide release and totally loved it. Thought it was one of the greatest movies I'd ever seen. Later, I see someone I follow say they were unimpressed by it. Well, not everyone's going to like the same things I like, right? But then I get curious and check out more reviews and am completely puzzled by what I see. A 55% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes? A barrage of criticisms? So-so performance for a summer blockbuster? I thought it was darn near perfect, if a little long.

It was then I found myself recalling how I felt after Spider-Man 3 from before the reboot. While I didn't love that movie, I liked it better than everyone else who saw it (with reactions such as "What the hell was that?!") and felt the need to explain it, even if it didn't redeem it. But the difference is I think Amazing Spider-Man 2 really IS amazing, and I can see it years from now, appearing in "Why didn't we appreciate it more back then?" lists.

One common complaint I've seen is that the story is too complicated, or "overstuffed" or "unfocused." But everyone loves Game of Thrones, which has like 12 different stories going on at the same time? This is really the complaint I understand the least. It's not like I'm great at following convoluted storylines but every segment of the movie made sense to me and they all seemed to tie together nicely. Why did A happen? Ah, for B to happen. Why did C happen? Ah, for D then E to happen...

Other complaints are with the style. Some say the slow-motion scenes are too slow or jarring/confusing. A few people, however, understand it's meant to simulate Spider-Man's spider sense, and how he uses his abilities to pull off impossible stunts that you're not even sure Spider-Man can pull off. Others complain about dubstep existing in any form at all in the universe, and you know what? Deal with it. Too much of anything is bad but I felt it was used well here, with the electrical nature of Electro's powers.

"Too many villains? Guess they didn't learn after Spider-Man 3 yuk yuk!" No, it really only has two villains. They may have had separate goals but did have plausible motivations for teaming up (UNLIKE Spider-Man 3). There may be guys lurking in the shadows, but they're not the main antagonists and are more for setting up the plot of this and future movies (and one was present in the first Amazing Spider-Man). You might count Rhino as the third villain, but he's more fodder than anything else: someone for Spider-Man to seem powerful against in the beginning of the movie, and someone disposable to make him seem powerful again at the end.

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I just really want to see this movie again. I might be able to go with friends to see it this weekend, but if that doesn't work out, I'll just go by myself. I loved it that much. With Spider-Man 3, I just think to myself "Did I used to think this was okay?" when it occasionally shows up on weekend cable TV.

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