I had the misfortune to witness the abomination that is known as the unwanted sequel in the series known as "The Amazing Spider Man". As a enormous comic book fan I didn't go into the theatre with distain, instead I gleefully paid my overpriced admission and sat in eager anticipation. As a film lover I was excited to see the brilliance of Paul Giamatti give life to "The Rhino" as well as Oscar winner Jaime Fox take on the oft misunderstood "Electro". But my excitement was soon turned to head shaking sadness at the train wreck that is "The Amazing Spider-man 2".
Minutes into the movie it seemed strange that Peter's father would struggle to upload a video via an Ethernet cable on a crashing plane. Not only did he have ample time to upload the video and many other points prior to this dramatic moment, but obviously a crashing plane’s ability to maintain some sort of internet connection is somewhat far fetched (in the late 90's prior to the internets widespread use, no less). But I let this go, in favor of still enjoying the movie.
Soon Jaime Fox makes his appearance in a costume design that only be labeled as ridiculous, carrying a stack of blue prints through time square. Not only would no one on earth carry blue prints in this manor (a blue print holder at Staples costs under $20) but Foxes oversized pocket protector and outlandish comb over make him look like something out of a bad Saturday Night Live sketch. Now chuckling at the ludicrous performance of academy award winner, I still attempted to let it go and enjoy the movie.
Foxes transition into electro is (to put it mildly) stupid. The Oscorp executives clearly tell us that ALL the biological projects have been destroyed in the aftermath of the Lizard (as seen in the first film), to appease investors. Yet, no one seems to notice that the major Oscorp present day project (the NYC power grid) seems to be fuelled by giant tanks of electric eels. I guess the investors just ignored that, but either way it's not clear how falling into a tank of them after being electrocuted would not certainly kill a human being instead of transforming them into a poor mans Dr. Manhattan.
After some cartoonish action, we're treated to the budding romance of Gwen and Peter, until Peter inexplicably changes his mind and breaks up with Gwen despite the fact that he had been seeing her father's ghost for quite some time, including hours before his mysterious change of heart over dim sum.
After hours or relentless tonal shifts by director Mark Webb (who can't seem to figure out what kind of movie he is trying to make) we get a break in the form of an actually smart plot point in which Peter discovers his fathers secret lab.
You'll have to ignore the fact that the lab carries world-changing, life altering scientific secrets and almost no security besides figuring out one only needs to rotate a turn style. You'll have to also ignore the fact that it's unclear why the lab existed at all because Oscorp is well equipped with many secret rooms and labs and projects. Putting all that aside, Peter's father gives us the rationale that Oscorp could never figure out how to use the spider venom because it is encode with the Parker DNA. This actually gives credibility to rise of Spider-man...that is until Harry injects himself with the same spider venom and survives by using a healing suit coincidently located a few feet away.
At the end of the movie, Harry is featured briefly with apparently no ill effects of the venom, despite the fact that it was clearly established that the venom is lethal and despite years of research no one at Oscorp could figure it out. This is of course after Harry breaks into a maximum-security prison with relative ease, and frees electro for no apparent reason. I say this because we're supposed to believe that Harry can break into a maximum security prison and free the most closely guarded super villain in existence by himself (and while gravely ill), but requires Electros to break into Oscorp.
It's at this moment that Electros powers become nonsensical. At one moment he is unable to escape a futuristic Hannibal Lecter-type ice bath, and the next he can disappear into a light socket. Take note that the Oscorp installed battery display on the side of Electros head persist despite his ability to literally transform into pure energy.
Despite this Spider-man battles Electro, and himself becomes seemingly invincible. I almost laughed out loud when Spider-man becomes the victim of numerous insane electrical shocks with no ill effect.
But I was able to let all this go....until a moment of insanity that became the turning point.
At a key moment in the film, right before Spider-Man’s ultimate showdown with Electro. Spider-Man begs Gwen to leave. As most comic book readers know, Gwen is wearing her dying clothes from "The Night Gwen Stacy Died", so there is no way she can leave. It's at this point that Gwen explains that she must stay because she is the only one who knows how to operate some garbled technical power computer required to stop Electro. Keep in mind that this ludicrous plot twist is never established at any point in the movie. To our knowledge Gwen is an office temp at Oscorp, with no knowledge of the cities power grid little own how to operate it. Peter never questions the insanity of Gwen’s claim, nor is the audience ever supposed to wonder how an 18-year-old high school graduate acquired knowledge normally held by a high-ranking city engineer.
To make matters MUCH worse, when push comes to shove, how does Gwen operate said machinery? She unlocks it (with a key she coincidently finds) and pushes a big flashing red button. At this point absurdity is too kind a word. There is absolutely no reason she could not just have to told Peter that the only action required to operate the power grid is to push a giant red button. To be clear, this is job that we are told only Gwen can perform....pushing a button.
Needless to say I found Gwen's death hollow and cheap in the aftermath of a movie so full of plot holes it was truly embarrassing. As if to kick us when we were all down, Paul Giamatti finally returns for a glorified cameo in another nonsensical suit, which Spider-Man seems to face with ease. Why would Oscorp build a tank in the shape of a rhino, you ask? There is no reason, they just thought it would be cool I guess. I proper tank would have made much more practical sense, but at this point who cares.