Movie Review – The Amazing Spiderman 2

Here we are, exactly 10 years after Spider-Man 2, witnessing The Amazing Spider-Man 2. For me, Spider-Man 2 was really the highest point for superhero films till Nolan came along and showed a different side to this genre with The Batman trilogy. So it is safe to say that the highest point was way out of reach for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, even in it’s second try.

I had written about the level of involvement Marvel Studio has with Spider-Man films in Marvel Redefines Synergies and it shows in The Amazing Spider-Man series. The issue I had with the first Amazing Spider-Man was that there wasn’t a good enough story to tell. Over here however that is not the problem as in a complete contrast, we are given an overdose. The story telling is extremely convoluted and over loaded with sub plots. It would be an achievement to remember all the plot lines after coming out, even then I will try and give it a shot. There is some secret about Peter’s father, then there is the obvious love story, there is Electro, and Aunt May trying to forget Uncle Ben, then there is Harry Osborn (Peter Parker’s long lost friend). Oh and yeah, there is also lot of screen time given to Peter Parker’s guilt trips about breaking his promise. I mean c’mon, is this a superhero flick or what?

The previous Spider-Man versions scored hugely on the strength of its central character backed by fresh writing. I feel bad in saying this but Andrew Garfield is possibly one of the biggest problems with the film. He is not able to portray the character convincingly & seems even more out of place then the first film. The writing is uninspiring & tries to throw in too many witty lines but fails to get the smiles. Another strength of the older films was the superbly choreographed action sequences. I mean the sequence with Spidey & Doc Ock fighting on a moving train was just spectacular. We don’t see anything like that this time around. Yes the special effects are right up there. But then wouldn’t they be for any film that comes 10 years later? The villains too are poorly conceived and suffer from lack of character development. This is actually a huge problem because 1) villains are the life lines of such films (remember Green Goblin & Doc Ock) & 2) This in spite of taking the entire first half to get a back story in place for them.

Fortunately there is something in the film that is truly amazing and that is Emma Stone. She is sweet, charming, witty & natural. It is only because of her that we see some chemistry on screen as she overshadows Andrew in every single scene. She is the reason why the second climax (there are actually 3 of them!) hits you and stays with you. Sadly that cannot be said about anything else. Overall a total drag. Watch it only if you must.

Stars: 2/5

 

The Social Network Movie Review – Lonely with a Million Friends

“You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies”, Damn right you don’t. This tagline from the posters of The Social Network got my attention straight away and the best part is that it held my attention all throughout the film. Its a really well made film that hits the right spots but make no mistake, its not a film that everyone would appreciate.

The film is about the founding of Facebook and the two lawsuits that its founder Mark Zuckerberg got slammed with on his rise to become the youngest billionaire in the  world. Jesse Eisenberg plays Zuckerberg as a supremely genius nerd who has no social skills and Andrew Garfield plays his best friend Eduardo Saverin co-founder of Facebook. Both the actors are in superb form specially Eisenberg who brings out different shades of the character and makes you beg for more. Another central character who appears only in the second half of the film is Sean Parker, the founder of Napster played with a lot of flair by pop star

Justin Timberlake ... 

Salt Movie Review – Not Namkeen Enough

There has been a lot of talk around the fact that Angelina Jolie is now such a big action star that she is giving the likes of Tom Cruise a run for their money. Nothing proves this fact more than Jolie’s latest release Salt which was earlier offered to Cruise and then taken to Jolie. Angie took it up and the script was re-written for a female protagonist. Unfortunately, the script itself is the villain in this film as it fails to make an impression.

Jolie plays Evelyn Salt, a CIA agent accused of being a Russian spy. She starts to run and gets into deeper trouble when she is caught for the assassination of the Russian president. The story pans out in rather unimpressive fashion as the secret about ‘Who is Salt’ unfolds. It just seems like the script was written in a hurry and so is unable to lift the film.

The film does have its moments in its action scenes, particularly the chase sequence on the freeway. Sadly these moments are too few and far between. Even then, Jolie puts in a very impressive performance and definitely has the makings of a great action star. She is ably supported by Liev Schreiber (Sabretooth), who plays Ted Winter, Salts friend at the CIA.

It’s sad that an opportunity like this was made to go waste, but there is still another chance as the makers have already planned for a sequel, which is evident from the way the movie is made to end. As for Jolie, she has the confidence and the attitude to play not a Bond Girl but Bond himself and maybe in years to come we mite just see her doing it.

Rating: 2.5/5