Spider-Man 2 is Not Amazing But Paul Giamatti Is


After seeing “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” we have several questions:

1. Why does Sony keep making these movies? Are they contractually obligated?
2. These people are only supposed to be 18 years old and just out of high school? Because Andrew Garfield is definitely, definitely at least 30.
3. Why does Ghost Denis Leary keep cock-blocking Andrew Garfield? That just doesn’t seem like him.

The answer to the first question is “Maybe it’s a contractual thing” and “Money, obvi.” The answer to the second question is “Jesus, this is a movie about a guy who can shoot spider webs from his wrists, and you’re doubting the veracity of his age? Pull it together.”

The final question is where our story begins. It is indeed Graduation Day for Peter Parker (Garfield) and his lovely girlfriend Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). All is hunky-dory, except every time Gwen gets near danger, Peter is reminded that he promised Gwen’s dad that he would not date her so she could be safe. This reminder comes in the form of Ghost Denis Leary, wearing a police uniform and staring daggers at Spider-Man while he talks to Gwen on the phone or tries to go to dim sum with her. You can practically hear Leary cracking his knuckles. For some reason this is one of the most memorable portions of an otherwise meh movie, probably because it’s so unintentionally hilarious.

A lot of this movie revolves not around the three (!) villains, but the relationship between Gwen and Peter, because as a for-realzies offscreen couple they have terrific chemistry, even when they’re given garbage dialogue to work with. However, as much as we are super into Andrew Garfield, he’s not a great choice to play Peter Parker; Parker’s primary characteristic is that he’s a skinny nerd who can’t get a date. Garfield is a smoldering male model in the Viggo Mortensen category. Seriously look at this guy:

"The Amazing Spider-Man 2" World Premiere - Arrivals


The more convincing dork, oddly enough, is Jamie Foxx, playing a twitchy Spider-Man fanatic who accidentally gets turned into a human/electric eel hybrid. This is one of the three villains, and if you think that is too many villains, you are correct. The villains don’t work in tandem or anything really, they have uneven amounts of screen time, and critical plot points are thrown in and then left there to die.

Foxx is ok as the first villain (called Electro), but he’s not nearly as interesting when he’s all blue and glowing. The second villain is Green Goblin Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) who we are supposed to believe is Peter Parker’s BFF even though they haven’t seen or spoken to each other in ten years. He’s dying of something, acts out of desperation, is driven mad, etc.

This villain is also not that interesting.

But the final villain is Paul freakin Giamatti.

Giamatti plays a Russian mobster who in the beginning of the movie is trying to steal plutonium, and at the end is operating a giant rhinoceros robot. He has a shaved head and crazy face tattoos. He wears a tracksuit and spends most of his time screaming incoherently with a phony-baloney Russian accent. He is magnificent. He appears for only like ten minutes and has maybe five lines and they are the best ten minutes and five lines in the entire movie. Living, breathing, hilarious proof that there are no small roles, only small actors.

In conclusion, Denis Leary and Paul Giamatti forever. The end.

[Andrew Garfield photo by PR Photos]

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  • BMW

    They have to keep churning out Spiderman movies or they will lose the character rights back to Marvel. So, yeah…contractual reasons. Except I think the gap between movies can be WAY more than 2 to 4 years.Maybe Marvel/Disney can make a PETER PORKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-HAM movie. At least I hope they still own the rghts to that character.

    • JMP

      It’s happened now with the rights to Hulk, Daredevil (who has one of the upcoming Netflix shows set in the MCU), and recently the Punisher all going back to Marvel. And it’s too bad, because it means we’ll never see Spidey in the Avengers. That’s also why Fox is crapping out a quicky Fantastic Four reboot at the moment, and at the last minute to avoid losing that license.

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  • Annie Towne

    Andrew Garfield is a really good actor; I have no idea why he agreed to this (money, I suppose, and he got Emma Stone, too, so I suppose I’m happy for him). Please to watch Boy A and Never Let Me Go, to see just how good he is.

  • glennisw

    Wow. When I read that description of Giamatti’s role, why do I think immediately of a Gary Shteyngart character?

  • Ambignostic

    Viggo Mortensen category

    Not judging by that photo, that guy is no Viggo.

    Paul freakin Giamatti.[…] He is magnificent.

    Always. It’s the one thing Editrix got wrong about Saving Mr. Banks: even “nice” is a good look for Giamatti.