On "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"'s IMAX 3D Experience, Box Office, and Rotten Tomatoes Score

Andrew Garfield in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"

I wasn’t a fan of rebooting the “Spider-Man” franchise so early, but Sony Pictures had to do it to keep the rights from reverting back to Marvel after they couldn’t work out a deal with director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire to return for more sequels.

The first film in the reboot, “The Amazing Spider-Man” (directed by Marc Webb and starring Andrew Garfield), did solid business and garnered warm reviews, grossing $262M domestically and scoring a Fresh 73% on Rotten Tomatoes. Although these numbers weren't nearly as great as those from Raimi’s first two films, they were good enough to warrant more films.

Webb’s first film is just a cosmetically darker remake of Raimi’s, taking the latter’s bright colors and increasing the contrast. Other than that, it’s practically the same film.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” follows the template for Raimi’s third film instead of the second. It’s an odd choice because 2004’s “Spider-Man 2,” one of those rare sequels that’s better than its original, is considered one of the best comic book movies in the genre’s short history. Raimi’s third film, however, ended his involvement in the franchise, so nothing more needs to be said about that other than the studio’s questionable decision to follow in that film’s footsteps.

Like Raimi’s last outing, Webb’s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” has not one, not two, but three villains. Electro (Jamie Foxx) is a superfan who felt dissed by his idol Spider-Man -- like Buddy from Pixar’s “The Incredibles,” except not done as well. Also similar to Brad Bird’s animated feature is the ending featuring Rhino (Paul Giamatti), who looks as goofy as a villain with that name sounds. Green Goblin/Harry Osbourne (Dane DeHaan) feels like an afterthought. His relationship with Peter Parker doesn’t have the same best-friends-turned-enemies dynamic as the Raimi films.

On the positive side, these villains do help to engage Spider-Man in the most exhilarating swinging sequences ever filmed on IMAX 3D in a Spider-Man movie and is the only reason to see this update. Probably because they’re day scenes, the sequences early on look grainy and blurry -- like all 3D movies not shot in the HFR format made notorious by Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” films. They get better later on, during night sequences, where the darkness helps to hide the graininess and blurriness, while the bright colors of Spider-Man’s outfit and Electro’s electric bolts help to bring out the details. It’s the best non-HFR 3D experience I’ve had so far.

Without the IMAX 3D format, the action sequences aren’t nearly as exciting and thrilling though, which is pretty much how I feel towards the film overall. The humor, an obvious attempt to draw in the kiddies, is forced. Although Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have great chemistry together playing lovebirds Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy, I didn’t go into a Spidey film looking for romance. “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is worse than its unnecessary predecessor.

The webslinger is currently scoring 68% on Rotten Tomatoes after 78 reviews. As more reviews pour in from American critics (the film opened in foreign countries a couple weeks ago), I think it’ll go down to the low 60s, if not lower.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” has already made $132M overseas after two weekends, which is on par with the first entry. It opens this Friday in the U.S. and is expected to do $100M-plus by the end of the weekend.

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