Listening to: I am Electro - Hans Zimmer
Reading: My Sister's Keeper
Watching: Attack on Titan
Playing: Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (speedrun)
Drinking: Dr. Pepper
If The Amazing Spider-Man 2 disappointed you the first time you saw it, it's worth a re-watch.
At face value, ASM2 is a choppy movie with a broken and random plot. Random mini-story-arcs seem to be tossed in at the oddest times to act as filler, the ending doesn't feel like an ending, and about a quarter of the events don't make sense at all. A friend of mine told me that "the only good part of [The Amazing Spider-Man 2] was the action sequences".
I am one of the biggest Spider-Man nerds on the planet. I know everything about Spidey and Pete that there is to know, and if you don't want to take my word for it you're welcome to quiz me sometime. I will probably love any Spider-Man movie that ever comes out, regardless of its actual quality.
That said, I'd been following (read: stalking) the production of ASM2 since seeing the first one in 2012, and I had ridiculously high expectations for the movie. As much as I hate to admit it to myself, I was a little disappointed when I left the theater. As spot-on to the comics as the movie was, I didn't feel satisfied when it was over. In fact, I was a little confused.
What had I just watched? Sure, it was freaking epic, but how did they make all of those jumbled-up, totally random plots fit together into anything resembling a cohesive story? Upon reading online reviews and talking to my fellow movie-going nerds, I found that I was far from being the only one with this issue. It troubled me—how could it have fallen so short of my expectations?! I even signed a petition for Sony to release a director's cut of the movie (which I still support, by the way).
Earlier tonight, I went to go see ASM2 again. This time I saw it in IMAX3D to make up for having never seen ASM in 3D. After a second watch, my whole perspective on the movie changed.
I'd gone into the movie expecting the plot holes. I intended to write a review afterward to defend all of these plot holes, so I was looking for them while I watched the movie. Much to my pleasant surprise, none of the same jittery-ness existed the second time around.
Yes, I'm saying what you think I'm saying. All of those plot issues people cite to claim that ASM2 is a terrible movie... don't exist.
Allow me to explain. A lot of people when asked to visualize a plot will come up with a mountain-like shape. When asked to picture a more complicated plot, they'll picture something that looks like the mountain from before, but with a river and a glacier and a couple cracks in it to represent all the sub-plots. Where the confusion in ASM2 came in was that there were no notable sub-plots. Instead, there are 4 main plots that, rather than follow the mountain shape and happen simultaneously, overlap, blend into one another, and get tangled up in one another. Instead of visualizing a mountain, picturing the plot of ASM2 requires picturing a web.
The connective tissues of the movie plot—those little u shaped dips in the web that connect the structural strands—get completely forgotten by the moviegoer in the wake of the cataclysmic main plots. The back-story, the continuity, the emotional subtlety, the character development: all of these things were formed by the connective strands and laid by the wayside in favor of the bigger, louder, and cooler plots.
When you watch ASM2 a second time, you are less focused on the main plots and far more perceptive of the delicate connections. Suddenly, the movie becomes vastly more cohesive. A web doesn't look like a web with only the basic structure in place, but once the connections are reinserted into the moviegoer's awareness the whole movie makes sense. All of the character development and plot transitions people claimed to be lacking in the movie magically reappears.