The Amazing Spider Man 2 is a $200,000,000 ad for all the toys, books, games, collector’s glasses, etc. that are for sale now at your local shopping centers. As far as the kids for whom these products are intended are concerned, the movie is great. There were quite a few in the audience at the screening I attended and they were all hyped after the movie. For the parents in the audience, or comic book fans like myself, we were less enthused.

As I was headed to my car a line from They Live came to mind, “That’s like pouring perfume on a pig.”

The problem is the movie is too damned long. A friend posited the thesis that the Summer blockbusters are so long as a way to justify the ever increasing price of admission. The more I see, and The Amazing Spider Man 2 fits the mold perfectly, the more I’m beginning to agree.

The second act drags heavier than a emo’s emotional baggage. Ultimately it’s all about how Peter Parker deals with loss. There’s his tormented love affair with Gwen, the loss of his parents, of Uncle Ben, and as a juxtaposition (i.e. how to deal with life’s tragedies unhealthily) there’s Harry Osborn’s loss of his father and his fall from grace. All of this builds to a very critical moment for Peter. Thing is, all the pathos is so heavy-handed that when the big moment happens your glad to see things play out the way they did. It’s supposed to be heart-breaking. Even a sentimental audience has had enough when the runtime is two and a half hours.

All things considered, it’s not a bad movie. It does everything a Summer popcorn film is supposed to do, and does it well enough. Unless you’re interested in getting your very own web shooters and playing ‘Pider Man, it only amounts to $10-$15 bucks spent and two and a half hours lost. Still, it does have it’s place. Namely, if you’ve got children and need a couple hours to decompress, The Amazing Spider Man 2 is your ticket.

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