The Amazing Spiderman 2: Praise for the Effects

The Amazing Spiderman 2

Well. I liked it.

Before you take the time to remove yourself from Sony’s throat to jump down mine, hear me out.

It was a lot to deal with—two and a half villains (that’s one villain per hour!) in one action-packed classic hero flick.

When I say classic hero flick, I don’t mean that it’s the exact same Spiderman we’ve always known and loved. In fact, Sony Image Works ended up creating entirely new software just to deal with the amount of visual effects and digital doubles crammed into the movie.

That being said, it was also by far the coolest part of the movie.

I mean, the acting was acting, the action was more orchestrated than it was choreographed, the dialogue was definitely cornier than Smart Food, but most importantly, the CGI was completely believable.

While that may not sound like a bushel of praise, understanding what goes into making a believable visual effect is integral to this particular movie. On top of the shocking antagonist Electro, the team of animators and visual effect artists also had to make it possible for our web-slinging hero to interact with this electrical storm of a being, creating a whole new set of problems: Spiderman then has to be lit by an electrical storm that isn’t actually there, have said electrical storm grab him and throttle him like a rag doll before thrashing him into the billboards of Times Square… which, for obvious practical reasons, also had to be completely digitally rendered.

The physics were incredible.

It’s the subtle difference between flying and falling that makes Spiderman’s world what it is, and they absolutely nailed it.

There are digital scenes that look so realistic it’s impossible to tell that they weren’t filmed. The movement of the muscles, the way gravity takes hold, and even the way the air ripples through Spidey’s suit as he plummets towards Manhattan are so realistic you’d think you were squirrel-suiting behind Andrew Garfield himself. All in all, despite being pretty goddamn similar to the first in the Amazing Spiderman series, it really is an all-new Spiderman.

While it’s easy to see how the sheer cheesiness of the movie was borderline irritating, it’s worth remembering that the original comics weren’t exactly lacking in corn. Shot on honest-to-goodness film (which is sort of ironic in a way), it’s a bit of a throwback on all kinds of levels.

As Sony Image Works’ Jerome Chen says, “the technology is better, the artists are better” and you see it all come together in The Amazing Spiderman 2.

There’s enough action in the first two minutes to keep the die-hard fans rolling through the fluffier scenes, enough romance and longing looks to keep the romantics all warm and fuzzy, and enough villainous drama to keep it at a continuous climax throughout the entire ordeal. Hell, even if the puns are hard to keep down, there are so many of them that the odds are at least one of them has to coax a reluctant chuckle out of someone.

While the picture may be far from the greatest work of art to hit theatres this year there’s a lot to be said for the art that went into it, and if any of it’s going to be deemed amazing, that’s where the credit lies.

The Amazing SpiderMan 2 is now playing everywhere.