I’m just gonna start off and say I went into this movie with few expectations because I thought there were too many villains, and way too many advertisements for this movie.
Andrew Garfield returns for his second turn as the titular character of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014). Along are returning characters Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), Aunt May (Sally Fields), and…. And…. Well that’s really it from the first movie. Wow. Didn’t even realize that until now. Anyway Spider-Man, or, Peter Parker has graduated high school and he is trying to balance a life as the web head along with maintaining a relationship with Gwen, who is trying to start a life of her own after high school. Then, like every superhero film, a big bad villain comes to town named Max Dillon AKA Electro, played by Jamie Foxx. Not to mention Peter’s longtime friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns from out of nowhere and is looking for Spider-Man for certain reasons.
Like I said, I went into this with little expectations. I wasn’t the hugest fan of the first film in this franchise from 2012, and thought they advertised this movie the complete opposite way than they should have. They revealed all the villains, showed off way too much action, and the CGI in the trailers looked like a videogame. So why did I like this movie so much?
So many things worked for me in this movie beyond the action and villains. The CGI did look a LOT better on a big screen rather than on some YouTube video played on my 15” MacBook Pro. What Marc Webb and Sony are doing, and it became a lot more clear to me now in this movie, is blending together both the Amazing Spider-Man universe from the golden age of comic books that showed us Spidey’s roots with the Ultimate Spider-Man universe that was designed for a younger generation of comic readers. There are certainly elements from both universes that are apparent in this movie and they work well with this. Like Spider-Man’s costume is straight out of the Ultimate Universe with the big eyes and slim build as opposed to Tobey Maguire’s build which was a lot more bulky and smaller eyes like in the Amazing Universe. There are also a few arcs from the comics in here that appear in both universes. I was very curious which way they’d go about the delivery, regarding which universe to take the most influence from and I can confidently say that they blended the two very well, both paying service to longtime comic fans and satisfying a younger audience. As someone who looks for both, this hit me in all the right places. I’d say Spider-Man is easily the superhero I know the most about (Batman is not a superhero, he’s a vigilante) so when I see nods to the fans and it’s done right, I’m gonna be smiling.
Andrew Garfield was THE Spider-man in this movie. What I mean by this is that he encompassed everything that Spidey is, was, or ever will be in both comic and movie form. Tobey Maguire was a good Spider-Man; don’t get me wrong. I did enjoy his take on the character ten years ago. However what he didn’t capture was that wise cracking smart ass that Spider-Man is known for being. He’s sarcastic, joking, funny, and also just an all around enjoyable person behind the mask. You see it when he just heckles thugs in the action scenes, mocking them; and when he sticks up for a ten year old for getting bullied then fixes his science project and walks him home. That is what Spider-Man is. He’s just as much of a kid as the people he saves and I think Garfield captured that perfectly in this film.
Emma Stone is just… beautiful. Her chemistry with Garfield was perfect. I mean it helps that they’re dating in real life but that’s beside the point. They were a very believable teenage couple where one of them is a superhero. She has to deal with a lot in this movie in regards to choices after high school and whether or not those choices include Peter or not, and I found that very relatable to people my age. We all have instances where we have no idea what choices lie ahead and if we can include everyone in them. I wanted to laugh with them, cry with them, everything.
I know the ads made it seem like there were three villains in this movie, and there are, but Electro really is the main antagonist. Jamie Foxx’s Max Dillon was a recluse and someone who idolized Spider-Man in the creepiest way possible. Like, it was uncomfortable sometimes to watch; but it was thanks to Foxx’s acting skills. When he finally becomes Electro, and you’re gonna hate me for this – He. Is. Electric. The CGI used to make Foxx look the way he does is incredible, like you can see his veins and the electricity pulsing through him. Very cool to look at. The other villains, Rhino (Paul Giamatti) and Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan) are minor in their roles, but for good reasoning.
It is very apparent that they are setting this franchise up for the Sinister Six. The Sinister Six is a group of six (*Gasp!*) villains that work together to take down Spider-Man. The six include: Electro, Doctor Octopus, Sandman, The Vulture, Kraven the Hunter, and Mysterio. Now the two other villains aren’t necessarily part of the original Sinister Six (Green Goblin is in the Ultimate Universe’s), but who knows, the writers could make their own with these two or stick to it. Regardless, I’m okay with Rhino and Green Goblin having minor roles in this film because they are part of a bigger picture and I’m looking at this new franchise as a whole story that is being told as it goes, and more details will unfold in the next movie(s). I will say, however, that DeHaan wasn’t as good a Harry Osborn as James Franco was in the original Spider-Man films. Who knows, though, maybe he’ll develop more in the next film.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a great action movie, and arguably the best iteration of the character to date. I really don’t know why critics are slamming this film saying it was bloated and had awful pacing. As a fan of the comics and film in general, I thought it was well written for the fans, kept you wanting the next installment, and overall just had a great emphasis on who Spider-Man is, what drives him, and what he stands for.
Overall Rating: 8.5/10 – Great
Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone kill it, the CGI was very cool, and I’m actually very excited for the next movie. If you’re a fan of Spider-Man, then you will truly enjoy this movie.
PS The music was also awesome in this movie. I mean it comes to no surprise since Hans Zimmer did the score. Electro’s theme was like this dubstep sort of song, which was awesome. It makes sense since dubstep is ELECTRIC music, and ELECTRO has ELECTRIC powers.
PSS I’m sorry this review was so long.
IMAGES http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/archive/0/02/20140319151353!The_Amazing_Spiderman_2_poster.jpg, http://images.designntrend.com/data/images/full/17718/amazing-spider-man-2.jpg