The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Directed by Mark Webb
Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Sally Field, and Paul Giamatti.
I did really enjoy the first in this new Spider-Man trilogy, even though I felt that a reboot was unnecessary. So, with the second installment on the horizon, at first I was eager for it, but with so much hype, the strange thing was I was almost burnt out on it as the release date drew near. Rather than excitement, my attitude towards the release was, “Oh, yeah. That’s coming out today.” But still, remembering those desperate days of the 1990s when we were wondering if there would ever be a Spider-Man movie, I still got out to see it. And how does the latest cinematic Spidey fare?
Peter Parker has been Spider-Man for a while now, and most of New York seems to be embracing their new superhero. Even one Max Dillon, a mostly ignored electrical engineer working at OsCorp. One day, Spider-Man saves Dillon from a police chase, and that chance encounter turns Dillon into a creepy obsessed fan. Meanwhile, as madly in love as Peter and Gwen Stacey are, Peter is still haunted by her father’s deathbed wish that Peter distance himself from Gwen and not drag her into the Spidey life, giving their whole relationship an awkward on-again/off-again status. Meanwhile, Norman Osborn passes away, and his son, and childhood friend of Peter’s, Harry Osborn returns. Harry is dying from the same illness that claimed his father, and believes that Spider-Man’s DNA holds the key to a cure. Meanwhile, Dillon has an industrial accident at OsCorp that turns him into Electo, new powers that he hopes will get the city to love him as much as they love Spider-Man. Will Spider-Man defeat Electro? Will Peter and Gwen be able to make it work? And will Harry find his cure deep within OsCorp’s archives?
What I Liked
Andrew Garfield IS Spider-Man. When he’s in costume, Spidey’s trademark quips are fast and furious and funny. We finally get to see more of the scientific side of Peter Parker, as he tinkers with his web shooters to keep Electro from shorting them out. The special effects are great, too. The bullet-time-ish spider-sense sequences are spectacular to look at. And much like the first film, the heart is the Peter Parker/Gwen Stacey romance. Garfield and Stone make such an adorable couple on screen, and their banter is perfect. They are just a great movie couple.
What I Didn’t Like
Paul Giamatti as the Rhino is wasted. It’s pretty much a glorified cameo. We hardly get to know Jamie Foxx’s Electro. We see him as super-nerd, pushed around person who finally gets the power to push back. It’s a trite, cliched, by-the-numbers character arc. It would have been nice to have spent more time with Harry Osborn and witness his transformation to the Green Goblin, and again, it seems rushed and forced in just so we can have the Green Goblin <spoiler redacted>. It’s just overstuffed.
This feels very much like a transitional film. They’re quick to wrap up the loose ends and questions people had about the first film, while they’re also trying to set-up the entire Spider-verse of films they’re planning. That being said, I did enjoy it. There’s enough good Spidey action for you to select the stuff you like.