Once again Spider-man swings into theaters with “The Amazing Spider-man 2”. Does it continue Marvels 2014 success or is it far from amazing? Find out by clicking more.
***WARNING SPOILERS THROUGHOUT REVIEW*** To most comic fans, the previous film “The Amazing Spider-man” was a disappointment. While it had a few good factors, the overall film was mediocre. Personally, I was upset that they decided to reboot the entire series instead of continuing the Maguire/Raimi franchise. That trilogy was not only entertaining, but one of the better early comic films. The Raimi trilogy may be looked down upon due to the amount of hate that “Spider-man 3” receives constantly. It’s evident that this new series of Spidey flicks is targeted to be more modern and hip, which is the downfall to the first film. It felt like the first one was rushed or poorly produced given the MTV movie feel throughout the film. Now only two years later, we are faced with a sequel (which will try to bring the character back to its celebratory ways).
Picking up where the previous film ended, we find Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) going against Captain Stacy’s (Denis Leary) dying wish. On a daily basis, Peter is confronted by the ghost of Gwen’s father who makes him begin to contemplate his decision. With doubt in his mind, he juggles between the now complicated relationship with Gwen (Emma Stone), uncovering the secrecy of his father, self discovery, and being a masked vigilante. This blend of mostly common issues is what makes Spider-man such a compelling character. Relating to the audience is not only a engaging component of film that is often absent in similar films, but it also throws the viewer directly in the shoes or in this case behind the mask of the character.
As far as performances, the most crowd pleasing without a doubt is when both Peter and Gwen are onscreen together. Their chemistry sells the fictional relationship, which is mostly due to the fact that Garfield and Stone are dating in real life. With Peter’s charm, wittiness, and morale belief as well as Gwen’s sarcasm, dedication, and innocence, the relationship not only seems genuine but it will also put a smile on your face.
Peter Parker/ Spider-man together were more true to the comics than the last film. Making Spider-man come off less as a dick and more of a witty jokester, was a smart and needed tweak. As stated earlier, Peter has a lot on his plate; which comes crashing down on him several times throughout the film. With tears pouring out of his eyes several times, I feel as if it will be forgiven unlike “Spider-man 3” (which was also appropriate given the circumstances).
Max Dillon aka Electro (Jamie Foxx) was one of the more befuddled characters in TASM2. When we are first introduced to him, he is seen as a loner that is invisible to everyone around him; but then feels as if he has a purpose after a brief encounter with Spider-man. The film constantly cuts to Max early on, as if to set up for a drastic finale. While we see him transform into an incredibly powerful villain, there seems to be a missing link to complete his story arc. This is transparent as the final battle strays away from epic and resorts to a Skrillex interpretation of “Itsy Bitsy Spider”.
Dane DeHann as Harry Osborne/Green Goblin was a pleasant surprise as he portrayed a more angry and isolated version of Harry compared to James Franco’s. DeHann proved in “Chronicle” that he can play the misunderstood child turned monster flawlessly. His look alone gives off the feeling that he has devilish intentions adding to the overall enjoyment of the role. The most memorable part of this character was the meeting of Spider-man and the Green Goblin. The echoing sinister laughs helped paint an eerie tone for the franchise, which mirrors with Peter as he faces his inner demons. The Goblin story line was not as immaculately put together as previous attempts in comics and film, but with more focus on this character it has the chance of becoming the driving factor of the film.
Visually, the film was up to date as the CGI captured the essence of Spider-man which would be physically impossible to do with practical effects. The ripples of the suit as Spidey free falls hundreds of feet and physics bending acrobatics were spot on, however the overuse of CGI became apparent during the battles between Spider-man and Electro; which resembled more to a Video Game cut scene. Speaking of Electro, his appearance went from interesting to a complete CGI mess. The decision to use less practical effects and instead highlight features with CGI was definitely a disastrous decision. Jamie Foxx became almost unrecognizable, as he resembled more to Mr.Freeze in “Batman and Robin” rather than Electro; especially with that unexplained suit.
The character who had the best costume by far was the web-slinger himself, Spider-man. A drastic improvement from the first, TASM2’s suit seems to be the most comic accurate costume to date. The larger eye lenses and brighter colors adds the pop of the costume, which transfers over fantastically in the action sequences. The action for the most part seemed to be taken right out of the pages of an Amazing Spider-man issue. From chase scenes to battles between mortal enemies, they are all present. The most mind-blowing sequences are the ones in which Spider-man is swinging through the concrete Jungle of New York City. Accompanied by 3D, the film gives off the illusion that your friendly neighborhood spider-man is in the theater. There are a few scenes that have the tragic inclusion of shaky cam. This unnecessary technique has become an overused inclusion in many films and it needs to be stopped!!!
One of the greatest inclusions of TASM to is the death of Gwen Stacy. While it may have been a shock to viewers unfamiliar with the comics, it came to no surprise for the diehard fans. It was nice that the film stay faithful to the comics from the way it happened to the exact clothing that was worn in the comics. Although it was sad to see Gwen die, it’s bittersweet due to it being a needed element for the reshaping of Peter’s personality for the better. Although it wasn’t a shock to me that she died, it was shocking that they showed the impact. Even though it wasn’t gruesome, the tension and grief was felt throughout the theater. This is quite rare moment, but gives a exhilarated feeling for dedicated movie goers.
It’s obvious that they are setting up for the many sequels and spin offs to come, and I have to admit that I’m slowly becoming more and more excited. While there are great performances and entertaining action, flaws such as a far from spectacular score, overused CGI, an apparent rushing of production, and a story convoluted with several incomplete plot lines hinder “The Amazing Spider-man” from rising any above an average superhero flick. While doubters of the new series are not convinced to take a bite, the TASM2 was a lure that definitely got their attention. Maybe more Paul Giamatti will do the trick.