Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

spider

Spoiler Free!

Stars: Andrew Garfield, Jamie Foxx, Emma Stone, Dane DeHaan, Colm Feore, Sally Field, Paul Giamatti, Campbell Scott, Embeth Davidtz, Chris Cooper

Rated PG-13 for for sequences of Sci-fi action/violence, Running time 142 minutes, Action/Adventure

Compare to: Ghostbusters 2 (1989), Hellboy (2004)

Once The Avengers was realized as a hit, it became pretty clear comic book movies and more so big-budget Action movies wouldn’t be the same. Sequels and spin-offs, references and hints at future films are everywhere; we can’t escape the advertising or the news of future sequels when the current installment hasn’t been released.

So while The Amazing Spider-Man 2 suffered from the Sequel Syndrome as I’ve decided to call it just now, the movie itself is enjoyable, with just enough drama for you to be invested. Perfect? No. Far from it. But asking for perfection in a series at all is a bit much anyway so settling for fun isn’t a bad compromise, if a compromise at all.

Having settled into his life as Spider-Man, the super-powered Peter Parker has his schedule filled. If he’s not making time for his girlfriend and family, he’s foiling armed robberies and other criminal shenanigans. But Peter’s hectic life is about to get even more complicated when those more powerful than him begin to emerge and it’s only a matter of time before his “luck” runs out.

So sweet you'll gag! Guaranteed!

So sweet you’ll gag! Guaranteed!

While Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man trilogy (2002-2007) relied much on lead actor Tobey Maguire’s innocent demeanor and “aw shucks” mentality, much of the the new series depends on title character’s ability to lose himself in the fun of a guy with the proportionate powers of a spider.

And it works for the most part. Heists and car chases are reduced to destructive running gags of the suited-up Andrew Garfield making jokes with the criminals he’s chasing. It may all be a bit much to take in for any newcomers to the series and possibly corny to those looking for something a bit more serious. But for many, this could be the balance they were looking for. The predecessor of 2012 had many complaining of an origin story we didn’t need to see; deviating in key moments while remaining too much the same in others.

But in ASM2, jumping in to the action and comedy is a fast as jumping into a swimming pool on a hot Summer day. Though some people don’t care to jump right to the deep end and prefer to go step by step and this may be where people become the most divided. The narrative could be said to be a bit jumpy at times.

Personally, it’s tough to tell being a Spider-Man fan because the characters and actions all seemed naturally falling into place while those not as well versed in the source material may wonder how the dots connect.

"Connect THESE. A-hole."

“Connect THESE. A-hole.”

In any case, all reviews are going to be biased to some degree. There’s what a critic or reviewer can say but your opinion is of course, up to you.

Several performances are noteworthy here with Garfield in the lead; his Queens accent and attitude heavily reminiscent of Raphael in the 1990 Ninja Turtles film which could be good or bad depending on how you feel about Raphael. Jamie Foxx as Electro channels his inner nerd as Max Dillon, another scientist-turned super-villain that gives us a painful dose in reminding Peter that not everyone who has the power has the same intentions.

Hire him for your kid's birthday! Cheap!

Hire him for your kid’s birthday! Cheap!

But the standout performance goes to Dane Dehaan, who plays the “abused son” role all too well. He seems to have more fun in this part more so than any of his previous roles as well as James Franco’s take on the character, who played him previously.

Hans Zimmer’s (teamed up with the “Magnificent Six” as they call themselves) score is an interesting mix of heroic and electronic. A bit messy and cluttered in moments but add to the film’s frantic and upbeat pace.

All in all, it’s friggin’ Spider-Man. You kinda have an idea of what to expect and whether you’re going to like it or not but in this case, being a fan may play a big part in how you feel about it.

Bra, do you tan?

Bra, do you tan?

Positives- Garfield and Stone have good onscreen chemistry, cool effects, actors seem to genuinely enjoy their roles, long run time doesn’t drag.

Negatives- The pacing may be too quick for some, some effects are overdone, much of the film feels familiar at this point being the fifth film to the character’s name.

Grade: B-

Side Note: There IS a mid-credits scene though it’s not connected to Spider-Man or even Sony. For whatever reason, we’re “treated” to a clip from the upcoming X-Men movie, “Days of Future Past.”

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3 Responses to “Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2”

  1. Spiderman Illiterate Says:

    Was Elektro a needy, pussy in the comic books too?

    • Taylor Says:

      Nah. Just a thug robbing banks. Though when Mark Millar got a hold of him for Marvel Knights Spider-Man he hinted that Electro’s time in prison changed his “preferences.” Hint hint.

  2. film

    Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 | Zombies Ruin Everything

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