The Amazing Spider-man 2 movie review
I came out of this movie the same way I did the first film: furious. But then, as this week went on and I gathered my thoughts, I came to see the things I liked about the movie and they outbalance the negatives, even though the negatives are still blatantly present. And that's why I took a little more time before I posted this review, I wanted a clear vision of my opinion on the film so I could type up a solid review for it. So here we go, let's see how Spidey's latest movie holds up.
Some SPOILERS follow, but I won't give away the big spoilers.
We open the film with Spider-man doing what he does best, chasing down a random thug in an intense truck chase. This Russian criminal (played by Paul Giamatti) has stolen plutonium vials from Oscorp, and Spidey has to stop him. At the same time, Peter and Gwen's high school graduation is going on. Peter of course, makes it there just in time. We find out that Peter and Gwen are together, and it is haunting Peter a lot. Peter keeps seeing Captain Stacy randomly in the environment giving him a look of disappointment, which is expected considering he is going against Captain Stacy's dying request. This leads Peter to break up with Gwen, apparently it isn't the first time either. So Gwen says this is it and they are going to be friends. They work out this dynamic through to the movie's climax.
Meanwhile, we meet Max Dillon, played by Jamie Foxx. Dillon is a socially awkward electrician who works at Oscorp. During the opening chase, Dillon is rescued by Spider-man from getting run over. Spidey does his "friendly neighborhood" thing and tells Dillon he needs him and that he is his "eyes and ears." Dillon takes this a little too close to the heart and becomes obsessed with Spider-man and making him proud. He bumps into Gwen the next day on his birthday and tells her he just wants to be noticed like Spider-man. That night, he has to stay behind and fix an electrical problem in the generator room, where an eel generator experiment is going on. He falls in, and long story short, he gains electrical superpowers. He wanders into times square, where he becomes the focus of attention, through fear, but he does get his dream to come true. Spider-man swings in to stop him, but things get out of hand. Spider-man learns that it is Max, and Spidey becomes the center of attention. Dillon finds his hatred through jealousy of Spider-man, and the fight ensues. Spider-man barely pulls it off, but he does stop Dillon and he is taken away to an undercover experimental lab/prison institute, run by Oscorp.
Meanwhile, we are also introduced to Harry Osborn, who has come back from private school. He speaks with his father, Norman Osborn, and Harry inherits Oscorp as a whole. But the eeeeeevil corporate heads of Oscorp don't like that and secretly try to kick Harry out, except for his new assistant, Felicia Hardy. Peter finds out Harry is back in town and comes to talk to him and rekindle their childhood friendship, which they do. They talk all day, Peter tells Harry about Gwen, graduating, and they talk about Spider-man, who Harry isn't too crazy about. The next day or so, Harry discovers (quite suddenly), that he has the same disease his father has, and will be killed by it, at some point. So he digs through Oscorp's files to find that Spider-man was created through the spiders at Oscorp. This inspires an obsession to find Spider-man and acquire his blood, because he believes his regeneration powers will heal him. This will have him cross paths with Dillon, who has forgone his previous self and has become a full on villain named Electro. But Harry becomes something much more sinister, The Green Goblin! It's up to Spider-man to save New York from the 2 villains.
Now as you can tell, that is an awful amount of content to throw together for a story, but you also have to add in several scenes about Peter's parents and his discovery of what they were up to. Also add in Peter and Aunt May discussing their feelings about Ben and Peter's parents, Gwen's educational career and several scenes simply dedicated to setting up sequels and spin-off movies. What do you get when it is all added up? One cluttered film with too many rushed element to list.
Max "Electro" Dillon's story is given a great amount of time to be set up, but it fizzles out to a bland villain wrap-up. Honestly, Electro could have carried this movie as the main villain if the script allowed his story to expand and be given the attention it really deserved. His special effects and visual style were friggin' awesome though, and he was a spectacular visual showcase for the action scenes. And Jamie Foxx did a great job, even when he had to portray a very stereotypical nerd in the first third of the movie. You could really sympathize with him in the beginning, and even as Electro he is awesome and sounds intimidating. It really is a great villain performance. It's just a shame he wasn't given the attention he deserved. Even during the final confrontation with him, Peter is more concerned thinking about Captain Stacy than the fight, not to mention how little he cares about the fight's outcome. It seemed uncharacteristic. Max was instead put on the back burner for sequel set ups and Gwen/ Peter drama.
Yes, the Peter/Gwen dynamic takes up most of this movie. Did it need to? No. However, it was much more believable and powerful in this film as apposed to the awkwardness of the first film. You really felt the drama between these 2 characters, like in the comic books. This is mainly because Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone knock it out of the park with their acting. Stone really shows off a range of acting from her adorable sarcasm to very serious moments with Peter about their future. And where her story lads his heartbreaking, amongst other things. Stone really delivered the performance of her career.
Garfield delivers his best performance ever as well. Not only is his Peter Parker spot on for what a movie Parker should be, but his Spider-man feels like it's right out of the comic books. His Peter is serious, funny and actually charming. His Spider-man fights hard, is hysterical with his quips, and feels like a genuine hero. I even feel that Garfield's overall performance finally tops Maquire's performance in the original trilogy. Garfield's Spider-man is just overall perfect and fantastic comic book representation.
Dane Dehaan, where do I begin? I think he played a very good Harry. He wasn't as suave and charming as Franco's Harry, but Dehaan's performance also feels a bit more deep. He is confident and intelligent, but you can really see his damaged and twisted side. So naturally, when he becomes Goblin, you can honestly see the transition and buy the fact that he has become this psychotic villain. Granted, his transformation feels a little rushed, very similar to Venom in Spider-man 3, but fortunately at least Harry was given more build up, it's just that Goblin is introduced in the climax. Plus, the design of Goblin, is a mixed batch. The Glider and the armor looks awesome, but the face, is laughable at best. At least Dehaan has a great maniacal laugh.
The action scenes in this movie are really impressive as well, especially the fights with Electro. They have Spider-man's movements fluidly nailed and the action is all over the place and awesome. A big step up from the first movie, thankfully. The action may be one of the best selling points of the movie.
Now yes, I didn't talk about Rhino. Because he didn't matter in this movie and he only existed to set up the next movie and the Sinister Six spinoff. It was like a swift slap to the face to actually advertise Rhino like that, and then use him as little as they did in this movie. It was disgraceful. Plus, the bit with the little kid during the Rhino scene, is so dumb, and so forced and so facepalm worthy. It is the worst moment of the movie. You'll see what I mean. By the way, yes, Paul Giamatti's random character at the beginning of the movie becomes the Rhino, and yes it is as random as me mentioning it now. Also, I like the Mecha-Rhino suit. A lot. It looked awesome.
Overall, I did really enjoy The Amazing Spider-man 2, it's just that there were several things about the movie that really disappointed me with its execution, mainly the rushed elements of the plot. I really wished they saved some things for the next movie and let elements of this movie breathe a bit. Although, what we get in the form of good stuff, is really good. The action and main cast performances are all bullseyes and really are great. So, if you are an action, superhero or Spider-man fan, The Amazing Spider-man 2 is definitely worth checking out.
I give The Amazing Spider-man 2, 4 thwips out of 5
p.s. the x-men scene during the credits wins for worst post-credits scene ever.
come on over and like the facebook page!