The Amazing Spider-Man 2

TASM2posterRelease Date: May 2, 2014
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Campbell Scott, Embeth Davidtz, Colm Feore, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field
Director: Marc Webb
Studio: Columbia Pictures, Marvel Entertainment
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Genre(s): Superheroes
Based On Marvel’s The Amazing Spider-Man

Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Spoilers: Moderate
IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes | Wikipedia

It’s been a few days now since I first got the chance to see the Amazing Spider-Man 2 and I think the #feels are still setting in. This is one emotional thrill ride and I spent the entire movie trying to juggle the humor, the romance, the bromance, and just everything else that came along with it. I’m not sure I’m ready to say that this sequel was better than the first movie but I’m getting there. I just really love this adaptation of Spider-Man.

I knew from the first trailer they released that I was probably going to love this movie but, you know, I grew up with the Tobey Maguire series. It set a high bar that the Amazing Spider-Man had already vaulted over easily. But it also showed how an awesome series could go so terribly wrong.

So let’s address the biggest issue people have had from the get go: the multiple villains.

He picks up the bad guy thing pretty quickly. [Columbia Pictures]
He picks up the bad guy thing pretty quickly.

We’ve been told straight up that there were going to be three bad guys from pretty much the beginning, right? We have Electro, the Green Goblin, and Rhino. Even before the movie came out they had released images of all three and sort of led people to believe that each would play a major part in the movie. But this is very much Electro’s story. He takes center stage and it’s amazing.  The relationship between Spidey and Max and then Spidey and Electro is one of the more heartbreaking parts of the film. He goes from Spider-Man groupie to being completely and totally disappointed to the point that it’s crushing. Jamie Foxx seriously nails it as Electro. I’d see this movie five times just for his performance. He really gets Electro.

I will say, too, that the character design is phenomenal. While watching the movie I swear Electro’s powers made me feel like I was playing inFamous all over again. (The villain path, obviously.) He is probably the coolest villain we’ve ever seen on-screen in a Spider-Man movie and if they follow through with this Sinister Six film they’ve been talking about I will see it in an instant just for him. He had the best soundtrack, too. Sort of a psuedo-dubstep style mixed with Tesla coil music. Seriously. It’s awesome. There’s this one incredible fight scene between Electro and Spidey and it’s just all Tesla coil.

Tesla coil everywhere! [Columbia Pictures]
Tesla coil everywhere!

The Green Goblin’s origins are important and they get just the right amount of screen time but, ultimately, the Green Goblin as a villain is secondary to Harry Obsorn’s role as a friend and former confidant in Peter Parker’s life. While Peter deals with his own issues Harry is racing the clock to try and prevent his own personal tragedy. It’s his desperation that leads him to become the Green Goblin and the movie does a great job or leading up to that point – and you have to kind wonder if you shouldn’t be on Harry’s side when it all comes down to it.

I'm looking forward to a movie with Dane DeHaan as the main baddie, I'm gonna be honest.
I’m looking forward to a movie with Dane DeHaan as the main baddie, I’m gonna be honest.

Last, Rhino – who looks awesome  in his suit – serves as sort of an introduction both to the film and, later, to a potential Sinister Six spin-off. But he’s a bit character in this film showing up only twice in significant but ultimately contained scenes. They are pretty cool fight scenes, though. And the last scene he’s in is actually freakin’ adorable.

Actually, pretty much every fight scene – and most of the regular web-slinging scenes – were phenomenal. I’m not usually someone who advocates going to see movies in 3D IMAX (mostly because my eyes have a limited ability to see in 3D) but it definitely added a something to this film. I jumped a couple of times when things flew out of the screen. And there’s a lot that can come flying out at you. There’s a lot of epic destruction and while I’m usually that person who could care less about effects so long as the story is good I legit could have just sat for two hours watching Electro destroy New York City for two hours.

I could watch this for days.
I could watch this for days.

Not to say that the story isn’t good – it is!

The whole thing comes together very nicely. There a lot of little side plots going on but it never feels bogged down. Instead you’re energized by each and every little piece, wondering what will happen next and how it will be resolved. Harry’s story weaves right into Electro’s and Peter’s attempt to balance his love for Gwen with his need to be Spider-Man and his need to find out what really happened to his parents. Though, I admit, I might have liked to have seen Dane DeHaan more. I can wait a couple years until the Amazing Spider-Man 3, though.

Though, even Peter Parker needs a little help keeping track of things.
Though, even Peter Parker needs a little help keeping track of things.

Other than that?

This is the perfect continuation of Peter Parker’s story.

It manages to be funny and engaging while still keeping up with itself. It’s a Spider-Man movie so, of course, there have to be plenty of quips and some measure of humor. It really just makes a good movie even better.

He even put on the hat!
He even put on the hat!

I mean, maybe Peter and Gwen’s on-again, off-again high school-ish relationship is at times kind of juvenile but, you know, they are supposed to be high school kids just starting college. It’s realistic in the sense.

Plus, you know, at the end of the first movie we basically have Gwen’s dad ask him not to get her involved in all this vigilante stuff and even though he tries to make it work with her that weighs on him. That gives is a really nice added dynamic. They love each other but a promise to a dying man to keep his daughter safe has a lot of weight and it should have a lot of weight. I’m kind of glad it’s haunting him because I would have lost respect for him if it didn’t.

Even if Gwen doesn’t think it should.

Gwen also tends to get into some pretty dangerous situations that could be avoided if she just listened to Peter.
Gwen also tends to get into some pretty dangerous situations that could be avoided if she just listened to Peter.

There’s a real emotional depth to the whole movie. Peter’s relationships with Electro, Harry, and Gwen are really at the heart of the movie. Watching them all fall apart and try to be salvaged and to watch Electro and Harry ultimately fall from grace is almost hard. It doesn’t matter how cool Electro looks in the end or how great of a Green Goblin Dane DeHaan plays. It’s that development that really counts.

I think I’ll leave it at that because there’s a lot going on in this movie and I don’t really want to give anything else away. I keep trying to think of ways to hint at bigger plot points without giving them away entirely but I can’t so all I’ll say is this: Go see it. If you liked the Amazing Spider-Man you’re going to really enjoy this one, too. And since Andrew Garfield is only onboard officially for one more movie we need to make the most of his rendition of Peter Parker because it might just set the standard going forward.

Final Thoughts: 
Fans of the Amazing Spider-Man will not be disappointed with this sequel that picks up shortly after the first film ends. Despite earlier fears that the movie might be overloaded with villains the story is very well balanced and packs a lot of punch. There are a lot of really intense action sequences as well as some pretty emotional scenes as well.  It’s very much a movie about what makes and defines Peter Parker as Spider-Man. And if nothing else Jamie Foxx’s Electro is awesome. You have got to see it.

4 thoughts on “The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is an Emotional, Action-Packed Reminder that Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man is One of the Best”

  1. I really liked this movie! Although Tobey Maguire was (and is) “THE SPIDER MAN” this versione with Andrew Garfield is very interesting! And He played perfectly with Emma Stone the relationship between Peter and Gwen. 🙂

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