Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2. (2014)
Directed By: Marc Webb.
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Sally Field and Paul Giamatti.
So last week I wrote my original review for this movie and I didn't give it the most positive review because I simply didn't enjoy it when I first saw it. But since then I have seen the movie two more times and I can honestly say I was wrong. I am absolutely in love with this movie now! So I will be re-reviewing this movie in this article and then at the end I will delve into spoilers and Easter eggs for those of you who have seen the movie!
So we meet up with Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) not long after the events of the first film and he has fully embraced his role as New York's protector. He swings beautifully through the streets of New York fighting crime and saving civilians. Life has never been better for the wall crawler....but that is all about to change.
Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) is an employee at Oscorp who is involved in a horrific accident that leaves him with the powers to control and manipulate electricity, therefore becoming the villain....Electro. Before Max gained his abilities he was just a lonely guy who needed a friend and when Spider-Man saves Max's life, he believes Spider-Man is his best friend. When Max feels betrayed by Spider-Man he goes into a blind rage and goes on a vendetta towards the hero.
Our other antagonist in the film is Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan). Harry is Peter's estranged best friend. The two haven't seen each other in 8 years and when Harry returns to New York, the two try to re-kindle their friendship. Harry also feels betrayed by Peter so he teams up with Electro to take down Spider-Man.
One of my main issues with the film when I first watched it was the villains. I thought they were just poorly done. But after a couple more viewings, I have grown towards them a bit. I still don't think they're great villains but I do like them now. Electro does come out with some ridiculous one liners....such as "It's my birthday....time to light my candles" which had me rolling my eyes but visually he was stunning, especially in one shot where Spider-Man is chasing Electro through the city which was beautifully done. Green Goblin has a really stupid voice but the costume is great and we are definitely going to get him in future films. And well.....Rhino. Paul Giamatti as the Rhino got me excited when it was announced but he such a bad character, especially with the awful Russian accent. But Rhino was always one of the worst Spider-Man villains so I shouldn't have expected much.
Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man is just perfect. He captures everything I love about the character, his wit and cockiness to the way he moves, its just brilliant. He has definitely surpassed Tobey Maguire's portrayal of the character. He brings so much more depth to the character of Peter and Spider-Man than we have ever seen before. Also the chemistry between Andrew and Emma is amazing, which is no surprise seeing as they are together in real life.
The cast do a great job in their roles! Emma Stone is just flawless as Gwen Stacy. Jamie Foxx was good as Max/Electro but his character wasn't great, he was very one note and by the end of the film I couldn't care what happened to Electro. Dane DeHaan surprised me as Harry because I am not a huge fan of DeHaan, but for a part of this movie I was liking his performance...that was until he becomes Green Goblin where his character just goes so ridiculous. Sally Field was absolutely fantastic in the movie as Aunt May, especially in one scene between her and Andrew Garfield which was a great scene where you really see how important these two people are to each other.
The action in this movie is amazing, the action was filmed well and now and again it would go into slow motion so we could see Spider-Man using his abilities whilst in combat and it was incredible. Ever since I was a small child, I have always been blown away by Spider-Man swinging through the city and here it's at its best! In one opening scene we see Spider-Man swinging through the city fighting crime and this one shot was absolutely beautifully shot. Spider-Man swinging feels a lot more natural in this movie, before in other movies we have seen Spider-Man swing normally but in this movie he's doing flips and tricks off of buildings and that really felt like Spider-Man to me, after all he is a teenager and he's having fun with his powers. We really see him having fun with his powers when he first confronts Aleskie Sytsevich in a speeding truck, he's making fun of the villain and toying around with him but also getting the job done and for me that is what has always been missing from Spider-Man movies! I think this just shows how well Andrew Garfield understand the character of Spider-Man!
This movie is incredibly funny, to some of Spider-Man's witty one liners to some of the situations Peter gets into with his powers, the first film felt like it was trying to be a bit too serious but this one just shrugged that off and just went all out fun! That's what this movie is, it's just a lot of fun!
My main issue with the film is really the villains, I just thought they were really one note and quite boring, this as an issue with the first film as well. I was not a fan of The Lizard in the first film because I thought his motives just became silly. Doctor Octopus is still the best villain from any Spider-Man movie. I'm interested to see how he is portrayed in this movie series because it's obvious he will eventually show up.
So after two more viewings of the movie I can happily say I love this movie! The performances were great, the action was stunning, the score by Hans Zimmer is absolutely brilliant, it might even rival Danny Elfman's original theme for Sam Raimi's trilogy. Overall this film does have flaws and that is mainly with it's villains but once you get over how ridiculous this movie is at times, it's a thoroughly entertaining film. It had me laughing, it had me crying and the climax of the film stayed with me long after the credits rolled. I am giving The Amazing Spider-Man 2 a B+!
So....lets talk Spoilers! If you haven't seen the movie yet, go and see it and then come back!
The movie opens with another scene about Peter's parents. In the first film there was a lot of secrecy about what happened to them and we see that here. They leave Peter and Ben and May's house and they have to get as far away from New York city as they can because people are out to kill them because of their knowledge of what Oscorp is trying to do. Mary Parker is killed on the plane but Richard fights long enough so that he can send an unknown file to an unknown location, the plane plummets to the Earth and cut to black. We later find out that they had to run because Oscorp was trying to use their scientific research to create biological weaponry. Richard had been conducting experiments on Spider's because they can self heal and the goal was to combine the DNA of humans with the DNA of Spider's so that humans can have the ability to self heal. We then find out when Peter discovers his father's secret laboratory that Richard used his own DNA on the Spider's so that only his bloodline will be able to benefit from his experiments, that is why when Peter was bitten by a Spider, he got all the abilities that he now has.
Early in the film we see Harry Osborn return to his home in New York to see his father before he dies. Norman Osborn is extremely sick, he has had a virus ever since he was around 20 years old that ate away at him for around 40 years. That's why in the first film, we heard that Norman wants Dr Connors to hurry up with human trials on the Lizard experiments so that he can be healed. When we see Norman, his skin is green, his nails are very long and I think this was a reference to when Norman Osborn becomes the Green Goblin in the Ultimate Spider-Man series, instead of just putting on a suit, he is physically transformed into a Goblin like beast. Norman tells Harry the disease is genetic and that Harry will shortly start becoming sick with it. Norman gives Harry a small little box that neither Harry or the audience knows what it does. Shortly after this scene, Norman dies and Harry becomes the CEO of Oscorp. Harry does eventually get sick from the disease and he finds out that if he can get his hands on the DNA of the Spider's his father and Richard were testing on, he can be healed. But all of the Spider's were destroyed, so that leaves Harry with one option.....get the blood of Spider-Man. After Spider-Man refuses to give Harry his blood, Harry has a vendetta towards Spider-Man. He finds out from his assistant Felicia (who comic book readers will know as Felicia Hardy/Black Cat) that the Spider's venom was extracted and is in a part of Oscorp tower known as "Special Projects".
After Electro is taken down by Spider-Man in Times Square, he is sent to Ravencroft Institute which is basically Arkham Aslyum but in Spider-Man. Harry breaks Electro out of Ravencroft because he needs his help to break into Oscorp and get into "Special Projects" after Harry is thrown out of the business. Electro and Harry break in and Harry discovers a tonne of biological weapons that his father had worked on. Harry takes the spider venom but because Richard Parker made sure that only his bloodline could benefit from the Spider's, Harry's body undergoes a huge transformation and he becomes a creature that looks similar to a Goblin. He gets inside the Green Goblin battle armor and he and Electro go off to cause a ruckus in New York.
Gwen tells Peter that she got into Oxford University and she is leaving for England. Peter decides that he is going to go to England with Gwen because he can't afford to lose her. After a very heart warming scene on top of a bridge, the moment is quickly interrupted when all of New York's power shuts down because Electro is destroying the power plant. Peter and Gwen magnetize Peter's web shooters so that they won't be damaged by Electro and Spidey goes off to save the day. Spider-Man and Electro fight, Electro explodes but when all seems well.....Green Goblin shows up, finds out Peter is Spider-Man, takes Gwen, drops her from the sky, Spider-Man catches her but now Spider-Man must keep Gwen safe but also stop Goblin! After an exhilarating action scene, Gwen is left hanging from a web whilst Spidey is fighting Goblin. The web gets snapped in the clock towers gears and Gwen hurtles down the tower. Green Goblin gets knocked out and Spider-Man rushes to catch Gwen.
This is the big spoiler of the film that I've been rushing to get to! Spider-Man catches Gwen with his web but Gwen hits her head on the ground and Spider-Man's web snaps her back. This scene was done so beautifully well and was so true to the comics but it was incredibly heart breaking. I got so emotional in this scene because of Garfield's performance. So Gwen does die. I knew that this was going to happen because I know what goes down in the comics but it still really surprised me and I've seen the movie three times and it still gets me upset.
Peter obviously feels responsible for Gwen's death and we see that he visits her grave everyday and he has stopped being Spider-Man. He listens to Gwen's speech about hope and decides that he can't stop being Spider-Man, that isn't what Gwen would have wanted. He puts the suit back on and heads off to fight Rhino!
Before this fight we see that Harry is locked up in Ravencroft and his condition is coming and going. The mysterious figure from the first film that speaks to Kurt Connors in his prison cell is back and he and Harry have a plan to take over the city. We see that the mysterious person, now known as "Mr Fiers", there are some theories going round about his character. I believe this character is the villain known as "The Gentleman", his real name is Gustav Fiers and he is known for being a founding member of the Sinister Six! Sony are developing a Sinister Six movie where six Spider-Man villains team up to take down the wall crawler. Mr Fiers goes to Oscorp and we see the arms of Doctor Octopus, the wings of Vulture and the mechanical suit of Rhino. Aleski Sytsevich is broken out of The Vault and recruited as the newest member to Goblin's cause and becomes the Rhino!
So there is a lot of set up here for future films, especially Sinister Six. After this film, Spider-Man will want revenge on Harry for the death of Gwen and he will never be the same after this film. So like I said before, I loved this movie and I give it a B+!