Walking into the movie theatre was wonderful. An IMAX 3D movie? Sure, no problem. I’m so ready to see this. Having refreshed my memory of the first movie just a week prior, I felt up on my Spiderman game and was ready to take on the new movie and its take.
I have to say that I was decently impressed with the movie as a whole. Speaking as vaguely as I can (in order to avoid spoilers, of course) I found myself interested in the story, even though I had seen it so many times before. My biggest problem with the movie wasn’t even a problem, it was the simple fact that it was marketed for kids. The high budget special effects looked crisp in IMAX 3D, which made up for the sub-par soundtrack. I thought the movie was definitely worth seeing, even though at times it felt like it was just a set-up for the next movie.
And here’s where the spoilers come in. I’m warning you now.
The Amazing Spiderman 2 may have been marketed for children, but it dealt with some pretty heavy themes.
Fresh off the death of Gwen’s father, Peter basically starts seeing his ghost all over the place. In truth, he has more screen time than Paul Giamatti even comes close to seeing as Rhino, more on this in a bit. He decides to take the whole “With great power comes great responsibility” motto to heart, and breaks up with her.
And then, we’re introduced to Harry Osborne. Now, I’m a big Dane DeHaan fan. I loved him in Chronicle, I loved him in Kill Your Darlings, in Lawless and I even loved him in Metallica Through The Never. But he always, and I mean always, plays the same character.
This movie was no exception. Dane DeHaan is angsty, has father issues, and is greedy. While I recognize that these are all characteristics that Harry Osborne possesses as a character, I felt like I was just seeing Dane DeHaan be… well, Dane DeHaan.
The other villain we see in this movie, and no, it isn’t Rhino, would be Electro/Max Dillon. Right at the beginning we’re introduced to Jamie Foxx, donning a terrible combover and tooth gap and feeling invisible. We quickly see him unravel as he gets turned into Electro. His backstory is predictable and not that impressive. The only redeeming quality this character had (writing-wise) was a scene with Gwen Stacey in an elevator when she remembers his name and says Happy Birthday, a plot point I felt was underused later in the movie when there's more confrontation between Spiderman and Electro.
When he becomes Electro, he begins terrorizing New York City, and then Spiderman (whom he was formerly obsessed with) becomes his arch nemesis, and after being tortured by literally the most cliché German evil scientist of all time he teams up with Harry Osborne to get Spiderman’s blood because it contains the spider venom that could possibly save Harry’s life and the whole thing is a run-on sentence of a plot.
But my favorite, favorite part of the movie (major spoiler ahead) would be Gwen Stacey’s death. Though it’s clearly foreshadowed in the writing, I was still honestly shocked. Not that she would die, but that the writers actually went through with it. When I left the theatre after seeing The Amazing Spiderman 1, speculating who the villains were, I hoped that they would kill off her character in the next movie. To me, the fact that she dies is one of the most important fuels for Peter Parker. It’s what evolves him from the witty hipster adaptation we’re seeing, to someone adult who needs to find something new to fight for.
This movie, even with all its humor, is darker and more intense, but it still under delivered. The whole thing felt like a set-up for the Sinister Six (which it totally is) and I wanted much, much more Paul Giamatti in the movie. Green Goblin felt like a waste of screen time when he didn’t even show up until the last 10 minutes. Up until Gwen Stacey’s death, the movie had emotion just for the sake of having emotion, without having enough action scenes to make up for it.
That being said, I would still see it again, enduring both terrible soundtrack and obvious Sony product placement, because I think that I'll like the movie much more after the third installment has come out. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait and see.