I just got back from seeing The Amazing Spider-Man 2. I must say, and this is my honest opinion after processing everything in the film, that this is THE Spider-Man movie. It is absolutely incredible. As a lifelong Spider-Man fan, I can confidently say it's the Spidey movie we've all been waiting for.
The movie focuses on Peter and how he balances his normal life, which includes having a girlfriend (whose father's death torments him relentlessly), and his life under the mask. Peter also continues to unravel the mystery behind his parents' deaths. Honestly, the comments saying that this movie focuses more on future sequels than itself just don't make sense to me. The majority of the set up was done at the end of the movie. But anyway, I don't want to go too far into the story simply because I don't want to risk spoiling a thing. So allow me to simply tell you the things I loved about this movie, and why I think you guys will too:
The acting was excellent. Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Dane Dehaan acted their hearts out. Andrew proved once again why he is the definitive Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Everything from his quips and one liners to his costume were ripped right out of the comics. Andrew just makes you think "This is what Spider-Man is all about."
Emma Stone was lovely as Gwen Stacy, just as she was in the previous film. She was kind, witty, sweet, and just plain lovable. She proved herself to be more than just a damsel in distress (I'm looking at you, Raimi-verse Mary Jane). In fact, she actually refused to leave Peter's side during his fight with Electro. Instead, she helped Spidey out when he was in need. Gwen knows why Peter needs to be Spidey. She doesn't question it or selfishly demand to be the center of Pete's world. She just asks to be a part of it.
Dane Dehaan made a superb and charming Harry Osborn, and an intimidating Green Goblin. All of his motives and actions are fueled by legitimate human reasons that add genuine heart to his character. And he has this "You can't screw with me no matter how hard you try" kind of attitude to him. It's not douche-y in any way either. It's literal, for lack of better words. Frankly, Dane is one of my favorite parts of this movie.
Jaime Foxx made a delightfully awkward Max Dillon who just filled my heart with sympathy. Nothing is sadder than a man buying himself a cake and card on his birthday. I just wanted to give him a hug. His Electro was also pretty good. After his confrontation with Spider-Man at Times Square, he was a completely different person. Who wouldn't be, though? The one person who was ever nice to Max ended up hurting him(even though it's not Peter's fault). That's more than enough to push anyone over the edge.
Sally Field, though not in the movie for too long, made a very heartfelt Aunt May. She was a joy to watch.
The emotional scenes were just tear jerking. The chemistry between Peter and Gwen is fantastic. When a movie makes you feel like you just got broken up with, it's done something right. The scenes between Peter and Aunt May are so emotional and well acted that, for a moment, I completely forgot that these people on the screen were actors. I actually believed that these were not characters, but real people in real distress. The conflict between Harry and Peter was also powerful. Because of Harry's characterization, and of course because of Dane's portrayal, I felt for Harry and I understood exactly why he did what he did. Also, there is one scene in particular that really got to me. You guys will know what I'm talking about when you see it. Hell, maybe you'll even be surprised.
The Visuals And The Action
The web swinging was excellent. It displayed Spidey's skills in the most breathtaking way. The iconic poses he struck in the movie were ripped right out of the comics. The way Spidey's Spider Sense was handled was brilliant as well. And then there's the action. It, too, was breathtaking and just simply beautiful. The action sequences were directed and designed with class and thought was definitely put into them. The visual effects were stunning and the 3D was outstanding. Honestly, the effects in this movie are some of the best I've seen.
My only issues with the movie are the fact that Electro just wasn't in it enough. I also think the final fight between him and Spidey ended too quickly. The fights in general were on the short side. I would have liked to see more Goblin as well. But lets's be honest. The fact that there's a good 40 minutes in which Peter doesn't even don his suit, and the movie doesn't drag or decrease in quality at all, makes up for that ten times over.
I started the applause (you bet your ass there were applause) when the credits started to roll, and I am so glad I did. For not every movie is good enough to get me to applaud it with such passion. This movie hit me in all the right places. And even though I saw a particular scene coming, it hit me harder than any scene in any movie has in a while. I am proud to say that I shed legitimate tears of sorrow and sadness, as well tears of joy and pure fanboy-ism at the end of this movie. But I am even prouder to say that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the best Spider-Man movie to date.
I give The Amazing Spider-Man 2 a 10/10, 5/5, 90/100, A.