THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2:
IT’S NO SPIDER-MAN 2, BUT STILL A WEB OF FUN!
By Nico Beland
Movie Review: B+ (3 stars)
COLUMBIA PICTURES AND MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT
Spidey swings back into action in the highly anticipated sequel to the 2012 blockbuster, The Amazing Spider-Man, the reboot of the successful Spider-Man film trilogy. The first film was a grittier, darker, and more intense re-imaging of the iconic Marvel Comics superhero; a little rough around the edges but it was a clever and entertaining new take.
Of course the new Spider-Man world was going to expand with a couple of sequels, this being one of them, The Amazing Spider-Man 2. This movie honestly felt a little “lighter” and less intense than its predecessor, felt more like a traditional comic book movie, much like the original Tobey Maguire trilogy. Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) and Emma Stone (Superbad, Easy A, Zombieland) reprise their roles as now high school graduate, Peter Parker, better known as the radioactive web-slinger, Spider-Man, and his girlfriend, Gwen Stacy as they continue trying to adapt to Peter’s second life of fighting crime as Spidey and getting their relationship on the right track. Suddenly, after a freak accident as Oscorp Industries, a scientist and nerdy Spider-Man fan, Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx-Django Unchained, White House Down) is transformed into the shocking Electro, who soon becomes power mad and threatens to take out New York City’s power if he doesn’t find Spider-Man.
Meanwhile, Peter’s old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan-Lincoln, Chronicle, The Place Beyond the Pines) returns to town as the new CEO of Oscorp after the passing of his father, Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper-The Muppets). So Peter and Harry do a little catching up since Harry was gone for a long time. Unfortunately things get pretty ugly, when Harry tells Peter that he is dying and needs a sample of Spider-Man’s genetically altered blood to keep him alive. Soon, he finds an alternative by becoming the menacing Green Goblin and teams up with Electro, and the two of them plot to destroy Spider-Man.
Overall, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, while a slight step backwards from its predecessor, it’s still decent popcorn fun. It has plenty of eye candy special effects, gripping action scenes, and some goofy comedy from wise cracking, Spidey.
What’s definitely a big improvement over the last movie, is the villain, Electro, he is much more intimidating and awesome than the Lizard, I’m not saying the Lizard wasn’t a cool villain, he was, but Electro just nukes the competition, more like zaps the competition. It also had a major improvement with the Green Goblin, compared to Willem Dafoe in the original Spider-Man movie, this time he’s not a mad scientist wearing a silly costume, instead Osborn actually becomes a goblin and the makeup, costume, and Glider are pretty awesome. Like the first one, besides having cool action and pretty colors flying around, the character development is pretty strong too. Andrew Garfield, for the most part is still very likeable as Peter and Emma Stone is a faithful partner as Gwen, definitely better than Mary Jane Watson, sorry Kirsten Dunst, nothing personal. Besides Peter and Gwen, Peter’s relationship with his Aunt May (Sally Field-Lincoln) is also incredibly strong, you can see the troubles they’re going through together and you want to see them get through it.
So for the most part, I had fun with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but it did have a couple of problems. One of them was juggling three villains in the movie, Electro, Green Goblin, and the Rhino (Paul Giamatti-Win Win, Saving Mr. Banks) and let’s just say people who were waiting in anticipation for the Rhino may be disappointed, I can’t believe I’m saying this but Spider-Man 3 did a better job incorporating three villains, but just slightly. The only other issue I personally have is that the ending is a little weak and felt rushed, although it did leave doors open for a third movie, so hopefully it will continue where this one left off. If you’re a fan of Spider-Man and enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man, you’ll probably enjoy this one fine, it’s a fun silly comic book movie with some awesome bad guys. But if you want a more clever and darker Marvel film, I’d say wait for X-Men: Days of Future Past and Guardians of the Galaxy.
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