Swinging into theaters May 2 is everyone’s favorite arachnid-themed superhero, Spider-Man. Coming off the heels of a pretty successful year for superhero movies, this sequel is sure to impress both fans and casual moviegoers alike. I’ve been excited for this movie for months now, closely following every detail, every leaked picture, and every rumor. So when it came time to see the actual movie, my hopes were obviously high.
Lets start with the obvious. The movie was visually gorgeous. The trailer led a lot of people, including myself, to believe that the CGI in the movie was going to give it a more cartoonish feel, something almost everyone was uneasy about. Though the cartoonish appearance is in fact apparent, it’s not nearly as distracting as you might think. If anything it adds a playful dimension to the movie I think a lot of superhero flicks lack.
Easily the greatest attribute to the film is the actors and the characters they play. Casting for new characters was spot on, and Andrew Garfield and Emma Stones performances reaffirmed that the two are perfect for their respective roles of Peter and Gwen. I’ve said this over and over, and I’ll say it again, Andrew Garfield is ten times the Spider-Man Tobey Maguire ever was. Seeing Peter Parker as a normal high school student and not some lonely, nerdy outcast makes him more relatable and infinitely more watchable.
Jamie Foxx, who is great in just about any role he’s cast in, blew me out of the water. For starters, he looks so cool. The blue skin and baritone voice while he is Electro are menacing, but it’s his performance as dorky Max Dillon that makes him so memorable. “Spider-Man is my friend. He needs me.” I just keep saying that line over and over again in my head. In the end, all Max wants is to be appreciated and needed, who doesn’t? He’s relatable and pitiful, and while I won’t exactly say you root for him throughout the movie, you are glad that it’s him causing most of the chaos.
Electro wasn’t the only one causing chaos in this movie though. One of the biggest fears people had for “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” was the fear that it would fall into the same trap the third movie in the first spider-man series did and contain to many villains. The three rumored baddies for this film were Electro, The Rhino, and the Green Goblin, and, while all three do make appearances in the film, they don’t play nearly as big of a part as I think most of us expected. Electro was of course the main focus of the movie, but the other big player in the film, Paul Giamatti’s Rhino was in it for maybe five minutes. For the most part, you can see all of his parts in the trailer. I love Paul Giamatti and thought he was a great choice for the Rhino, but after watching the film, I’d have to say he was the worst part. His thick Russian accent was pretty much inaudible, and his body movements and facial expressions were over the top to say the least. Perhaps we just aren’t given enough exposure to his character to make a complete opinion, but in order for me to support him in future movies, I’d say some changes have to be made to the character.
The third and final villain of the movie was also the biggest surprise for me. When Dane Dehaan was cast as Spidey’s best friend soon-to-turn mortal enemy, I was disappointed. I’m not a big fan of Dehaan. I think he has a tendency to play whiney, and when I look at him, I wouldn’t assume he’s anyone’s mortal enemy. And for the first 20 minutes he’s around, that assumption was correct. But the minute he begins to slip into madness that is caused by a sickness that is killing him, something switched. By the end of the movie, I would even go as far as to say I enjoyed Dehaan in the part. He ended up playing bad really well, and one thing he does near the end of the film will have such an effect on the future of this series that you just have to appreciate his tenacity.
Overall I have to say I really liked this movie. It had a great humor to it; it had plenty of dramatic emotional moments now hallmark to superhero movies and enough action to make the two and a half hour runtime feel like nothing at all. Don’t waste any time, swing into theaters as soon as you can and soak up the Spider-Man goodness.
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