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"Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."

~Ephesians 5:16

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review

It's been two years since Spider-Man was rebooted. While it will always be known as a controversial move, most fans have accepted the change. Director Marc Webb's take on the origin I personally thought was very well done, plus it was a little more faithful to the comics than the Raimi one. Still, the world had already witnessed Spidey's origin on the big screen 10 years prior, so it felt like a rehash. That's why everyone was looking forward to this movie, because we were finally going to see more stories with the character already established. Is The Amazing Spider-Man 2 the best Spidey film to date? Second best? Third? Not quite any of those. It's decent, but not 'amazing.'

The story follows Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) who has to deal with a menace called Electro (Jamie Foxx) who has the power to blackout the entire city. Along the way he has to fight his friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) who has turned himself into a monster, and deal with his complicated love life with Gwen Stacy. (Emma Stone.) It's been said that Sony hopes to make an expansive universe like Marvel Studios has done with their movies. Starting with this film, the universe is going to be its own franchise. This can be considered a problem, because as it's trying to world-build, it forgets to tell a quality story in many aspects.

Andrew Garfield is a great actor, and has nicely solidified himself into the role of the Wall-Crawler. He brings a lot of the signature sarcastic humor Spidey is known for, which somewhat lacked in the original trilogy. He seems to be enjoying the role, as anyone should. Playing Spidey should be fun because he is a funny character. His Peter Parker is also very good. One standout scene is when he 'distracted' the guards at Oscorp from following Gwen. He and Emma Stone have such an amazing amount of chemistry, one of the best comic book movie romances out there.

While the two lead starts are very good, the villains are anything but. Electro gets the most screen time out of all the villains, and sadly he is truly awful. I'm still not sure not sure if the movie meant to portray him as a joke or sympathetic character. His lines are horrendous and extremely unrealistic. The way he breathed after he transformed was a neat effect, but that's really the only good thing I can say about him. Mr. Freeze from Batman and Robin is a better written character, let that sink in for a second.  For some odd reason, Norman Osborn dies early on and Harry becomes the Green Goblin. While I was fine with DeHaan's portrayal of Harry, (it was actually quite good) the Goblin comes out of nowhere and is very rushed. In fact, the word 'goblin' isn't even mentioned. If you thought Venom was rushed in Spider-Man 3, this is that times eleven.

It's not even worth mentioning Rhino, (Paul Giamatt) since he contributes nothing to the story. Aunt May (Sally Field) didn't really contribute anything either, and sadly it shows how much better she was in the original trilogy. Spidey's costume has never looked more fantastic, and the web-slinging looks incredible; it's 'amazing' to see him sling around as if this were a comic book. The two climaxes are decent. The fight with Electro isn't anything special, but it's still alright. The battle against the Goblin is extremely brief and rushed, why they didn't save this last 10 minutes for the third film is beyond me. (At least the final part of the scene had genuine emotion.) The soundtrack isn't anything great, but isn't terrible either.

Overall, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 suffers from quite a few problems. For one thing, none of the villains are great. Electro is a joke, one of the worst cinematic villains I've seen in awhile. The Goblin is one of Spidey's greatest enemies, so it's a crime that he was shoehorned in. Not only that, but his name isn't even mentioned, and the design is awful. (I wouldn't be surprised if people didn't even know that was the Green Goblin!) Despite all of this, it's still pretty decent. Spidey slinging around the city has never looked better, and the action is fun. Sadly though, it's the worst Spidey film to date. Hopefully the third one puts emphasis on the "Amazing" part.


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