Only A Few Flaws Away From Being Truly Amazing!
Since the passing of Gwen Stacy’s father (Denis Leary), Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) has been trying to distance himself from Gwen (Emma Stone) as a way to keep the promise that he made to her father. This serves as a challenge for Peter since he loves Gwen and wants nothing more to have her as an ongoing part of his life. Meanwhile, Oscorp is being run by Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), the son of the late Norman (Chris Cooper). Harry’s cockiness and lack of business knowledge turns the board members of Oscorp against him as the new CEO. It isn’t long before a Oscorp’s plan turns into a massive cover up involving an electrician named Max Dillion (Jamie Foxx) who soon becomes the world’s next super villain.
Considering how highly regarded Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 are by comic book fans and film fans a like many will probably be shocked by my next statement. Even with all its flaws, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the best Spider-Man film to date. I will also state that I did enjoy The Amazing Spider-Man from 2012 and it did have its fair share of problems. So, the burning question is, Did I think the 2012 Amazing Spider-Man was better then Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man? No, but I do feel that certain elements of it were a lot stronger especially Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Furthermore, I know that the previous film had love/hate relationship with audiences but I thought it was fine and had similar issues to that of the Raimi film.
Moving on to the sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 does almost everything that a sequel should do. It adds more story, it adds more characters, and it makes the viewers feel more invested to the central characters and story. Without a doubt, the film’s story arc between Peter and Gwen is incredibly strong and the chemistry that Garfield and Stone share as these characters is fantastic. Peter and Gwen are characters that everyone watching believes in and is rooting for. The fact that these characters are as strong as they are makes everything else in the film become secondary to their story. I think the human connection is so crucial in Superhero films yet so many fail to obtain an emotional connection between the characters and the audience.
Along with the amazing chemistry and acting by Garfield and Stone, the sequel adds the talented Dane DeHaan to the mix as Harry Osborn. Harry as a character is quickly developed yet because DeHaan is such a talented actor, it just feels right. The script gave the character a lot of depth and reasoning behind his actions. It didn’t feel like the character was just put in for some half-assed reason. DeHaan’s take on Harry Osborn is far superior to James Franco’s in the previous trilogy. Again, I think just like with Garfield and Stone, DeHaan added depth to the character and a level of darkness that Franco never brought to the table.
The vast majority of the story in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was really great. I love how they gave a lot more background on Peter’s parents in the sequel. It gave the film a lot more depth which in return made the audience understand Peter Parker a lot more. It should also be noted that scenes with Peter and Aunt May (Sally Field) were very well acted and showcased a ton of emotion. I think it was really nice to have a film like this that wasn’t afraid to mix campy fun with some really strong dramatic moments.
If I had to pinpoint the weakest thing about The Amazing Spider-Man 2 it would have to be Jamie Foxx as Electro. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think Foxx was bad as Electro and I didn’t dislike the character. However, considering how strong the other characters were including their stories, this character wasn’t nearly as strong. I think it is also important to point out that comic book fans always viewed Electro as a weak villain. I think Foxx did what he could with the material but ultimately his character is a mix of Jim Carrey’s Riddler from Batman Forever and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze from Batman & Robin. I think the combination made the character seem very cheesy and some of his lines were incredibly cringe-worthy.
Despite Electro being a bit too campy for my taste, I did enjoy his battle scenes in the film. I thought the fight scene between Electro and Spider-Man in Times Square was incredibly bad ass. In fact, even though the film had an overbearing amount of marketing that spoiled almost every fight scene, I personally loved all of them and they were visually stunning. I was really worried as I am sure that many others are that the CGI would look like a video game, but I personally found the visuals to be stunning. The special effects here were top notch and Marc Webb really knew how to incorporate them to make certain scenes really pop.
My other complaint with the sequel was Paul Giamatti as the Rhino. As a huge fan of Giamatti, I have a hard time picturing him playing an over the top villain like this. I didn’t see enough of this character to give my final verdict on it yet, but I wasn’t crazy about what I saw thus far. Furthermore, there was absolutely no need for the character to even be in this film. There was a perfect point where the film could have ended that would have been the perfect emotionally powerful ending, however, the film just kept going when it didn’t need to. I think the ending that the film did have would have worked perfectly for the opening sequence of the next film.
All in all, I cannot deny for a second that I had an absolute blast watching The Amazing Spider-Man 2 even with its flaws. This sequel does everything that a sequel should do and even adds emotion which is something that no other Marvel film thus far has been able to achieve. The action sequences look stunning and are well shot. The story mixes camp, fun, and action together so well that it left me feeling like a little kid again. The sequel isn’t perfect but for a non-Nolan directed comic book film, it is the most fun I had with a comic book movie in a long time. I honestly am going back to see it again this weekend with my wife in IMAX and I cannot wait.
MovieManMenzel’s final rating for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a 9 out of 10.