The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Closes in on Amazing
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a sore thumb to today’s superhero genre. But that’s not as bad as it sounds. Let’s face it. Audiences have been spoiled the last few years with the latest trend of grounded superhero films. Even that term can only be used loosely.
With the rise of films like The Dark Knight, Man of Steel and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, there’s been a shift away from the campy superhero films of the 90s. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 dabbles in the darkness, but still regresses to a time of cackling cardboard villains.
In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Andrew Garfield returns for a second outing as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. In the last film, Peter swore to a dying Captain Stacy (Denis Leary) that he’d stay away from his daughter Gwen (Emma Stone) to keep her safe from villains.
Within ten minutes into The Amazing Spider-Man 2, there’s a broken promise in the books. That’s just the start of this relationship. One moment Peter and Gwen are together, the next they’re not. Love should be the last thing on Peter’s mind with multiple villains running amok.
Early in the film, Spider-Man saves Max Dillon, a nobody who works the big bad corporation Oscorp. That’s the spark to setup the first villain of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Max falls victim to a freak accident at Oscorp with electric eels and out comes Electro. Jamie Foxx’s Electro would make Jim Carrey’s Riddler from Batman Forever proud. Both are obsessed with the hero and deliver some corny puns. But it’s all in good fun.
Spider-Man’s plate grows larger as his estranged best friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) returns from boarding school. Harry’s has own demons to deal with, which ultimately involve Spider-Man. DeHaan is the strongest addition to this rebooted franchise, even if he’s simply used to progress his own subplots.
It’s easy to say the web in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is too small to cover everything director Marc Webb wanted to. That’s not the case. In its 142-minute run time, there is ample time to tackle all these subplots. Even arcs like the mystery behind Peter’s parents’ from the first film see the light of day and impact the overall story.
Like The Amazing Spider-Man, there are crucial elements from the trailers noticeably absent. That does leave gaping holes in the narrative, but the end result of the plot is not difficult to digest.
Garfield once again owns the role of Spider-Man and his chemistry with Emma Stone evolves nicely. The romance teeters on excess, trying its hardest to be the linchpin of the plot. It has its place, but this is The Amazing Spider-Man 2, not Twilight.
But where The Amazing Spider-Man 2 succeeds greatest is in telling a visual spectacle. Marc Webb makes this film the finest looking installment to date. The showdown between Spidey and Electro in Times Square is worth seeing it on the big screen. Even the occasional slow motion works to its advantage, alluding to Spidey sense.
The climax is rushed to wrap up everything quickly. But what in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 isn’t being teased for the bigger picture that lies ahead. Let’s just say something sinister lies ahead.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 aims to be a throwback superhero movie with a modern twist. And for that, Marc Webb should be commended for taking a massive risk. It has paid off greatly.
GRADE: A- (4.5/5)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Matt Marshall is a YouTube movie reviewer who hosts MNMreviews. He has a B.A. in Communications/Journalism from St. John Fisher College and resides in Rochester, NY.