The (Almost) Amazing Spider-man 2
Leading up to finally seeing this movie that I had been looking forward, I found myself slowly becoming increasingly worried as more and more unflattering reviews were coming out. I was preparing myself for disappointment. So, will I find myself siding with popular opinion or will I be in the minority concerning… “The Amazing Spider-man 2”?
Andrew Garfield returns as Peter Parker in “The Amazing Spider-man 2”. We find Peter trying to juggle his alternate life as Spider-man while still dating the love of his life, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), and struggling with his guilt over breaking the promise he made to Captain Stacy at the end of the last movie. Things become considerably more complicated when Peter’s childhood friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns and reveals that he is dying from a genetic disease passed on by his father, Norman (Chris Cooper). But Harry soon learns that both the work his father did with Peter’s dad and Spider-man might hold the key to saving his life. Matters escalate even more when Spider-man’s biggest fan/stalker, Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), finds himself the victim of a terrible accident that will lead to him becoming one of Spider-man’s biggest challenges yet, Electro. Peter soon comes to the realization that all of the answers that he seeks lie within Oscorp.
Garfield’s performance as Spider-man continues to be great as the wall-crawler. He’s the web head we know from the comics constantly spouting one liners in the face of terrible danger. His Peter Parker is a little manic and still quite charming, perhaps a little too charming considering that Parker’s supposed to be more of an introverted geek. The chemistry between Garfield and the always adorable Emma Stone is at it’s peak here. Dane DeHaan is perfect as Harry Osborn bringing an excellent mixture of friendly, neglected, spoiled rich boy, and creepy. While DeHaan is great, the best performance in the movie goes to Sally Field as Peter’s Aunt May, the woman who is essentially the only mother Peter has known. The relationship between the two is a joy to watch in the few scenes we get between them. Inversely, the less impressive performance in the movie comes from Jamie Foxx, who is capable of so much more than we get here. It feels as if he’s just going through the motions.
Overall, as a huge Spider-man fan, I felt that they had a done a great job of capturing the spirit of the character. There are plenty of great “Spider-man” moments that make the movie feel like a live action version of an alternate version of the comic universe. And of course, I’ll be a little biased. There’s a lot going on in this movie, and while it works well enough in the context of the movie, I find myself wishing that some of these villains would have been better suited had they both had their own movie. I get that the point is that Peter’s greatest threat isn’t one particular villain, but instead the company of Oscorp and the events that Norman Osborn and Peter’s father set in motion years ago. This works great in comics where you have numerous issues that come out monthly and have time to develop story and characters, but in a movie you only get so much time with each character and it can be easy for a performance to be lost. This is pretty much my problem with just about any comic book sequel that goes down the multiple villains in one film route. That being said, this one pulls it off much better than most.
My final consensus is that this is a fun popcorn film and a great way to escape the Summer heat in an air conditioned theater. Go in ready for a fun ride and don’t expect it to be an Oscar contender for best film.
Final Grade B