Friday, May 2, 2014

Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review

Amazing Spider-Man 2 is first, and foremost, a love story and second, an action movie. Most of the story revolves around Gwen and Peter's relationship (for a good reason which I won't spoil here) with secondary subplots about Electro and Harry Osborn. They aren't used as filler to the romance angle, they're both used as catalysts for Peter's journey as he tried to figure out who his father was, how he can keep those he loves most safe and discover, in the process, who HE is. Truthfully, it's Spider-Man's journey as he tries to figure out who he truly is.

It's a great coming-of-age story for Spider-Man so that he can become the hero we know he is. Andrew Garfield is phenomenal in this second outing. He really knows his character well and the guilt and fear that come with being hero and being responsible for other's safety. He and Sally Field just shine in the scenes they have together. Even Emma Stone is fantastic as the girlfriend to the superhero who must always take a backseat.

Every main actor in this movie takes their material and runs with it. From newcomer Dane DeHann (Harry Osborne) to Jamie Foxx, each actor embraced their character and character flaws and bought life to them. Even without the special effects, the movie wins on drama alone.

This drama could not be possible with some incredible writing. Emma and Andrew bring a real maturity to their relationship in this movie which I felt really helped grow Peter into the man he needs to be in order to be superhero the city needs him to be.

And let's talk about the effects…No one makes swinging through skyscrapers more fun than Spider-Man does. Some really impressive shots in this movie, particularly the still shots of Spider-Man flying through the city (go see the movie for these alone). Cinematographically speaking, this movie surprises the first one hands down. Breathtaking views of the city that can only be seen through Spidey's eyes.

My only issue with this movie was the constant use of slow-motion to really drive across what was happening. This occurred during some very inconvenient moments particularly during an awesome Electro-Spiderman showdown. I was yelling at the screen to just stop! Slow-mo is great for some scenes but there really is something to be said for over-doing it.

Comic book fans will enjoy the after credit scene (just one) and probably cheer as this scene sets up Spiderman 3. Fans will revel in Peter Parker's ring-tone (hint's a theme song!). There were a few surprises that I enjoyed, particularly one that explained why Peter was affected the way he was when bit by the spider in the first movie. That was a nice surprise moment that actually made sense in the context of this film.

This movie does suffer from being a bit bloated with quite a few stories interspersing throughout. Ultimately, they all come together at the end to allow for a very satisfying third act.

I definitely recommend this movie but go in knowing that the movie spends quite a bit on the Gwen/Peter relationship and that the main villain is actually secondary to the plot. Other that that, enjoy it. It's well acted, well directed, has some phenomenal fight scenes and is a great entry in the Spiderman repertoire.

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