The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is out (and apparently Spidey is working for the USPS, what with all the advertisement spots) and it’s the second superhero movie to kick off the summer block-busters and superhero flicks. Spider-Man is still swinging away in New York and battling baddies with some funny quips, but the sequel delivers a lot more too. A LOT. Maybe too much.
Let’s get into the good stuff I liked first. It seems to me the audience of 50/50 with Andrew Garfield under the Spidey mask still, but I think he does a great job. As I’ve said since the first Amazing Spider-Man, he’s not your 1960’s outcast, he’s the 2000’s outcast; and I like that. When he puts that mask on, I think he brings the funny a lot better then Tobey Maguire, who I still love as Peter Parker (Spider-Man 3 not withstanding).
Emma Stone as Gwen Stacey is adorable. She’s smart and funny and the chemistry between her and Garfield is just there. That may be because of their actual relationship, but whatever the case it’s great. In particular, a small quiet scene when they are talking and Garfield hides behind a tree with a coy grin, as he comes clean to following Stone around, after they’ve gone through a break-up yet again. They try to stay apart because of the aftermath from the first movie, but it’s just not gonna happen. Peter Parker loves Gwen Stacey too much.
And not to SPOIL the ending, even though this is a review, the scene with Peter and Gwen in the clock tower? I’m a comic book fan, so I knew what was coming, but it still got to me. Their connection in these films just made it that much more substantial.
While it is over the top at times, Jamie Foxx performance as Max Dillon/Electro is great. After becoming the electrified blue villain, he seems to come alive and the scene in time square with Spidey is great. And then later when Dane DeHann goes to break him out of his prison, the emotion he shows I thought was great and truly expressed what I’ve always felt is essential as a villain: they have to believe in what they are doing.
And the special effects in this movie are spectacular. The slow-motion effects with Spidey and his webs are awesome. Elector freaks out and goes to electrocute bystanders in Time Square, and while one of his web shooters is out of commission, we get this slow-motion display of Spider-Man jumping through the air, grabbing bystanders with his one web shooter, keeping them away from an electrified hand-railing.
Despite the aforementioned things, plus a great performance by Dane DeHann as Harry Osborne, Amazing Spider-Man 2 is just packed with too much info. The movie itself comes in at nearly 2 and 1/2 hours and halfway through I caught myself thinking “Man, they are throwing us A LOT of plots and sub-stories here”.
In the first movie, I thought it was going to be very interesting to see where they went with the story line of Peter’s parents and the type of undercover type work they were doing. I was looking forward to something like that, to make these films different from the Raimi Spider-Man films. But the more they revealed, I felt it was a little overkill and they they could have surmised what happened a little bit quicker.
And when Peter finally did get the answers about his father, I felt they just left it hanging there, with no answers afterwards. I mean, Peter finds a secret/submerged subway train where his father used to work, but we hear or see no more about that after he hears an explanation recorded by his dad. What else was in that subway?!
The whole subplot with Harry and Oscorp AND his father AND the Special Projects division AND the corporate takeover just seemed like overkill. I know the studio really wants to set up for future movies and have this entire universe expanded, but man did it make this movie feel a lot longer.
In the end, even with the lengthy time of the film, I did enjoy Amazing Spider-Man 2. And if your a comic book fans, the movie is filled with little Easter eggs through-out the movie that will get Spider-Man fans excited for future movies.
3 out of 4 stars.