THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 (2014)
Directed by: Marc Webb
Produced by: Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach
Screenplay by: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
Story by: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
Jeff Pinkner, James Vanderbilt
Based on: Spider-Man by
Stan Lee & Steve Ditko
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone
Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Colm Feore
Paul Giamatti, Sally Field
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Released: May 2, 2014
I just finished seeing the Thursday sneak preview opening of Amazing Spider-Man 2. The movie is appropriately titled, it is Amazing. Marc Webb really has designed a franchise that stands apart from the preceding trilogy — so hopefully that may quell the naysayers that claim that there was no need for a reboot so soon. I disagree. There was only 8 years between Joel Schumacher’s Batman abortion with Batman and Robin (1997) and Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins (2005). Look how Incredibly bitchin’ that trilogy turned out?
The Raimi films were very much centred on the Spider-Man of the Main Marvel Universe (or 616 for all my comic book lovin’ geeks out there), whereas Webb has taken his cues from what has been laid out in the Ultimate Marvel Universe (similar to what the Avengers did). This allows for some decidedly different plot points — like having Peter’s backstory always tied to Oscorp through his father’s work there. We get a further glimpse of Richard and Mary Parker’s fate in this sequel. This movie is a special effects bonanza with some absolutely stunning cinematography and even the CGI was not too hokey and lamely obvious. It works for this movie. It works rather well actually. Andrew Garfield has an interpretation on Peter / Spidey that I feel was lacking with Tobey MacGuire’s take. I can feel Peter’s conflicts — trying to find out what happened to his parents; trying to keep Gwen safe; haunted by the death of Capt. Stacey from the previous film, dealing with his ultimate failure; and even his comic tone and timing with his quips are more accessible than his predecessor. There is also an undeniable chemistry between the two leads, Gwen and Peter.
Although I did enjoy Jamie Foxx’s performance as Electro, I felt the character had been amped up maybe a bit too much. There were moments when I thought he was Dr. Manhattan from The Watchmen.
I realize that they couldn’t put Spidey up against the second rate green-and-yellow-lightning-bolt-mask wearing Electro that we all grew up with, so once again mined from the Ultimate Marvel Universe and had his power level juiced up to eleven. Oh, and for all of you Rhino fans out there, what you see in the trailers is unfortunately pretty much all you get in this movie. But there’s a good likelihood he’ll be in part 3. But I find that the Mecha Rhino is kinda lame. Something more akin to the comics, or biological like the Lizard in the previous movie would have worked better. Spidey up against a big brute would be a good brawl, but Robot Suit Rhino just needs to get his rotors all webbed up and he’s licking the salt off of the asphalt. The conflict with Harry Osborn felt rushed and should have been fleshed out over two pictures. It just felt as though he was introduced simply as a deus ex machina for the dramatic ending and to light the spark for the inevitable next chapter.
Great character development for Peter in Amazing Spider-Man 2, there’s possibly one too many adversaries for the web head to deal with and feels a wee bit forced. But all in all the movie is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
Also, there was an x-ceptional x-tra clip in the closing credits which left me with an uncanny appetite for a film just days in the future. 😉