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Movie Review: “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”

TwittReview: “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” – Spider-Man battles Electro. Peter and Gwen try to figure out their relationship. The Green Goblin and Rhino wait toward the end of the movie to attack Spidey. Fast action, funny comments, Stan Lee. Excelsior! Grade: B+


This is the movie that “The Amazing Spider-Man” should have been…well that first 45 minutes anyway; the back-half where Spider-Man fights the Lizard was great. So how does “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” stack against the previous outing. Let us start at the begging with the brilliant opening showing the last days of Richard and Mary Parker picking up from beats from the first movie. This is HOW the first movie should have opened. They could have taken the whole Origin and made it shorter, tighter, and brighter. Streamline the early Peter days with this sequence will give you a greater understanding of why Peter always felt like an outsider. The next sequence is of Spider-Man as we see him swinging through the city as he meets up with the NY Police who are chasing a gang of Russian Mob members , led by Aleksei Sytsevich (Paul Giamatti), who have hijacked an armored Osborne truck which contains nuclear chemicals. Again, THIS is how the first movie should have started! Let’s have Spider-Man BE Spider-Man and start with a fun action oriented sequence. It’s easy to tell a story if the audience is grabbed from the begging.

And my gripes about the first movie being compared to the second movie is over. I liked “The Amazing Spider-Man 2. I thought that this really felt like a Spider-Man movie compared to the Sam Rami trilogy. This really felt like I was watching The Ultimate Spider-Man comic book and I could see Brian Michael Bendis writing in what I was watching. The plot is thin in terms of Peter’s relationship with Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) and in-turn Harry’s transformation into The Green Goblin felt forced and rushed. I understand that we don’t have months to view this transformation as we would if reading a comic book, but still, they could have figured out a way to work a younger Harry into some of the Peter flashbacks to show that they knew each other prior to his on-screen introduction.

The main villain that Peter has to do battle with is Electro (Jamie Foxx) who is created after his human alter-ego Max Dillion falls into a holding tank of modified electric eel and is bit by them as well as electrocuted by a power conductor. Max just wants to be noticed and needed. He is first saved by Spider-Man and for what has to be the first time in his life, he felt a connection with someone – Spider-Man. It’s this connection that becomes an obsession that ultimately leads Electro into trying to crush Spider-Man and destroy the city’s power grid. The plans were taken from Max and he was given no credit for the designs so he will take out his frustration on the entire city.

The Peter (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen (Emma Stone) story really showed that these two love each other and are unclear on how to move within their relationship. They dynamic that Garfield and Stone play off of each other feels real and natural. The way Peter keeps seeing the ghost of Captain Stacey every time feelings grow for Gwen shows that Peter cares for Gwen in that he doesn’t want to see her get hurt physically or emotionally.

Peter’s quest to find out what happened to his parents is again shown…however Peter seems to not be that interested in actually finding anything. It seems that this plot is just to give Peter some moody moments and at times can detract from the overall story. I know that this was a plot in the early issues of The Ultimate Spider-Man and I like the modification to some of the back-story. However, at the end of the day this could have been it’s own movie and then have the ramifications of Peter’s findings  and his father’s work grow into the other movies that follow.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a fun movie. Director Marc Webb should get a lot of credit for showing what Spider-Man can do and capturing the fun that was missing from the Sam Rami trilogy. Rated PG-13 with a run time of 2-hours and 22-minutes, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 delivers on the fun and action. Grade: B+

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