In the second installment to The Amazing Spider-man franchise, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) has made a career out of saving people, getting the hand of his web slinging abilities to help even little kids who are bullied by their schoolmates. In doing so, he brings hope to the people of New York, including Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), a mousy but brilliant engineer who works for Oscorp. Aside from his superhero duties, Peter is also busy wrestling with his conscience in pursuing a relationship with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), a relationship which her father opposed with his dying breath in the first movie. As if Peter didn’t have a lot on his plate already, his best friend from childhood Harry Osborn returns to the city and tells him that he needs Spider-man’s blood to save him from a fatal disease which he inherited from his dad, the billionaire scientist Norman Osborn, founder of Oscorp. And then Max is mutated in a freak accident involving genetically modified eels and becomes Electro, who comes to hate the web slinger for stealing his thunder in Times Square. And before he knows it, Spidey is faced with not one, not two, but three arch villains who want him out of the picture.
Let me just state right now that this movie was awesome, from start to finish. Credit to Fringe co creators and developers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Jeff Pinkner for coming up with this amazing story and script, and of course director Max Webb (how cool is it that somebody with the last name Webb is directing a Spider-man movie?) who returns to direct the franchise for a second time.
First off, the battle scenes in this movie was just spot on. The texture of the graphics was outstanding. The seamlessness of the CGI was impeccable and proceeded at a very fluid pace that on screen seemed so natural that audiences are treated to minute after minute of quality work that probably took months to perfect. As a viewer, it is always an honor to watch a movie whose creators understood the value of quality. And for Spider-man’s second outing, it was truly a comic book experience come to life. From the first battle with Alexei Sytsevich (Paul Giamatti), to his Times Square showdown with Electro, yet another face off with Electro at the power plant and his battle with Harry at clock tower — everything was just so balls-to-the-wall action.
I’m a big fan of the Amazing Spider-man franchise, especially after seeing the first movie in this trilogy. Andrew Garfield brought something new to the table when he joined the cast and it was a youthfulness and a coolness to the character that was so much in synch with comic book that he was just the perfect Spider-man. He is just so fun to watch that each scene with Spidey becomes an exciting adventure. When he is Peter, he excels at showing the vulnerability and the torment of making heavy choices, which underlines the strong contrast to the wisecracks and his carefree attitude in dealing with crooks. This adds layers to his character that makes him an even more convincing and relateable hero.
Emma Stone is just the perfect Gwen Stacy. These two real-life lovebirds are just the cutest couple ever, in and out of the screen and its hard not feel young love when audiences see them together. Emma has a lot of personality that punches through the screen like a wrecking ball (in a good way) and this makes for a lot of interesting screen time between the two main characters. Jamie Foxx was also a perfect Electro, balancing out the character’s vulnerability and rage in specific parts of the movie but Dane Deehan as Peter’s arch nemesis Harry (Green Goblin) was the real villain to watch out for. This kid has proven himself in his previous films, working the innocent bullied/troubled teen persona, but he is in true form as a villain. His sinister look is priceless and made me think that if anyone could be the next Joker in the Batman franchise, it would be him. He just has this intensity about him that transcends his years in the spotlight as an actor.
The best part about the Spider-man movie, in my opinion, was that it respected Stan Lee’s creation enough not to mess with the story too much. Instead, it took the most important aspects of the material to make it more exciting (in the comics, Spidey mostly dealt with one arch nemesis at the time), making Spider-man’s challenge more intense as all of his enemies particularly chose one moment to band against him (talk about a bad day!) Another thing is that they recognized the strength of the lead star’s chemistry to make the love story an integral part of the movie as a fan service to the girls, while not alienating the guys in the theater.
The movie had a lot of foreshadowing for one major event that will not come a surprise for hard core Spidey fans, but I was kind of bummed that filmmakers did not leave this event for the last movie. It made a lot of sense how it happened but the timing just sucked in my opinion.
All in all, an excellent addition to the Marvel franchise. I was actually surprised that the film ran 142 minutes because there was never a dull moment in this movie. I loved it. Every minute.