“The Amazing Spider-Man 2”
There are a lot of people out there who are comparing this latest installment in the newest Spider-Man series to the infamous, and disastrous, Spider-Man 3, which came out in 2007. If you have seen that, I don’t think you’d have forgotten, and in case you have, this will jog your memory: emo Spider-Man.
Spider-Man 3’s main problem was that it contained much too many characters and couldn’t evenly develop each of them and their own little subplots. In its attempt, it instead became too messy and convoluted to follow and lost any emotion that was even originally there. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 did have similar issues, throwing in three villains and delving deeper into Peter’s parents and other such things, but I really don’t think this latest Spidey flick and Spider-Man 3 are even on the same level. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 actually had some heart.
Andrew Garfield reprises his role as the web-slinging hero and does an even better than in the first one. After the first installment, I was a bit doubtful as to Garfield’s abilities for portraying Spider-Man, he just always seemed too bulky and confident to me. But after this one, I have lost all doubt and actually enjoy his antics more than Tobey Maguire’s in the series before this. His dialogue Man was funny and he definitely has all of the charm that comes with this teenage crime-fighter.
Last time he was battling a giant lizard, this time, he’s got a little bit more on his platter. In this second installment, we introduce three more villains to the canon, which is one of the problems I had with this movie. Paul Giamatti is first introduced as the ferocious and violent Aleksei Sytsevich, aka Rhino. He actually doesn’t dawn the Rhino suit until the very end of the movie where we don’t even get to witness the entire fight before the camera cuts to the credits.
We are then introduced to Jamie Fox’s character, Max Dillon, aka Electro. A once die-hard Spider-Man fan thanks to Spidey saving his life, he is tossed into a vat of electric eels and becomes a walking lightning rod, sucking up electricity left and right. Jamie Fox gives an ‘electric’ performance, but I feel this character was a bit lacking in the motives department. They didn’t give him the best reasons for his rage and I actually felt pity for him throughout a good amount of the movie, which is not a good way to feel about a super-villain.
Lastly, we get to know our old friend, Harry Osborne, aka The Green Goblin. James Franco is replaced by the maniacal and greased up Dane DeHaan who, once again, shows us that he is an acting force to be reckoned with. Ever since his mesmerizing performance in Chronicle, he has been getting work left and right, and it’s no surprise. While his character could have been completely cut out, he still really brought something to the effect of the film and managed to create a truly desperate character and eerie villain.
While the acting from these three was outstanding, I don’t see why they were even put in this movie…well, two of them for sure. I think that the only necessity was Electro, who plays the main villain and the other two were just there to burn up screen time and try and craft some emotion where it really wasn’t needed. You could have seriously cut out The Rhino and The Green Goblin from the entire film and nothing would have changed except for the movie’s running time.
I can see why The Green Goblin was put in there. The writers wanted to shove some more melodrama into our faces with this whole sub-plot of Harry needing to extract Spider-Man’s venom in order to cure the disease that killed his father, but all that comes of it is one more fight sequence, which drags the movie down anyway. This extra sub-plot wasn’t needed because this movie had enough emotion without it. One of my favorite things about this second installment is its depth. We learn more about Peter’s parents and what happened after they disappeared from his life and we are gifted with a melancholy and tragic sub-plot of Gwen Stacy leaving New York in order to attend Oxford and the complexities that go along with being in love with a superhero. It even ends in an event that will catch you a bit by surprise, and maybe even bring a tear or two to your eye.
The Amazing Spider-Man is the best Spider-Man movie, and the worst Spider-Man movie combined. It contains the raw emotion that made such superhero flicks like The Dark Knight and Iron Man such classics, but that was caught by mindless action sequences and unneeded sub-plots and characters. Overall, I felt that it was still a fun and entertaining piece of action cinema that kept me invested throughout the long running time. I mean, isn’t anything better than Peter Parker dancing around the streets of New York, rocking his black eye-liner and that silly haircut?