The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Intros to every Spider-Man TV show ever made

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Director: Marc Webb

Writers: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, James Vanderbilt, Steve Ditko, Stan Lee

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Sally Field, Dennis Leary, Paul Giamatti, Dane DeHaan, Felicity Jones, Colm Feore, Embeth Davidtz, Campbell Scott, Marton Csokas, Louis Cancelmi, Max Charles, B.J. Novak, Sarah Gadon

Synopsis: Peter Parker runs the gauntlet as the mysterious company Oscorp sends up a slew of supervillains against him, impacting on his life.

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action/violence

The Mathematics of Spider-Man

Stevennix2001's Rating:

7.0 / 10

Pros:


- Great visual effects

- Excellent cinematograhy, and action scenes

- Sound Effects and editing were well done

- Green Goblin costume is definitely an improvement over Raimi's versions from "Spider-Man" and "Spider-Man 3."

- Electro's costume was nicely done

- Better Spider-Man costume this time around

- Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker's love story was the heart and soul that helped carry the film

- Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were great together, as they both shared a great chemistry.

- Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone's performances were great.

- Subplot about Harry's health had a lot of promise

Cons:


- Movie feels a bit uneven at times, as it's not often sure if it wants to be like Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" series with a light hearted comic book campy tone to it, or if it wants to be more serious like the last "Amazing Spider-Man" film was, with only a splash of camp in it.

- Electro's origin was a bit rushed, and it's a rip off of Riddler's origin story from "Batman Forever"

- Electro is basically a one note bad guy

- Harry's transition from being Peter's best friend to Green Goblin feels rushed, and not fully developed.

- Rhino's armor looks like a "Transformers" knock off, and looks cheaply rendered

- Rushed pacing in favor of introducing unnecessary subplots rather than telling a cohesive narrative

- Story is packed with too many subplots, and unnecessary characters (i.e. Rhino)

My Spider Senses are tingling again!

After a couple of short years, the sequel to "The Amazing Spider-Man" is finally here. Sony spared no expense either, as it spent a record two hundred million dollars on advertising alone. Quite a feat for any major blockbuster considering most studios usually spend around sixty to eighty million to promote their films. I guess Sony must be pretty confident that "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" will dominate the summer box office sales; similar to how "Iron Man 3" did last year.

Quiet a hefty feat considering that the month of May alone is packed with such movies like "Godzilla", "X-Men Days of Future Past", and "Maleficent." But who knows? Maybe Sony knows something we don't, or they could be putting all their eggs into one basket. Who really knows? Whether the movie is actually any good or not....lets find out...

"The Amazing Spider-Man 2" picks up months later after the events of the first movie. Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) has become a lot more comfortable in his role as the daily neighborhood Spider-Man. Saving kittens from trees. Stopping bullies from beating up a kid. Stopping criminals on a daily basis, while the entire city adores him by chanting the immortal words, "Spider-Man! Spider-Man! Spider-Man!" Um...I thought Webb was trying to make his Spider-Man a little bit more serious and darker, while only adding small amounts of camp to it.

In an odd direction choice, it seems Marc Webb has made a complete 180 in terms of the tone for this sequel. Instead vying for more of a light hearted campy adventure tone to it. Don't get me wrong, i personally don't mind the tone at all. After all, it doesn't really matter how grounded, or dark, you try to make a Spider-Man film because the reality is it's still a story about a teenage kid fighting crime, while wearing bright blue and red spandex. Um...you really want to argue how that's not in the least bit silly?

However, it's a bit odd though considering that it seemed like Sony was trying to get away from the light hearted campy feel of Sam Raimi's trilogy in the first movie. Sure, there was some camp in the first "Amazing Spider-Man" flick, but it wasn't quite at the level this movie presents. Don't get me wrong, the camp level in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" is nowhere near the level that we saw in any of Raimi's "Spider-Man" flicks, but it's fairly obvious that Webb went with a lighter campier tone for this sequel.

And for the most part, it seems to work in the film's favor, but it's a bit inconsistent. At some moments, it seems like Webb tries to ground the sequel in reality whenever we see Peter Parker interact with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), but at other times, it feels like he's trying to reach back to the days of Raimi's "Spider-Man" movies. Sheesh, make up you're freaking mind here. Say what you want about Raimi's "Spider-Man" films, but at least, he knew what he wanted the movies to be.

To get back to the story, Peter breaks his promise to Captain Stacy (Dennis Leary) from the last film, and he decides to date Gwen anyway. However, Peter struggles with this decision because he knows as long as he's Spider-Man, then her life will always be in danger. Plus, it was her father's dying wish that he'd leave Gwen the hell alone for the rest of her life. And like most teenagers, Peter is indecisive about what he really wants; hence forcing him and Gwen to be in an on again off again type of relationship.

Gwen loves Peter unconditionally, but she can't stand the fact that he can't make up his mind about what he wants. Peter loves her, and wants to be with her. But at the same time, he's haunted by his promise to Gwen's father. Oh, what's a poor teenage boy to do? Although Peter better make up his mind soon because Gwen is preparing to go to Oxford, and she's ready to start her new life with or without him tagging along.

One of the best parts about this movie was the love story between Peter and Gwen. Hell, you could easily argue that's the heart and soul of this movie. No matter how rushed the other subplots are in this film, the love story between these two is never rushed. It's written rather well. Plus, Andrew and Emma have a strong chemistry together that genuinely makes you believe they love each other. Although I'm sure it helps that both the actors, playing Gwen and Peter, happen to be lovers in real life.

Of course, where would a superhero movie be without a villain? Or, I should say villains in this case. Enter Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), a would be nerdy electrician expert at Oscorp. In a bit of a rip off of "Batman Forever", Max is basically a nerdy "Steve Urkell" type guy that's obsessed with his hero, Spider-Man, and then turns villain the instant he feels shunned by him. But unlike Jim Carey when he went from being super nerd, in "Batman Forever", to becoming well....Jim Carey playing himself as the Riddler, Max turns into an electrical bad a** named Electro, after his little accident at Oscorp.

After a misunderstanding by the police, Electro feels like Spider-Man has betrayed him. Acting like a scorned lover, who seeks revenge. Granted, it's refreshing to see a character that doesn't have the bulls*** excuse of a split personality to be a bad guy for a change, as the previous Spider-Man movie villains were notorious for that. However, Electro is sort of a one note antagonist, as all he wants is power and to kill Spider-Man. In a strange way, I feel like this version of Electro might've been a better fit in Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy, as he feels a bit out of place here considering how grounded the last movie set up this new "Spider-Man."

Of course, let's not forget about our other subplot involving Peter's best friend turned villain, Harry Osborne (Dane DeHaan). Unlike the previous version of Green Goblin, this one has a bit of a different back story. In Raimi's version, it was a bit more faithful to the comics, but in this new interpretation, we see that Harry is suffering from a genetic hereditary disease that his father is dying from.

As we watch his opening scene with his father, Norman Osborne (Chris Cooper), we can tell they're not exactly close. Being sent off to boarding school when he was still a preteen, while getting a bottle of scotch on his 16th birthday from his father saying the words, "Compliments of Norman Osborne." If that doesn't tell you how distant they are from each other, then I don't know what does. However, Harry is shocked to learn that there was a reason for it. His father was struggling to find a cure for himself, and Harry. But alas, he failed in his attempt to find a cure.

And with Oscorp abandoning all their animal genetic research, it seems like Harry's hopes of finding a cure for himself is quickly closing. That is until he meets his old childhood best friend again in Peter Parker. I'll admit that the set up for this story arc has a lot of potential. At the beginning of the movie, we can see how close Peter and Harry are as best friends, and it's obvious that Peter wants to do anything he can to help Harry. However, Harry feels the only way to cure himself is by getting some of Spider-Man's blood, but the only thing is Peter isn't so sure if that'll help him, or that it might make his condition worse. Needless to say, this later puts them in an adversarial position that could've shown a lot of promise. In a better written movie, this could have been the making of arguably one of the best superhero movies ever made. In fact, it's almost a shame that the Green Goblin wasn't the only villain in this film, as the premise had a lot of potential of giving us something great. Sadly, that wasn't Sony's priority.

No, they rush through Harry's transition from being Peter's best friend to adversary quite quickly in favor of setting up the "Sinister Six" film. For those of you who don't follow movie news, Sony plans on doing a spin off film based on Spider-Man's adversaries teaming up to kill him. Granted, it's a novelty idea as a stand alone film, but I wouldn't make the "Sinister Six" into a franchise movie series. However, isn't this supposed to be Spider-Man's movie? Plus, Sony already has two more "Spider-Man" films green lighted, so what's the rush? Why sacrifice what could've been such a powerful story in favor of setting of a spin off movie that's not even going to be in production until after "Amazing Spider-Man 3" anyway?

But alas, that's not what Sony wanted to do, as they merely wanted to cram as many subplots and villains into this as possible. Hell, the Rhino (Paul Giamatti) is shoehorned into this as well. In fact, he's only in this movie for about the last ten minutes of it, as he's obviously being set up as one of the villains for "The Amazing Spider-Man 3." However, if he's not a key character in this film, then why the hell do you even need him at all? If you're only going to show him for the last ten minutes of the movie, then wouldn't that ten minutes be better spent on developing Harry's story arc into becoming Green Goblin? Or maybe giving more screen time to develop Electro a bit?

Sadly, this film is heavy on style, but lacks a lot of substance. Not to mention, the pacing of this movie feels a bit rushed at times, whenever it's not focusing on Gwen and Peter's lovey dovey moments. However, I will give credit to the film by saying the cinematography and CGI is top notch. I especially loved all the web slinging shots that were taken throughout this film, as the action sequences were simply amazing to watch. Although I still think "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" had better action scenes, but that was mainly because it had more of a mixture of practical effects mixed with CGI that made it more realistic. Whereas the action scenes in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2", you can obviously tell most of it is done in CGI. Not saying that's a bad thing, but it's just a personal preference.

As far as the costumes go, I have to say I prefer the costume in this one a lot better. Although the spidey costume from the last movie was a bit more realistic, I tend to prefer this one because it looks closer to the comic book version of Spider-Man, with big bug eyes on the mask; reminiscent of the 80's Spider-Man comics.

Plus, Electro had a very interesting design to him as well. Although the visual effects used for his character were a bit reminiscent of Dr. Manhattan, from the "Watchmen" movie, but I have to admit that I love Electro's look in the movie. It's almost a shame they couldn't develop his character enough to match his appearance.

As for Green Goblin, I can't say I love his costume, but it's definitely an improvement over what Raimi gave us in his "Spider-Man" movies. And, don't even get me started on Rhino, as I simply hated his mechanical costume in this movie. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of these pretentious fans that expects everything to be a hundred percent accurate to the comics, but the Rhino looks like a mechanical reject from Michael Bay's "Transformer" movies, and it doesn't even look realistic at all. If anything, the CGI rendering for Rhino's armor looks a bit cheap if you want my honest opinion, which is surprising because all the other visual effects were great before he came along.

Overall, I wouldn't say that "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" is anywhere near as bad as most critics are making it out to be, as it's a fun comic book movie to watch if you're willing to turn off your brain, and enjoy the visuals. However, it could have been so much more. I would recommend seeing it in theaters because the 3-D cinematography is actually well done in this sequel, but the story itself doesn't really make it worth the extra money you'll have to spend seeing it. If you want my advice, I'd probably wait to see this on DVD/Blue Ray, as it's not worth seeing in theaters. An OKAY movie at best, but I wouldn't expect too much out of it.



Electro's Origin

Green Goblin's Origin

Rhino's Origin

Comments 12 comments

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

I plan on seeing Spidey soon, I appreciate the review! You rocked this review!


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 2 years ago Author

Thanks sunshine. I'm glad you liked it. Hopefully, you'll enjoy the movie when you get a chance to see it.


amandajoyshapiro profile image

amandajoyshapiro 2 years ago

While I agree with you about how similar Electro and the Riddler's pre-villain story lines are, you fail to see that the purposeful focus of Amazing Spider-Man 2 is actually how the plot rolls out the characters instead of making the character development more important.

Let me explain:

It opens with Spider-Man fighting a Russian criminal driving a stolen truck of valuable chemicals. Spider-Man wins. The villain goes off to prison. When the film closes, Peter Parker has returned to being Spider-Man after a 5 month hiatus and his first enemy is the same Russian criminal but in a new truck; the Rhino machine. This is called bookending. Yet in the time between these two battles, Peter Parker has experienced A LOT! The Russian is a device to emphasize Peter's transformation. The fact he's only in these two scenes means he is not supposed to be developed and thus there is room for a campy performance. This villain is not held to the same standards as the other two.

Electro represents a metaphor for power. Max Dillon was invisible and powerless. A lab accident gave him power and for the first time in his life he felt alive. He was noticed. It didn't matter if it was for good or bad. The misunderstanding between himself, the cops, and Spider-Man put his weakened, confused, and delusional mind on a mission to take revenge. He wanted to show Spidey and all of NYC what it was like to be without power. But Electro's story had to serve a greater purpose and connect with greater strength to Spider-Man personally.

Enter Harry Osborne. The son of a powerful scientist and heir to a worldwide respected research lab. To finish what his father couldn't and to save his own life from a disease, Spidey seemed like the only hope. With all the money in the world and power at his disposal, Spidey cannot help him. In order to get what he wants, he needs Electro: the literal embodiment of power. But when that plan doesn't work, he too can only take revenge. And then the you know what spoiler happens. Then five months go by and Spider-Man finds strength to return. And then it's back to Rhino.

Plus, with the stronger back-story of Peter's father's research, we see how Norman and Richard's story intertwine and how it leads to Harry's failure with the spider's venom.

See: major overall plot with less focus on characterization but just enough to get you through and carry along the story to the next installment.

You surely might find a few reasons to disagree, which is fine.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 2 years ago Author

Hmmm..you bring up a lot of valid points, and I have to say i never considered that about electro be honest. I think my main problem with his character was that i was too busy looking at him as an actual character in the same way we would judge someone like Peter Parker and etc. But when I should've looked at him as more of a concept similar to how we'd see villains like Heath Ledger's joker, sauron from lord of the rings, maleficent from sleeping beauty and etc.

I guess you're right, as I was being too hard on his character by calling him a one note bad guy, when I should've looked at what he was symbolically supposed to represent. In hindsight, I think I'd give this movie like a 8.0 instead of what i originally gave it just because of that one point you brought up about him.

As for everything else you said about the rhino and etc, I do have to say that i disagree with you though.

While I personally didn't mind Rhino being campy, I just felt the way his character was shoehorned into this movie was kind of unnecessary, in context to the story. Plus, even though it was literally months, after spider-man's confrontation with electro and the goblin, it still felt a bit rushed that he immediately gets inspired to become spider-man again just because he hears some speech by gwen.

Don't get me wrong, I understand what you're saying about how the film seems to be more focused on setting up the rest of the movies in this franchise. I just don't see why they couldn't still do that, while still having a strong emphasis on the characters themselves as well. I mean "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is a perfect example of this.

If you watch that film, it's fairly obvious a majority of it is meant to set up future stories for Marvel studios, and their current abc series, "Agents of Shield", but that never takes away from the emphasis on the main characters. I do agree with you about Harry Osborne's story arc completely, but it just felt a bit rushed if you ask me. I think if Rhino wasn't in the movie, and perhaps some of that extra screen time had gone into developing harry's transition a bit more, then I do think we would've gotten a stronger movie; while still being a film that sets up the other future installments.

However, I get what you're saying, as I think you bring up some valid points, but I just respectfully disagree. Although, I do appreciate you opening my eyes about Electro though, as I wish I would've thought of that before I published this hub. Anyways, I appreciate you stopping by, as it was an honor hearing some of your thoughts.


amandajoyshapiro profile image

amandajoyshapiro 2 years ago

Yes, The Winter Soldier is a much better example of a superhero film that balances plot with all-around character development!


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 2 years ago Author

lol. well at least we can agree on something.


Oswalda Purcell profile image

Oswalda Purcell 2 years ago from Los Angeles

Now I am excited to give it a view! Thanks for the read.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 2 years ago Author

Your welcome, and thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy the film when you get a chance to see it.


Checkyoinbox 2 years ago

Check yo inbox


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 2 years ago Author

Um...okay....Not really a comment to my review, but okay...thanks for stopping by.


Alphadogg16 profile image

Alphadogg16 2 years ago from Texas

I don't want to discourage anyone from seeing it, but there was too much love story in this Super Hero film for me, not enough action. I was a little disappointed. I didn't really like the way the changed Electro either, thought he would look more like the comic version. Great hub though Stevennix.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 2 years ago Author

Well to each their own. I personally thought the love story was the best part of the film, but I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. As far as Electro's look, I don't know if they changed his appearance since the last time i read spidey's comics when i was a wee lad, but the version i saw had him wear like a silly mask with electric lightning bolts going across his face which were kind of silly. I thought the costume for him in this one wasn't too bad. I just wish he had been written a bit better. Anyways, thanks for stopping by.

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