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Two Good – A review of Amazing Spiderman 2
Title: Amazing Spiderman 2
Production Company: Marvel Enterprises
Run Time: 142 minutes
Director: Marc Webb
Stars: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Sally Field, Dane DeHaan, Paul Giamatti
Summary: This sequel is darker than the original trilogy, but it’s also truer to the original comic book, ripping events straight from the original life of Peter Parker as chronicled by Lee and Ditko in the ‘60’s.
Comic book fans who grew up with Spiderman will already know how this story ends before they even make it to the theater. But that, by itself, shouldn’t stop them from going.
After all, the journey is half the fun of getting there. And this trip isn’t your typical light hearted comic book movie fare.
Andrew Garfield returns to the role as mild mannered Peter Parker, reprising the character he inherited from Tobey McGuire in the reboot of the franchise from 2012.
This time, he’s got his hands full, juggling three villains who rear their ugly heads one at a time to make his life even more complicated as he also tries to juxtapose how to handle Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) in the wake of the promise he made to her father just prior to his death in the first movie.
And of course the writers won’t let him forget that promise as he sees the ghost of Captain Stacy (Denis Leary) throughout the course of the story as it unfolds. I suppose that would weigh heavily on my conscience too.
But the real centerpiece of the story is Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon, a mild mannered schleb who finds his DNA altered when he accidentally electrocutes himself while initiating repairs at OsCorp, a biological research lab headed by the reclusive Norman Osborne until his death and the transfer of ownership to psychologically damaged son Harry (Dane DeHaan).
Dillon, who has his own instabilities (he thinks Spiderman is a personal friend after the webslinger saves his life during a battle with a villainous criminal on the streets of Manhattan), cracks completely after the accident and goes on his own rampage to squash the 5’ 10” arachnid who he thinks is out to get him.
Which may not be far from the truth. Dillon becomes a supercharged hothead who calls himself Electro. And his ultimate goal is to sap the power from the city of New York and kill everyone who he considers an enemy.
Harry is also after Spiderman when he finds out that the wall-crawler’s blood may contain an antibody that could cure a family curse that killed his father and now has manifested itself inside his body.
He doesn’t know, though, that Spiderman is really his boyhood friend Peter, and the revelation carries him over his own edges to the creation of the evil manifestation known as Green Goblin – no surprises here. The same character was unveiled during the first trilogy so no one should expect less in this story.
Paul Giamatti plays the third revealed villain in this story. His arc began in the first part of the movie (he’s the Russian villain Parker is chasing when Spiderman saves Max) and culminates when the Soviet criminal is given a weapon by OsCorp to aid in his rematch against Spiderman.
Amidst everything else, Peter juggles his feelings for Gwen Stacy, knowing fully well that as long as he is in her life, she could easily find herself in mortal danger from the villains he faces. The realization is nothing short of prophetic.
This is not a movie for the faint of spirit. Much like the original trilogy, the tale of Spiderman is fraught with real emotion. It’s also predictable in many ways, but that predictability doesn’t take anything away from the story.
In contrast, it actually makes the story all the more riveting and opens doors for all the surviving characters as we await the next installment set for 2016.
Director Marc Webb (ideally named to helm this movie) manages to bring the far-fetched tale to life while grounding the characters in the real world – not an easy task, but one this director is well suited to achieve.
The special effects are fantastic in this film and watching Peter sling his way through the city makes one almost wish that they could avoid commuting hassles in this same manner. Not too many people can get around the city with this kind of speed and ease.
Of course I would love to be Parker’s chiropractor. It isn’t likely that he could go through the punishing that he pushes his body through without visiting one once in a while.
I am looking forward already to the next chapter in the life of Peter Parker. In the meantime, I give this one 4-1/2 out of 5 stars.