The Amazing Spider-man 2 is… Pretty Good

A blog by: Thomas Williamson Domol

“Everyday I wake up knowing that no matter how many lives I protect, no matter how many people call me a hero, someone even more powerful could change everything.”- Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker

I more or less love comic book movies, I have never read a single comic book cover to cover in my life, except for Sin City and Watchmen, but those are considered to be graphic novels. I love comic book movies because they typically reside in the “feel good” category. To an extent, Christopher Nolan changed that formula with his Dark Knight series, choosing a much darker, grittier, and more realistic take on Batman with real conflict and iconic antagonists like Heath Ledger’s Joker. Having said that, this genre is nice because it usually depicts a story where the good guys triumph over the bad guys, and as filmgoers, it gives us a cathartic sense of fulfillment to see good things happen to good people sometimes, and see those who wish to cause them harm get what they deserve.

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I never saw the first film in this reboot, The Amazing Spider-man, I own the movie on Blu Ray, and yet I have never actually watched it start to finish. This is odd because, unlike most people, I thought this reboot was not rushed in too soon after the Sam Raimi series had concluded. Spider-man 3 was an atrocious film with an uninspired all star cast that was just in it for the paycheck, (emo Peter Parker anyone?). Mark Webb (500 Days of Summer) is now at the helm for Marvel’s series which I think features a much more talented and  capable cast, anchored by the fabulously British Andrew Garfield, and Sally Field. A well-assembled cast can really lift a film like this to a different plain because it adds weight to the more fanciful elements to the story, such as Jamie Foxx’s Electro existing at all.

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That’s right, Oscar winning actor Jamie Foxx joins the cast this time around as Spidey’s main foil, Electro, a once mild- mannered electrician at Oscorp, just looking for recognition from anyone, turned super villain.  The interplay between Garfield and Foxx in the more dramatic segments is believable and heartbreaking, and builds to a nice crescendo near the end of the film that will dazzle you in every way. Now I will take a moment right now to tell you that this movie is about 45 minutes too long. I suppose directors of Summer blockbusters just can’t stop themselves from buying into the school of thought that more is always better. It’s not, it can come off as supremely indulgent. Several films in recent memory are guilty of the exact same crime, so you can’t throw the baby out with the bath water as they say.

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Another issue I had with this film is that characters were underdeveloped before new ones were introduced. I honestly have no clue why Paul Giamatti’s Rhino was in this film, his agent must have impeccable negotiating skills because he served no purpose other than to set up the next film. Elsewhere, there were some very promising elements that I wanted a lot more of, like Peter Parker and his pal Harry Osborn, played by Dane Dehaan, who as an actor is so much better than James Franco it’s sobering at times. These two have great chemistry on screen together, and you just want a little something extra.

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I feel that I am rightfully of the opinion that the middle film of any trilogy is always meant to be a bummer and a set up for what lies ahead for our main character. Nothing gets resolved, in fact our hero ends up having something of an existential crisis, questioning why he has chosen his way of life at all, just like Empire Strikes Back. That’s where Gwen Stacey comes in, played by the enchanting Emma Stone. As opposed to the previous series, Stacey is Spiderman’s main squeeze here, and also unlike the previous series, Stacey knows the truth about Peter much sooner than Mary Jane does in the Raimi series. She adds an element to the film that takes it to another level, and that’s where the aptitude of the cast again comes into play. Here the real conflict is that Gwen has been given a once in a lifetime chance to study at Oxford University, and the implications of this offer has our red-clad hero feeling blue.

In summary, this is a good film that you should see. The action is breathless, the jokes are on point, and you get to beat the heat for a while anyway. Despite an overwrought run time, and some choppy character development, as well as a bit of confusion in a couple of the action sequences, this film delivers the goods. It weaves a web of intrigue, excitement, and romance. What more do you want out of a Summer movie? Go see it. Until next time, I’m Tom, and as always, you’ve been pretty amazing.

7.5/10

TWD

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