The Amazing Spider-Man 2 review

Scott Iwaniec

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Anyone who has been reading this section since the fall already knows that Spider-Man has a very special place in my heart. Without a doubt the best part of the film is its visuals. Spider-Man looks incredible. The suit is as legit as it will ever will be, and finally someone got the eyes right!

The opening sequence of the film of one of my favorites of the entire movie because of the way they capture the essence of Spider-Man’s motion and acrobatics. The way they film the web slinging is a huge step up from the first film. Director Mark Webb also used a very affective neon color scheme, which gives the film its own unique look and really highlights comic book style drawings (I mean that in the absolute best way possible).

Andrew Garfield absolutely owns this role. I was always more of a fan of Toby Maguire as Spider-Man, but in this film Garfield stole my heart. He was funny, sarcastic, snobby, and heartbreakingly emotional when he needed to be. He and Emma Stone have a very sweet and genuine chemistry together. The film really gives us the spirit of the comics by really adding humor and sarcasm to the hero, which is something I felt the first film nearly abandoned. My only critique on this is they could have taken out some humor in some very serious situations.

The film also does a great job of keeping you interested in the small talk; in many conversations you feel anxious to hear some revelations and it really does a good job captivating your attention. The film isn’t just a fun ride, but it packs some hard emotional punches. Those who know the comic books have already recognized certain symbols that signify a certain thing that happens in the film, but I will say this about it: it was handled so phenomenally well, that even as someone who knew exactly what was going to happen, I gasped in shock with the rest of the audience. That is the best compliment I can possibly give the director. The ending scene is another sequence that really leaves an impression and I believe it was a genuine way to conclude the movie.

Now I need to address the negatives, and there are some big ones. As far as the narratives go, the film is jumbled. Mark Webb almost falls into the Spider-Man 3 trap of too many stories and quite frankly it shows. There are four primary story lines in this film that Peter has to deal with, and two of them I could have done completely without. A lot of the film touches on the “untold story” that was presented in the first film regarding Peter’s parents. It felt a little unnecessary and probably would have been better off in the first film, especially since it really doesn’t tell the audience anything that adds to this film, and instead further explores the last.

Electro looked awesome and they really make him a physical threat, but there is way too much focus on his character in the beginning of the film. If you made the villain only Electro, then it would have been absolutely fine, but they put so much emphasis on the character only to come in and have a small tie in.

They could have easily told his back story and motivation in two scenes, and that still would have been fine because the weight of him would be more proportionate to his importance at the end.

Dane Dahaan is fine as Harry/Green Goblin, and he gives us a Green Goblin much different from the first film, which I am okay with. What’s the problem then? He doesn’t get enough screen time. Why? Because it’s all given to Electro and the love story. At the end you only see the actual Green Goblin for only a few minutes and he’s defeated pretty easily. I’m not too upset with it since they make it clear he’s coming back for a much bigger impact in future films, but still. The lead up to him was great, but once you get him he just kind of comes and goes.

The marketing for this film almost killed this movie. It is one of the biggest false advertisements I’ve ever seen for a film. The “three villain” thing that they keep pushing is only 1.5 villains. The Rhino gets maybe five minutes of screen time. Regularly that’s fine if it wasn’t for the fact he was advertised as one of the main villains. There’s also a lot of weighted trailer scenes that were cut out. The idea of Oscorp watching Peter? Not in the film. The emphasis on the film is Peter trying to protect the people he loves, which are done really well, but the villains aren’t that great.

Over all I really liked The Amazing Spider-Man 2. I know it seems like I just bashed the whole film, but there is definitely more to like than there is not to like. It’s a big step up from the original film, but has nothing on Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I recommend you go and see it, you will definitely enjoy it.