The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) Review
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the most comic book a superhero film has ever been and for a superhero like Spider-Man that is really impressive. Special kudos to Mark Webb and Andrew Garfield for ripping this character straight off the page. Now don’t get me wrong I loved the film but not everyone will, if your first experience with spider man was the last film series and not the comics then parts will be jarring but spider-man fans will love the lighter, funnier and quipier spider-man than they have been given in the past. The story is more focused in the sequel as it tries to answer old questions and raises new ones going forward into the franchise. The visuals are great and even though I was a little scared at some of the CGI in the trailers believe me the final product is spectacular. Mark Webb has clearly become comfortable with his new spider-man world and I cannot wait to see what he does next. SINISTER SIX! I’ll go into much more detail below but for now bookmark this if you are waiting to see the film, leave any comments below, if you have seen the film then check out the spoiler sections and I will look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts.
“Soon everyone in this city will know how it is to live in my world. A world without power, without mercy, a world without Spider-Man. They will see me for who I truly am. I’m Electro.”
For Peter Parker, there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone). But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: OsCorp.
Tim’s Film Reviews Recommended
Story: 80% Acting: 85% Characters: 90% Dialogue: 85%
Sci-Fi/Action/Superhero: 100% Style/Sound: 100% Visuals: 100%
The story has a lot of aspects to it but I think it was handled very well. First we have the mysterious tale of Peters parents of whom we get an excellent flash back to explain there dealings. Next we have Peter’s relationship with Gwen, which I was originally annoyed at because it seemed to ignore the last act of the previous film but then we start seeing the past haunt him which was done really well. Then we had two separate but cleverly connected super villain origins of Spider-man favourites Electro and Green Goblin, Electro getting the most development. Webb somehow managed to avoid another Spiderman 3 catastrophe by keeping the villain’s light on back story and dramatic in the now, also a funny non-emo Spider-man helps too.
The acting is excellent from some and good all-round for others. The side effect of having a very comic book feeling superhero film is that not everything is dramatic acting but I don’t think it should be at all; well not all the time anyway. Paul Giamatti is a great example of just cheesing it up for comic effect; I mean his Russian accent is pure cheesy goodness. However some of the excellent acting comes from Andrew and Emma’s portrayal of Peter and Gwen, they keep it light but also have some touching moments good and bad. As far as the two main villains’ go I was genuinely impressed. Jaime Foxx as Max Dillon alone was something to watch, because let’s face it ridiculous nerd is not Jamie Foxx’s comfort zone but he does pretty well. But then he also has to become a super charged super villain as Electro which he also pulls off really well. Lastly is Green Goblin/Harry Osborn played by the extremely talented Dane DeHaan who whilst great didn’t really get the time to develop his character to his full potential, but I have no doubt they will in the later franchise.
The science fiction of this film is basically Electricity + Mutant eels + Human = Electro and doesn’t really try and explain anything past that, and I couldn’t care less. Trying to explain this stuff is a fool’s game which would eat into this already busy film. On the superhero side of things this film is excellent, spider-man has never been more like spider-man than in this film. The way he talks, the way he acts and even his intellect are clearly the character I read in the comics. The action was brilliant and especially that big showdown between Electro and Spider-man, but also in all the little details that are uniquely Spider-man.
The visuals in some scenes are stunning, especially in the big old battles with the massively powerful Electro. The most impressive part of the CGI was the extent of the use in daylight; it’s much easier to create computer graphics in the dark of night where shadows are far less obvious. The problem is that Spider-man isn’t Batman and he really needs to be out in the sun saving cats from trees and kids from walking into busy roads. The costumes were excellent especially Spider-man’s whose new costume looks absolutely fantastic, so bright and vivid colours and the big eyes look fantastic. Electro could have been better maybe but I really liked the new look of the Green Goblin, he looked truly twisted and crazy. Lastly the music, I would get it if people complained about anything else but you cannot say anything bad about this musical score created by Hans Zimmer and The Magnificent Six. Everyone got a bit of theme music, fun Spider-man gets that trumpet one, and Electro gets that whispery creepy one and some of the big fights have some real adrenaline pumping beats.
Seriously guys turn away now to avoid spoilers. In the last scene Spider-man grows four extra arms becoming a real Spider Man! I told you not to read this section. There is a lot to talk about here so I’ll keep it brief and talk more in the comments. Bringing back Captain Stacy to haunt Peter because he has broken his promise was really clever and done just right. This also plays really well (sadly) into the death of Gwen Stacy. Whilst were on her death let’s talk about the lead up, I knew it was going to happen before the film came out because they kept hinting at it from the trailers, but I always had a feeling that they would chicken out. Clearly they didn’t but the moment I was sure it was about to happen was when you hear this high and screechy laugh as Green Goblin flies down on his glider, Dane DeHaan’s Green Goblin laugh was brilliant and fans of the animated series will love it. They have set up the next few films really well and I love that they kept Green Goblin alive because he needs a lot more development and I want to see more of the character. Bring on the Sinister Six!
The best reviews I found would be these:
“Overall, a strong sequel to a Spiderman movie I loved already. The cast is great, the villains are a proper match and the action sequences are the best we’ve seen in any superhero film, not just a Spiderman one. The story is the weakest element and it focuses too much on creating a wider franchise but once you see Spiderman swinging around New York, this can be forgiven.” Views from the Sofa. Full Review
“In conclusion The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is good, but wasn’t the Spider-Man that I wanted. The central storyline involving Peter and Gwen is where this film succeeds, that and the great action sequences, but beyond that not much else works.” The Hypersonic. Full Review
“What is remarkable about Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man II is how much it resembles a comic book. It isn’t that Marc Webb tries to construct his film to evoke the look and feel of a comic book – this isn’t Ang Lee’s Hulk; in fact, Webb seems much more comfortable here than he was with The Amazing Spider-Man, making a movie that feels more playful and relaxed within its medium.” The Movie Blog. Full Review
“Neither villain resonated with me. I thought the effects to be decent, though sometimes the CGI was excessive. The humour was great, I had quite a few laughs in here, and that is always fun. Overall it was definitely entertaining, and I liked that. It was nice to see a bit more going on between Peter and his Aunt May, a lovely addition there.” The Sporadic Chronicles. Full Review
My favourite scene in general would have to be the last big fight between Spider-man and Electro and then right after the fight with Goblin and that classic tragic end to Gwen. On the other hand we have the comedy moments and my favourite one that had me in stiches would be his email to J. Jonah Jameson with the very Jameson response “WRONG!”.