Wednesday, May 07, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Year: 2014
Director: Marc Webb
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Sally Field, Paul Giamatti

Plot: Peter Parker continues to balance his heroic adventures as Spider-Man with being with Gwen Stacy despite promising her late father to stay away from her. But there's a bigger problem at hand when electrical engineer Max Dillon becomes a supervillain after an accident at his workplace. To top things off, Peter's old buddy Harry Osborn is looking for Spider-Man, and Peter learns more about his father's secrets.

Review: I've always had a problem with relating to Spider-Man. Even though Sam Raimi's previous trilogy was fun (the third one not so much) and Marc Webb's reboot was pretty damn good, I can never enjoy this as much as say, Captain America and The Avengers.

So anyway, this sequel to Webb's reboot focuses on Peter's relationship with Gwen, and how he's torn between wanting to be with her and keeping his promise to her dad. In fact, this instalment spends more time on this aspect than anything else. The other things include Spidey doing battle with Max Dillon aka Electro, learning about his father's secret research and dealing with Harry Osborn's obsession with Spider-Man, whom he believes can help save him from the same disease that killed his father Norman.

The film can get messy at times with so many subplots fighting for attention but Webb manages to hold it together fr the most part. The action sequences are quite good, though the battle Spidey takes part in at the film's climax is the best one, the other sequences are just average. Webb puts a lot of effort in building Peter's character and his relationship with Gwen, and thankfully doesn't make it too mushy.

Andrew Garfield is once again on point as Peter, though I might prefer his initial stint in the first film a bit more. Emma Stone, Garfield's real life girlfriend, unsurprisingly shares great chemistry with him as Gwen. Sally Field's great as usual in the role of Aunt May, being the mother figure we're all familiar with.

And now for the bad. I'll start with the villains. They're just poorly written and conceived. Electro's all right once he starts wreaking havoc, but poor Jamie Foxx has to play him as a nerd who gets looked over by most people. I don't know if this follows the comic book, but this kind of tragic villain just doesn't work for me. Then there's Dane DeHaan's Harry Osborn / Green Goblin, whose physical transformation looked quite lame. Where Foxx was better after the transformation, DeHaan's the reverse. DeHaan is great as the rich kid who wouldn't listen to reason, but once he became the monster, he looked like a caricature. And oh God, Paul Giamatti as The Rhino. Why Paul? Webb could have picked any guy for this role, considering how badly Rhino and the dude before he got the suit (which is a far cry from the comic version) was written here. It's a huge disservice to a great actor like Paul. Oh, and all the bad guys' lines were cliched (I'll take away your hope, They'll know what it's like to live in a world without Spider-Man etc). And yeah, there's this Dr Kafka character played by Marton Csokas which really wasn't needed here, he isn't even the least bit interesting. It also doesn't help that the film ended in a semi-cliffhanger way, like we're supposed to expect something more in the next sequel.

Thing is, I'll give any film credit if it can entertain for the majority of its runtime. At a lengthy 142 minutes, TASM2 hits more than it misses, despite the flaws. So if you haven't seen it, go right ahead. You might enjoy it. (Oh, and ignore that X-Men sequel trailer during the credits, it's just a promo. No connection whatsoever to this film) (3.5/5) 

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