Alright, I haven’t really done many movie reviews, particularly on movies that are currently in theaters so this will be my first attempt! I recently saw The Amazing Spiderman 2 on opening night at my local theater. My fiance and brother both accompanied me as well. We bought our tickets in advance, which apparently Marcus Theaters makes you do now, got some delicious popcorn and soda and got to experience a very very fun super-hero film. My review is going to have spoilers so, if you have not seen this film STOP READING NOW!!! Unless you’re like my brother and I…spoilers do not really kill the viewing for us. In fact, it enhances our experience and even hypes us up more to see the films. Anyways, here is my review of The Amazing Spiderman 2:
This is the second installment of The Amazing Spiderman with Andrew Garfield playing the masked vigilante. When I first heard that there would be a reboot of this series I was a little annoyed. I saw it, mainly, as a rights-owning company just protecting their own interests and milking a cash-cow until we all learned to hate it. However, when i saw the first Amazing Spiderman, I actually found myself enjoying it far more than I had enjoyed the originals. And, here is why:
When I think of spiderman, I think of the energetic, goofy, lame-joking teen hero from the 90’s cartoon as well as many of the comics. As a hero, spiderman is super young and therefore, says and does things a younger person would do or say. This makes him relatable and more down-to-earth then, lets say a person like Wolverine who has been alive for hundreds of years, is grumpy as hell, and has a somewhat mysterious and dark past. Andrew Garfield IS the spiderman that I remember. He is witty, funny, stupid, rash, high energy, awkward and much much more.
Post Viewing Thoughts:
I am going to start off by saying, I loved this sequel! Now, please do not confuse that with saying I loved everything about the film, I did not, but OVERALL I loved this film.
Unlike the original Spiderman trilogy, this series seems to have a bit more of a logical story progression. It is clear that this movie picks up pretty much where the other movie left off. Gwen Stacy and Spidy are dating and Peter Parker is still having trouble with his vigilante-life balance as he is even late for his own graduation (making it in time by seconds). It is revealed, early on, that Spiderman is having trouble coping with the promise he made Gwen’s father (in the first film her promised to stay away from Gwen Stacy but by the end he couldn’t do it) as he is seeing visions of her father everywhere.
Oscorp and Peters parents are also dead-center and central to the story line, as with the original. You get to find out why Oscorp is, apparently, an evil corporation hell-bent on making humans regenerate via utilizing other species’ evolutionary advantages. The reason is because Normon Osborn was born with a terrible genetic disease that is terminal. He has very little time left which is why he is going to such lengths to enhance humanity. Before his death he passes on his knowledge and assets to his son, Harry Osborn who is already seeing symptoms of the same disease.
You also find out that Harry Osborn and Peter Parker are former childhood besties. They even have a few scenes of rejoicing and fun before things go dark in the film. However, once Harry realizes the hopelessness of his situation he enlists the help of Spiderman to cure him. When Spidy refuses, Harry tumbles into a downward spiral of desperation only to come out the other side as The Green Goblin.
This might actually be one of the few things I disliked about the movie actually… this part all felt a little rushed. One minute they’re best friggin’ friends forever and the next, Harry is a full-blown evil villain hell-bent on destroying the person he things left him to die (spiderman). The reason, I think, this was done so quickly however, was so that they could develop Parker’s and Stacy’s love story a little bit more. This allows for the twist, which I will reveal shortly, have far more emotion that it probably would have had.
I think, if Peter Parker was supposed to have a life lesson… a take away from the events that played out in the film, it would be that his actions had consequences. Good and bad alike. He serves as a symbol to the world and the things that he does, says, or doesn’t do all have a greater impact once he puts on the mask. This idea is introduced, mainly, with the Character Max Dillon(played by Jamie Fox). Max is an intelligent, but meek and invisible, engineer at Oscorp. He is smart enough to be the person who designed the power grid for all of New York City but weak and mild enough to be used, ignored and mooched off of by basically anyone who sees him.
His life is seemingly changed, forever, when, one day, Max is saved from a moving car by Spiderman. Spidy gives him some awesome words of encouragement when Max says that he was surprised that Spidy saved him since he is a “nobody”. Peter tells Max that he is very important, that he is spiderman’s “eyes and ears” and, most importantly, that spiderman NEEDS him.
These are usually general words of encouragement that are taken with a grain of salt by most, but Dillon takes Spiderman’s words to heart and develops a one-sided obsession and friendship toward Spidy.
This obsession finally comes to a head when Max falls into a vat of supercharged eels, essentially turning himself into a battery that is hungry for power. Initially, Max is just as scared as the people in the city when they see him. He has ZERO control over his powers and has no idea what’s going on. Spiderman confronts him, and is able to even talk him down until a foolish sniper fired a round and Max. Believing spiderman had betrayed him, Max starts fighting Spiderman. Peter is able to take him down and Max is taken to a secret facility for imprisonment and testing that is essentially just torture. No longer the meek and mild engineer, Max develops a deep hatred for people, especially, Spiderman. he gains a new nickname, Electro, and starts to feel more hatred until he is completely evil and angst-ridden.
Another decision Parker has to live with, aside from his decisions being a direct result in two super-villains being created, is his decision to be with Gwen Stacy. The whole movie he is battling between wanting to let her go and honor her father’s wishes or giving in and being with her. He even breaks up with her at the beginning of the movie. However, they reconcile and get together again. Her father feared, as Peter fears, that by being with Gwen, she will always be in harms way. It certainly doesn’t help that Gwen is just as rash and quick to action as Peter. She always wants to help or see what is going on up close regardless of anyone telling her that it is “too dangerous”.
Parker’s love and Gwen’s stupidity lands her directly in danger after she helps Peter defeat Electro. Their celebration is interrupted by an pissed off super-suited Harry Osborn (now The Green Goblin). When Harry sees Gwen and Spiderman together he realizes that Spiderman is Peter. Even more hurt than before, as his best friend essentially left him to die, he threatens to kill Gwen. After a small skirmish, Peter is left trying to save Gwen who is falling down a very…VERY tall building. His web hits her right before she hits the ground, but not before her skull smashes on the concrete, killing her.
The whole movie and theme was somewhat centered around this big loss and I think the film executed this very well. Even if you knew she was going to die, you still were hoping until the last second that she wouldn’t! Her death, obviously, sends Parker into a depression that makes him want to quit being Spiderman. He literally goes months without putting on the suit and crime skyrockets.
In the end, with words from his wise aunt, Peter musters the courage and the can-do attitude to fight crime again. Not until, a small kid in a spiderman costume steps up to try and save the day. It was honestly an adorable and feel-good scene to end the movie with. Spiderman just felt… needed by the end of the film and you, just like the citizens in the film, shared a big sigh of relief that he was back!
What’s more is that they seem to have laid a solid foundation for a quality third installment! I cannot wait!