Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review

As a teenager, I remember going to the original Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie back in 2002 and being really entertained. I grew up with Spider-Man and seeing him on the big screen was a real treat. Looking back, I still have a lot of respect for that movie because it, along with the X-Men movies, started this huge surge of superhero movies that has produced countless of awesome movies. Yes, I also liked Spider-Man 2. I thought it was the best of the original trilogy. Spider-Man 3, though, was a complete and utter mess. Looking back, I guess I can be grateful that it was so bad because that sparked Sony to scrap everything and start over instead of doing Spider-Man 4. Initially I was super worried about The Amazing Spider-Man because a reboot so early sounded like a bad idea. However, that movie was done so well that it made me completely forget that the Sam Raimi trilogy existed. No reason to go back and watch those movies again. THIS is Spider-Man. And I'm happy to report to you that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 continues the brilliance of this newer franchise. For reasons that I can't say here, I am splitting this review into two. This review is the non-spoiler version, so if you haven't seen the movie, feel free to read away.

The first thing that has jumped into people's minds when they have seen the trailer is the fact that there is three villains in this movie: Rhino, Electro and the Green Goblin. Red flags coming up all over the place? That's fair I suppose being that Spider-Man 3 is still fresh on people's minds. They had three villains and it was a complete disaster. However, my counter is that three villains CAN work. The problem with Spider-Man 3 wasn't the fact that there was three villains. The problem was that it was poorly written and poorly executed. On the other hand, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was beautifully written and perfectly executed. First off, I have to note that Rhino is a very small sub-plot. So yes, technically there are three villains, but really there is only two. And really, narrowing this down even more, this is just a movie about Harry Osborn and Peter Parker. Harry Osborn has inherited his father's company, but has the same disease that his father had and thus is trying to get Spider-Man's blood to fix his disease. Electro is essentially used as Harry Osborn's pawn. On Peter's side, in addition to struggling with what to do with his friend Harry Osborn, he has to deal with his relationship with Gwen. Yes, he's decided to go forward with the relationship, but his promise to Gwen's dying father in the last one is still haunting him.

The beauty of this movie is the same beauty of the first one, the fact that it is purely character driven. This is what sets this Amazing Spider-Man franchise apart from other recent superhero movies. Let's be honest, there are a lot of superhero movies where the main focus is the battle between the superhero and the villain. Yes, I like that because movies like that are pure entertainment and thus fun to watch. But having a superhero movie that is purely character driven is a good breath of fresh air. It's not about Spider-Man vs Electro or Spider-Man vs. Green Goblin. It's about Peter and Gwen. It's about Harry trying to stop himself from dying. It's about Max Dillon (Electro) trying to get some recognition. This style of movie, like always, requires top-notch performances from the leading cast and all of them deliver a home run. Andrew Garfield was born to be Spider-Man. I've grown up with Spider-Man and I can say that Garfield does it perfectly. Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy is the best superhero girlfriend in superhero movie history. I love her to pieces. In addition to that, our two villains played by Dane DeHaan and Jamie Foxx are also brilliant. My favorite performance from the Sam Raimi trilogy was James Franco's performance as Harry Osborn, so I was nervous about Harry Osborn coming back in this, but Dane DeHaan is so good in this role that it made me forget about James Franco. And honestly, I think his character is written better. Finally, you don't see Jamie Foxx in serious roles too often, but he pulls off a great Max Dillon/Electro. I love it when comedians can buckle down and do something completely serious and pull it off well.

I have a lot more to say about this movie, but talking about all that requires me to throw out spoilers. Normally I'd just say for you to come talk to me about the ending, but this instance is one of those rare ones where I need to get my thoughts out in a blog post. However, like I said earlier, this specific blog post is one that I deem spoiler-free, so I am going to end this right here. Once you have seen the movie and want to hear my thoughts on the ending then stay tuned for my spoiler review for this movie. So with this post, I will leave by saying that I thought The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a beautifully written, beautifully executed and beautifully acted movie. I loved The Amazing Spider-Man as it was one of my favorite movies from 2012, but I think that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ups the ante and is thus a notch above the first. I give it a 9/10.

For my spoiler review of this movie, click here

No comments:

Post a Comment