Seeing as The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has been out for a while now and every man and his dog has
already reviewed it, this post WILL have spoilers. Please be warned!
As much as I enjoyed Andrew Garfield’s portrayal of Spider-Man the first time around in 2012 (my short review here), the film wasn’t anything special. It was a tough one though because there are only so many ways you can tell the same origins story. Which is why I was excited to see what they were going to do with the second instalment. They had plenty more story lines to consider and could pull it away from Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy which I really didn’t enjoy.
This time around we still have long lost best friend Harry Osborn and the general conspiracies surrounding Oscorp. But we also get a much deeper insight into Peter Parker’s parents, a good look at his relationship with Aunt May, the romance between him and Gwen Stacy as well as a new evil villain for Spidey to contend with. Many reviews have expressed that fitting all of these threads into one film detracted from the story as a whole, I disagree though – I think it was well paced and the stories were all well told. It meant I didn’t get bored at any point during the film because it kept my interest by switching between story loops.
Maybe I am on my own here but I really enjoyed the moments between Gwen and Peter, yes there were some cringy parts where it got a little cheesy but I didn’t mind because Garfield’s delivery made it sweet and funny, and Emma Stone just oozes ‘cool’. They have great chemistry on screen too which made it easy to believe in and route for (much the opposite of Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst’s awkwardness!). I really enjoyed the opening sequence switching between Gwen at the graduation ceremony and Spider-Man pursuing the bad guys in a fast paced car chase. I felt they set the tone of the film in this first part to be much more comic book stylee, for example when Spider-Man is trying to catch all the radioactive bottles in the back of the van it looked almost cartoon like. His one liners and funny quips had me laughing aloud and I really got into it from the off. When Gwen did her moving speech I knew where the story was heading though!
Some brilliant casting in Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn, he looks like a slightly less attractive mid-twenties Leo DiCaprio (you know up until he starts turning green and goes all mental). I enjoyed his performance too, he is another cool character – I loved his delivery and attitude. His character felt much different to James Franco’s Harry which I thought was a good move. I wanted to see more of him being Harry, but unfortunately the Green Goblin thing happens and then he isn’t so cool. DeHaan does the broody rich teen thing very well, but I wasn’t as convinced with his villain. The way Harry turns into the Green Goblin made it much more interesting, the scene in which he crawls up to the flight suit was pretty grotesque and actually quite disturbing I found!
Jamie Foxx was an odd choice for Electro, I wasn’t convinced by his down trodden Max Dillon at first but warmed to him as he became more obviously vulnerable. His transformation to Electro was pretty cool, the glowing blue skin and bassey voice were actually quite menacing. I enjoyed the use of heavy bass music during the fight scenes with Electro, and the setting of Times Square was very fitting for the first show down. When Electro throws electricity around and it goes all slow motion it looked VERY cool and I found these scenes really exciting. I think Spidey probably got off quite likely with the amount of times he gets electrocuted, but a bit of suspended disbelief is required here!
Electro’s final battle also becomes the Green Goblin’s first. A nice transition I thought, as I kept gasping throughout thinking ‘oh god Gwen’s going to die here!’ To no avail! Finally, she gets put in some real life threatening danger when the Goblin whisks her up into the air. The moment the camera zooms out from the top of the building and Spider-Man jumps to catch Gwen has stuck in my head since! As has the slow mo fall that follows Gwen’s decent down the clock tower with cogs and debris falling around her. I held my breath when Spider-Man throws his web to try and catch her…
Now, the first time I saw this I watched it in 2D, when Gwen almost hits the floor she stops so suddenly I knew for sure she was a goner and found it quite shocking! The second time around I watched in 3D and thought the visuals weren’t as crisp and her landing seemed much softer. In 3D my friend was confused and didn’t believe Gwen was actually dead until after the funeral scene. Just an interesting difference between 2D and 3D viewings there.
I thought that the scenes Peter mourns Gwen’s death were very touching and not dragged out for too long. It isn’t long before he gets back his motivation and goes off fighting the next villain wreaking havoc in the city. Which for me was a really good ending as it didn’t feel flat after a tragic event. It picked up the anti again and left me feeling pretty chuffed with the film over all! Plus the appearance of Mr. Fiers is another good teaser linking to the first film and a good indication of the stories direction.
My POV, a really great second instalment for The Amazing Spider-Man, I probably enjoyed it more than most and believe its current rating of 7.4 on IMDB is a little harsh. But I would recommend watching it on the big screen to those who haven’t yet seen it , although I wouldn’t bother paying extra for 3D. The action is just as good in 2D! I was disappointed with the end credit clip though, no teasers for Spider-Man itself, just an X-Men trailer which I thought was a bit of a cop out. I am pleased the studios are working together, and perhaps a cross over film is on the cards in the future, but it doesn’t look like it ATM!
There is an interesting story over on Screen Rant about a deleted post-credit scene that has leaked though… you can check that out here.
Tagged: Andrew Garfield, blog, cinema, critic, Dane DeHaan, Electro, Emma Stone, film, Green Goblin, Gwen Stacy, Harry Osborn, jamie foxx, movie, Mr Fierce, Mr Fiers, Peter Parker, review, Rhino, Spider-Man 2, The Amazing Spider-Man 2