‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ Review: Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone & Jamie Foxx

Posted in Film, Reviews by - May 01, 2014
‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ Review: Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone & Jamie Foxx

“You’re Spider-Man, and I love that. But I love Peter Parker more.” -Gwen Stacy

Spider-Man is easily one of Marvel’s most intriguing, engaging and loved superheroes. The costumed crime fighter is my personal favorite comic book hero and I absolutely adored Sam Raimi’s 2002 film Spider-Man, starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. I loved it so much that when I heard the news of a Spider-Man reboot so soon after the Raimi trilogy, which ended in 2007, I thought Sony Pictures was making a mistake. There was no demand for a Spider-Man reboot, from anyone, and I questioned why it was happening a short five years later. I questioned it, until Andrew Garfield was cast as our sticky-fingered superhero and everything changed. Everything.

Director Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man was successful, thanks to his unique and fluid direction and the talented Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone that grounded the film. I even said in my review, that the film could have been titled Peter & Gwen because they were so magnetic on screen. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 only improves upon the first, as we see Garfield and Stone reprise their roles and the villains are much more interesting than the less intriguing Lizard in the first film.

Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) lives a double life. One as a student getting ready for graduation and life after high school with girlfriend Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) and the other as Spider-Man, the web-slinging superhero fighting crime around Manhattan to keep the people safe. Peter remains haunted by the death of Gwen’s father, Captain Stacy (Denis Leary) and worries that staying with her will put her in danger. Peter is also attempting to reconnect with childhood friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), after Harry’s father Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper) passed away.

the amazing spider-man 2 peter and gwen

While Peter is trying to balance his personal life and superhero duties, meek Oscorp employee Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) is Spider-Man’s biggest fan, but after a terrible accident inside the electrical room at Oscorp, Max is transformed into a bright blue electrifying man, who doesn’t understand just how powerful he is. After living most of his life alone and unrecognized, Max’s anger overtakes him and it becomes his goal to make everyone suffer, including Spider-Man.

Garfield has already proved to be both an engaging Peter Parker and Spider-Man and he reprises his role perfectly in this sequel. It’s clear Garfield is comfortable in that tight red and blue suit, but he also knows Peter inside and out, as he attempts to balance his superhero responsibilities with his personal life as boyfriend to Gwen and caring nephew to Aunt May (Sally Field). Garfield’s Spidey may not come off as warm as Tobey Maguire’s, but his feels more true to the comic book hero’s young angst and fickle nature. And that goes without saying that he looks damn good in that suit, as he’s fighting off Electro in Times Square and kissing Gwen Stacy on top of the Brooklyn Bridge.

We have to take a moment and recognize the magnetic chemistry between Garfield and Stone. We all know these two actors are dating in real life, but on screen they are truly incredible to watch. It’s their love story that grounds the entire movie and its what separates these Marvel films from the others.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 features a handful of villains, but here we get to see two villains come together because of their hatred for Spider-Man. Jamie Foxx and Dane DeHaan couldn’t be more fantastic as Electro and the Green Goblin, respectively. Foxx’s Max Dillon is gentle and sweet and he brings those qualities over to Electro, even though the glowing blue villain is wildly terrifying. DeHaan is exquisite in every role I’ve seen him in, but he really has a lot of fun as the wounded and lonely Harry Osborn. DeHaan and Garfield are able to showcase their entire childhood history together in one 10-minute scene that is just about the cutest bromance scene in the history of cinema.

the amazing spider-man 2

There are plenty of scenes with Garfield in the Spidey suit, but yes, there are several scenes that involve CGI, especially the ones where Spider-Man is fighting Electro. The climatic scene is beautifully shot and edited as Electro’s vibrant blue lightning streaks fill the screen while Spider-Man is darting through them in the air.

Webb shot the first film in 3D, but here he used 35mm and the film was converted into 3D in post-production. Although the 3D does add to the action scenes, I could have done without it during the rest of the film. Now that I’ve seen the film twice, the first time in RPX and the second time in regular 3D, I’d like to see it in standard 2D. Though the end credits scene was not shown in either of my screenings, make sure to stay after the final end credits for a tease to X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Andrew Garfield is one of the best actors to ever be cast in a Marvel Comics film, while Emma Stone is amazingly charming and holds her own as Gwen Stacy. Marc Webb knows how to tell a story and with two gripping Spidey films under his belt, let’s hope his third installment is his best yet. 

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