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The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Director: Mark Webb
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan and Sally Field
2.50 out of 5.00
Movie Review — “The Amazing Spider-Man2”
MONTE YAZZIE ~ THE FOOTHILLS FOCUS~ 5/7/2014
“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” ushered in the beginning of the summer movie season where big budget popcorn flicks saturate the box office.
Spider-Man has been a standard summer staple for more than a decade; one that composed a trilogy directed by Sam Raimi and, a mere 5 years after the conclusion, respawned a new vision directed by Mark Webb.
The first and most recent reboot was surprisingly good with Webb focusing more on Peter Parker’s developing responsibility and relationship than comic extravagance.
While some of those qualities were still present in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” they were also, unfortunately, clouded in a film that seemed more concerned with future films than the one that was on display.
The film portrays Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) struggling both with the responsibilities of his power and risks that are brought to the meaningful relationships in his life, most significantly his girlfriend Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). Peter is guilt ridden over the death of Gwen’s father (Dennis Leary), so much that he envisions his disapproving figure. Peter is also a teenager beginning to realize the stress of growing up, albeit one that is life threatening.
New York City is at odds with the protective role of Spider-Man, but that doesn’t divert dedicated fans like the underappreciated Max Dillion (Jamie Foxx), an Oscorp employee who has an altering accident. Manipulation abounds in Oscorp, and Peter must protect the city, and the people he cares for, from a slew of threats.
Relationship was a central theme with “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” Webb has a talent for making his characters come alive with conversation, especially with scenes between the two leads and their complicated kinship.
The success of Webb’s first film rested with the character building quality, and while initially the tone felt delightfully reminiscent, things began to get cluttered with additional characters and predictable framework storytelling.
Webb continued the excellent action flourishes felt in the first installment—the swinging and leaping Spiderman scenes felt like a perfect match for the 3-D element employed. Unfortunately, there were distracting tangents and suggestions that served only a small purpose within the present story being told and also related more specifically to the extended future of the Spider-Man franchise and the never-ending unfolding arc.
The introduction was lengthy, though the examination of Peter’s remorse and subsequent guilt for the death of Gwen Stacy’s father, and the unraveling mystery of Peter’s parent’s abandonment, was rather interesting. Still, in the first hour, there was also the transformation of a mild mannered man into electricity controlling villain, the reemergence of Peter’s childhood friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) and the growing complications of Peter’s relationship with Gwen. That was a significant amount of development even for a film with a running time of 142 minutes.
While the film may have been packed to the brim with story, the chemistry between Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield was great and kept the film interesting. Dane DeHaan was a pleasant surprise, crafting a menacing attitude as the heir of the conniving Oscorp that made him a legitimate, formidable force against Spider-Man. Jamie Foxx came off a bit cartoonish, though the franchise and comic was known for over-the-top character flourishes. But there were brief moments were his villain was allowed ample screen time to let Foxx’s performance come to life.