Better Late Movie Reviews: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

It’s very rare for a superhero movie to be in the realm that Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man 2 is. On one hand, this is the best representation of Spider-Man ever seen on the screen, period. Andrew Garfield is uber convincing as Peter Parker/ Spider-Man, New York accent and all. His chemistry with real life girlfriend Emma Stone (Gwen Stacey) makes their relationship all that more believable. Then we get to the villains. To call this movie crowded is an understatement, it’s jammed to the point of everything getting stuck. Paul Giamatti’s Rhino doesn’t appear for much more than 2 minutes supplying some weird comic relief and Jamie Foxx is poorly used as the downgraded-to-henchman Electro. We also didn’t need another Green Goblin origin, yet here we are.
The movie has some serious talent behind it and no one phones it in. Villians wise, Jamie Foxx has the strongest presence, starting out as an emotionally unstable mechanic working for Oscorp and ending up a super powered henchman for his boss after an on the job accident (in splended franchise fashion). Giamatti gets the short stick, as I would have loved to see more than thirty seconds of him “driving “his Rhino mech-suit and hamming up a Russian accent. Harry was the best written and most rounded of the villains, desperate to cure a hereditary condition that could kill him and eventually turning into the Green Goblin. Dane DeHann excellently exudes the proper broodiness. On the family side, Sally Field’s Aunt Mae is spot on and enduced great nastalgia to some of the older Amazing Spider-Man issues.
There is fan-service in full in this movie, trying to disguise a “meh at best” score and a sense of well-intended rush to get the movie out. Winks and nods to possible future series installments left me excited, but weary. Are we just going to get more of the same? On the other hand, there are brave directions the movie decides to go down that many genre-movies don’t touch and well executed emotional moments.
Director Marc Webb and co do an amazing job of bringing the webcrawler to life. Even the spirit of the movie closely mimmics that of the comic it’s based on. The humor is there, the costume is awesome and he pulls some amazing moves. In the climatic battle I did wonder why he didn’t actually punch anyone, but other than that, the Spidey stuff was amazing. The villain stories felt mainly crammed in and mostly unneccesary, but hopefully the franchise payoff is worth it. Unfortunately, the inclusion crowding causes the movie to buckle under its own wait. In the end, the Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a middle of the road movie and still has me excited for the series’ potential as a born-again fan.

My Grade: C