Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Colm Feore, Campbell Scott, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field
Directed by: Marc Webb
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Running time: 142 minutes
Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars
After “Spider-Man 3“, which was probably one of the worst films I have ever seen, I really wasn’t screaming for another Spider-Man film. At first I was hesitant but overall I was very impressed with 2012’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” and thought it left great potential for a new rebooted franchise. Well, I was not disappointed at all with “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”, which kicks things into high gear and delivers a very strong sequel for this web-slinging action hero.
“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” dives deep into even more back story for the story of Spider-Man and what happened with his parents. I feel that it connects a lot more dots that the past films have left out. It really fleshes out the story much more and sets this franchise up for much bigger things. There is already a third film set for release in 2016, as well as a fourth for 2018…but wait there is still more, in addition, “Sinister Six” and “Venom” spin-off films have also been announced. So the future is very bright for Spider-Man and I will be first in line!
The story picks up with Peter Parker (Garfield) and his on/off girlfriend Gwen Stacey (Stone) graduating high school and going on to college. Peter finds himself haunted by Gwen’s father (Leary) since he asked him to keep Gwen out of Spider-Man’s life. In the process of figuring out his love life, Spider-Man is called to face-off against the likes of Electro (Foxx), who is transformed into an electric monster during an accident at, guess where, Oscorp. Also following the death of his father Norman Osborn, Harry (DeHann), also old friend of Peter Parker, returns from boarding school to take over the company but ends up falling right into his father’s evil ways. So it is up to Spider-Man, as always, to save the day while also dealing with his personal love situation and old friends.
I was really blown away with the visual effects in this film. This film that costed over $250 million to make and you can literally see where every single penny went in use. A few of the scenes were so epic that literally, I just said “Wow” out loud in the theater. The 3D effects also really add a lot to the film, especially in the many action scenes, which are all eye-popping. When it comes to Sony, they have always been the best when it comes to adding the third dimension to their films. From Spidey swinging through the streets of NYC to the electricity being shot through the air, I even found myself forgetting to blink afraid it miss anything. I would no question recommend seeing this on the biggest screen possible, preferable IMAX 3D.
When I kept seeing reports of “new villains” popping up for this film, I was hoping this wasn’t going to be like another “Spider-Man 3” with too many villains but this was very well balanced. The main focus is on the character of Electro, which developed very well. Jamie Foxx does a great job of adding a lot of emotion and feeling to this already electric character. Next, Dane DeHann really steps into the shoes of Harry Osbourn’s and goes head first in for a complete transformation. We have definitely not seen the last of him in this role luckily. Eat your heart out James Franco, this guy can actually act. I had the privilege of chatting with this young talent actor a few years ago (click here) and he is going to do big things (obviously, this being one of them). Paul Giamatti also has a fun cameo as the villain Rhino in this film. Didn’t get to see much of him but I hope we will in future films.
Of course, I haven’t forgotten Andrew Garfield who has done things with the character of Spider-Man that Tobey Maguire could have never done. He is funny and really adds a lot of charm to the character. I think he was meant for this role and in this sequel has he has settled in quite well. Same goes for Emma Stone, who is so sharp and strong in this sequel. The only main downfall for me was that I felt that there was just a little too much focus on their romance throughout. I felt like it broke up the flow a bit but since it does comes together in the end it balances itself out. Overall “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is fun, action-packed and a great way to kick off the 2014 summer season! Also be sure to stay after the credits for a very surprising crossover (possible mutant of nature) appearance!