The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) – A Movie Review

Spider-Man was always one of my favorite super heroes. The bright red and blue colors surrounded by those black spider webs on his suit, and the insect-like eyes of his mask drove me really crazy when I was a kid. As I grew older, and watched cartoon after cartoon, and then movie after movie, what I liked most of Spidey was his personality and the interesting story arcs revolving around his battles against evil. Although this movie was like some sort of deja vu, unfortunately, it didn't make any favor to our arachnid hero.

The Fall of Electro

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) has some positive aspects and many negative ones. The acting for example has ups and downs. Andrew Garfield (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The Social Network) as Spider-Man/Peter Parker has great moments, specially when he interacts with Emma Stone (Zombieland,Gangster Squad) as Gwen Stacy. They are not only great actors, but they also project a charming aura that make them a believable couple. The chemistry they show in the movie really made me think in real life partners behaving in a similar way, as they look very comfortable with each other on the silver screen. Of course, they don't look that way by a chance, they are in fact a couple since 2011, and at least until the day of this review. They personify youth, beauty, and talent in their respective roles.

Unfortunately Jamie Foxx (Ray, Django Unchained) wasn't what I expected for this movie. We are usually used to witness a great acting from him like in his highly acclaimed Ray Charles role, or as Django in Tarantino's movie. As a villain, Mr. Foxx delivered an extremely cartoony performance of Electro/Max Dillon. Many would argue it has to be that way, because it is a movie based on a comic book. I can't disagree with that more. Comic books can be fantasy, or fiction, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be believable. In that sense, Jamie Foxx as Dillon looks like some kind of weird Steve Urkel, extremely obsessed with Spider-Man without showing us the real pain to be such a lonely character. You can see it, but you just can't feel it. As Electro, he just becomes a resentful maniac trying to destroy Spidey, because he feels “betrayed”. Again, you see the character growing, but he doesn't seem to evolve, because of Foxx's shallowness in his character performance.

Sally Field (Norma Rae, Lincoln) interacts with Andrew Garfield almost as well as he does with Emma Stone. Mrs. Field shows a wide range of emotions as Aunt May, and because of that, it makes the movie really pleasant to watch. On the other hand, some great actors play minor parts like Paul Giamatti (12 Years a Slave, Saving Mr. Banks) as a petty criminal, Denis Leary (Demolition Man, The Job) as Gwen's Dad, and Chris Cooper (Adaptation, The Bourne Supremacy) as Norman Osborne. Dane DeHaan (Lincoln, The Place Beyond the Pines) plays an interesting Harry Osborn, but still he needs to develop it even more, and add some more depth to that role.

Twilight-man

Although the acting is sometimes good and some others bad, the most annoying thing about this movie is the almost esoteric atmosphere of romance in this movie. It is not bad that they want to focus on the relationship part of Spider-Man's life, after all, it is an important side of our hero's adventures, however, what I cannot stand is the kitschy and over-the-top depiction of that relationship. Although, teen love is expected to be adventurous and effusive, this is more than a little bit ridiculous and creepy, following thus the trend of cheesy postures in currently romantic sagas, like Twilight for example. This aspect is in my opinion one of the failures that led into the present Spider-Man reboot, and for me is a huge worsening from the previous film that already presented this same boring traits before, but not in such extremes.

The script is then a following between the fights of Spider-Man against evil, and his love struggles with Gwen. Besides that, the movie is packed with action, and special effects. I have somewhat mixed feelings about the music, because Hans Zimmer (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises) and The Magnificent Six are replacing James Horner (Apollo 13, Avatar) from the preceding film. I like both composers, but not unconditionally. They have very distinctive styles, and they imprint a different atmosphere to the movie, but still, I can't decide which one I like more. Both of them embeds you into the film with their own attributes, and to be honest, they seem quite related. However, they are just different, so, pick your favorite, if you can.

The direction of Marc Webb ((500) Days of Summer, The Amazing Spider-Man) this time doesn't seem that tight-knitted like in the previous movie. Maybe all those come and go from Gwen Stacy to Electro and back again, didn't work as expected. In that sense, all that spaghetti-script just complicated a film that should have gone much smoother.

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Aren't they cute?: Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield in Sydney, Australia. Picture by Eva Rinaldi CC BY-SA 2.0 1)

In Conclusion

I think it is time for Sony to sell their Spider-Man rights to Disney. Clearly, Sony is not giving their audience what they want, and sooner or later they will end destroying the character, again. I don't know if many people around think like me in this matter, however, as a fan I would love to see Spider-Man as part of the Marvel Universe. Why we have to stand this kind of cinema just to keep Sony's rights over the character instead of watching a really good Spider-Man movie?

Nevertheless, this is a movie to watch with your significant other. If any of you love soap operas or movies related with lots of relationship stuff in it, and the other loves comic action movies, both will get out satisfied of the theater at the end, but maybe not that happy. I swear I was going to watch a super-hero movie, not Twilight: The Tears of the Spider. Maybe I entered in the Twilight Zone.

Emma Stone?, beautiful stunning as always, Andrew Garfield?, a charming sensitive guy. Definitely both talented young actors with a great future ahead. Jamie Foxx? I've seen much better from him before, and it is a bummer he couldn't deliver an excellent performance this time, as he usually does. Despite some good acting, and great special effects, I couldn't really find anything special, or even original about this movie. I can't simply recommend it.

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References:
1)
Rinaldi, Eva (March 20th 2014). Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spiderman 2: Rise Of Electro in Sydney, Australia 2014. (Uploaded by BigComic from https://www.flickr.com/people/evarinaldiphotography/) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en)], undefined. Picture Available On-line in http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1c/Emma_Stone%2C_Andrew_Garfield_2014.jpg

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