“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” does not even begin to cover this movie. In fact, “amazing” is not a strong enough word. Maybe it should be more like “The Extraordinary” or “The Phenomenal Spider-Man.” I went into the theater having never seen the first film and not really a Spider-Man fan. However, I found that I was on the edge of my seat, especially for the last 45 minutes. I won’t give anything away but let’s just say I cried.
This “Spider-Man” franchise is infinitely better than the Toby McGuire and Kirsten Dunst one. Of course, that is not a huge feat of extraordinary talent, but still, this saga puts the last one to shame. I mean, any movie without Kirsten Dunst is always good, but this film went above and beyond that criteria. Apparently, “The Amazing Spider-Man” is its own story. As in, there were two different Spider-Man stories created around the same time, and this is one, so it is a completely different plot line from the 2000 version; better in my opinion.
My favorite character was Max/Electro played by the ever humorous Jamie Foxx. Max is a very lonely (I stress the term lonely) electronic engineer for Oscorp who becomes obsessed with Spider-Man after he saved his life, and gave Max hope by saying that he was Spider-Man’s “eyes and ears out there.” When Max has an accident, he asks Spider-Man for help, but the standoff escalates and Max (now Electro) vows to kill Spider-Man, thanks to snipers. But then again, snipers always make things worse.
The chemistry between Andrew Garfield (Peter Parker/Spider-Man) and Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy) could have been cut with a cold steel knife. That isn’t surprising though because they are dating in real life. I love it when a couple on screen starts seeing each other in real life. It makes me feel like something I’m watching is a part of reality. I only wish that was the case for Will Turner, played by Orlando Bloom, and Elizabeth Swann, played by Kiera Knightly from “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Those two should be together in real life too.
The special effects where just that: special. I really want to know how they made Electro look so real. I mean, I know that someone like Electro could never exist but this film made me think otherwise. Hats off to the visual design team on this one. They are the ones that deserve all the credit for the success of this film.
The most shockingly raw performance by far was by the rising star Dane DeHaan, who played Harry Osborn. He was also in the movie “Lawless” along side Shia LeBouf, Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain. Keep your eyes peeled for him, because he will surprise you, not just because of his performance, but because of his obvious determination to be remembered. He succeeded. The character, Harry Osborn, is a multi-billion dollar teenager who inherits his fathers company. He is also best friends with Peter Parker. I don’t know how a poor boy became friends with an elitist, pompous, and spoiled product of a fortune 500 company father, but however it happened, someone let me know because I’m due for a new car.
As a whole, this film has everything: romance, but not too much for those of us who roll their eyes at every clichéd cute moment, action, suspense, superheroes and villains that evoke a little sympathy; at least I felt that way. Max’s character change, whose loneliness turns into delusion as he thinks that Spider-Man is his best friend, is mind-blowing. I know that seems a little clichéd, but Max had an effect on me. Max/Electro is the main, human emotion draw to this film. If the eye-rolling, predictable romance doesn’t interest you, this multi-dimensional character will. He really made the film.
The humor was placed in all right places, without halting the dramatics of the film, although sometimes I kind of wish it did. I mean, the ending made me want to kill myself, or at least cry a lot. I needed a little Spidey-Man/Andrew Garfield humor right then but, alas, he failed me, just like all the other men in my life. Oh well, there were still many funny parts in the movie. And besides, Thor was always my favorite superhero anyways.