Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Review - The Amazing Spiderman 2 (2014)

Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Jamie Foxx.
Directed by Marc Webb.
Run-time: 2hrs 22mins

The world did not anticipate a reboot of Spiderman so soon but thankfully Marc Webb has handled the franchise fairly well thus far. The Amazing Spiderman 2 follows our webbed hero Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) as he faces new obstacles, while also learning the truth about his parents. I know a lot of people remember Sam Raimi's Spiderman 3 and how poorly its multiple villain storyline was handled so I actually had concern for this installment. However I'm glad to say that this Spidey turned out to be better than expected.

The Good?

The Amazing Spiderman 2 isn't without its flaws but I can honestly say that the good aspects of this film outweighed the bad. When you watch the 9 million trailers that were released prior, you'd think - "Oh this seems like it's going to be a CGI romp from start to finish". Well one thing that surprised me about this sequel was the loads of character time. We aren't overburdened with action sequences (I expected this because of the number of villains) but in fact, they are few and perfectly timed. Seeing that multiple villains came into play, I expected the narrative to be quite messy. However this movie still kept a level of uniformity with the typical superhero blockbuster premise, along with its numerous subplots. I was able to follow along just fine as the new characters were introduced fairly well, the subplots were tied in well enough (oh btw, Dane DeHaan killed it as Harry Osborn) and certain plot points were developed that even answered questions I had from the previous film. Not to mention while all this is going on, we witness first-hand a troubled Peter Parker, dealing with other issues in his life -- the narrative ran smoothly for me.

I cannot stop praising Andrew Garfield's portrayal of Spiderman - he is fully invested in the role and you can tell he's having a lot of fun. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have lovely chemistry and the story surprisingly carried emotional weight (yeah there are a few scenes that might get you in your feelings a bit). Despite that, the film is still goofy fun and expect even more humor than the first installment.

The 3D effects are amazing. The web slinging and fight choreography - coupled with great camera work and 3D - provided me with a great theater experience. I was literally in awe at some of the action sequences, and the special effects associated with Electro were pretty cool.

The Bad?

Well, Jamie Foxx. Unfortunately I wasn't feeling Jamie's portrayal as the nerdy and obsessed Max. He seemed a bit off and unconvincing in the role. Luckily when he transforms into Electro, it slightly covers for this mis-casting as Electro proves to be quite the villain. Also what the hell is Paul Giamatti doing in his movie? That was another terrible mis-casting. Another issue I had with this film lies in the action sequences. Though mostly exhilarating, I really hate when the fight scenes look too much like a video game because of an overabundance of CGI. It made these scenes look really fake and it bothered me a bit.

All in all, this was one of the best times I had at a movie theater. Better than the first film.

Grade: B+


  1. Nice review Shawna. Though there was a lot of everything going on here, I still had enough fun with it to where I didn't care all that much.

    1. Thanks Dan. Not perfect but I sure did have a lot of fun!