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Five Views: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

May 9, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Poster

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – A Columbia Pictures Release

Release Date: May 2nd, 2014

Rated PG for violence

Running time: 142 minutes

Marc Webb (dir.)

Alex Kurtzman (screenplay)
Roberto Orci (screenplay)
Jeff Pinkner (screenplay)

Hans Zimmer (music)
Johnny Marr (music)
Pharrell Williams (music)

Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man/Peter Parker
Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy
Jamie Foxx as Electro/Max Dillon
Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn
Colm Feore as Donald Menken
Felicity Jones as Felicia
Paul Giamatti as Aleksei Sytsevich
Sally Field as Aunt May

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

©Columbia Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) and Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Our reviews below:


The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review By John Corrado

*** (out of 4)

Although being a sequel to a reboot, The Amazing Sider-Man 2 still manages to bring some new story threads to the series and never drags despite running for 142 minutes, which is a pretty impressive feat considering how many new characters are introduced.  This isn’t as strong a film as the first instalment from 2012, or Sam Raimi’s truly amazing Spider-Man 2 from ten years ago, but this is a sequel that entertains and does exactly what you want both as a summer blockbuster and franchise continuation.

The film starts shortly after the last one left off, as Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) are both graduating from high school, struggling in their relationship with her studies and his work as Spider-Man.  But their city faces a new threat when poor loner Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) falls into a tank of electric eels at Oscorp Industries and transforms into the flickering blue Electro, an accident that the company is trying desperately to cover up.

Meanwhile, the increasingly jealous Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) has just inherited Oscorp after the death of his diseased father (Chris Cooper), and is after Spider-Man’s blood as a way to potentially save himself from the same fate.  But little does he know that’s his childhood friend behind the mask, leading to some surprising discoveries about the research that both of their late fathers were involved in.

Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone continue to have wonderful chemistry together, and the romantic scenes between them are genuinely sweet.  Jamie Foxx does fine work as a sympathetic villain, and Dane DeHaan makes for a chilling counterpart with his transformation into the Green Goblin.  Then there’s Paul Giamatti as the much talked about third adversary who will clearly become more prominent next time around, and it’s clear that the actor is having nothing but fun with the somewhat campy role.

The acton scenes are generally exciting, including an impressive destruction of Times Square and a climax that brings some emotional depth to the film, with plenty of energy throughout.  At the end of the day, The Amazing Sider-Man 2 is a thoroughly entertaining summer blockbuster that nicely follows the first instalment and does a fine job of setting things up for the next chapter of the franchise.


The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review By Erin V.

*** (out of 4)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 takes place about a year after the first film, and both Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) are moving forward into their adult lives.  Peter is still torn with living his double life as Spider-Man.  While Gwen says she can handle this and doesn’t mind, he is still worried that his life may lead her’s to danger.  After stopping a theft of an Oscorp van carrying hazardous materials, Spider-Man saves the life of Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), an Oscorp employee.  Max becomes obsessed with Spidey and ultimately in his vying for attention accidentally causes an accident at the Oscorp lab to unleash the villain known as Electro.

Facing a foe that is dangerous and seems to have no way to be beaten, Peter tries desperately to find a way to stop Electro, while also spending time sorting out his own life and the secrets his father left behind.  Meanwhile, his childhood friend Harry Osbourne is back and inheriting Oscorp, and seems to want more from Peter than he can give.

Complete with an at times over the top score and slow-motion cuts in the action sequences, this is a comic book film through and through.  A very noticeable example in the score (by Hans Zimmer, The Magnificent Six, Pharrell Williams and Johnny Marr) is the use of chanting as an inner paranoid dialogue in Electro’s theme – this was interesting and fits only because of the vibe of the whole film.

These kinds of stylistic choices are parts of what make this feel so comic bookish – which is fine and brings out a huge contrast between this and the Disney-distributed Captain America 2 for example.  In my book, having the comic book films have such stylistic variety allows several to come out in a year without us tiring of them.

Overall, in comparison to the first Amazing Spider-Man, I found the first film to be a little bit more concise in its plot and would rank it slightly above, although The Amazing Spider-Man 2 still entertains and works quite well as a early Summer blockbuster.  Fun for older kids (10+) and adults, this is a film worth seeing on the big screen where all of the effects and action set pieces can be enjoyed in an immersive environment.


The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review By Nicole

*** (out of 4)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 continues this reboot of Spider-Man on film.  The movie begins with a flashback about what happened to Peter Parker’s parents, and one has to wonder how he got bitten by a GMO spider if his father Richard apparently destroyed them all.

Back to modern day, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is still busy as Spider-Man, which makes it very difficult to maintain a relationship with Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone).  Meanwhile, an enthusiastic Spidey fan, Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) undergoes an electrifying transformation.  And Peter Parker’s friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) is suffering from a genetic disorder that drives him insane and villainous.  To make things really intense, one beloved character dies, and the film ends on a cliffhanger with yet another super villain on the rampage.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2, while not as good as the first reboot film or the original trilogy, is still a lot of fun.  The action scenes are fun, the acting is good, and the storyline has a classic comic book feel.  And Peter Parker remains an inspiration to invisible minorities everywhere who are not sure how to reveal their full identity.  The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a fine movie for teens and adults.


The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review By Maureen

*** (out of 4)

Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) has been a busy guy since the first film in 2012.  Now in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter is graduating from high school along with his valedictorian girlfriend, Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone).  Between classes and dates, and helping out Aunt May (Sally Field), Peter still manages to battle bad guys, keeping the city safe.

After an opening flashback showing his parents desperately attempting to escape Oscorp threats, we watch as now teenage Peter swings around the city on his genetically altered webs, saving citizens and fighting crime.  While fighting off a Russian truck driver (Paul Giamatti) who is attempting to steal Oscorp research materials, Spider-Man ends up saving a mild mannered but odd Oscorp engineer, Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx).  Max ends up fixated on Spider-Man, and when a worksite mishap turns him into the highly charged eel-man Electro, he seeks out Spider-Man.

But Electro isn’t the only foe Spider-Man has to face.  Peter’s old school chum Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) returns, and their reunion is complicated by the fact that he has a genetic disorder with evil consequences, and may require Spider-Man’s blood to save himself.  Fighting Electro and Harry becomes personal for Spider-Man when Gwen’s safety is put at risk.

There are several exciting action scenes involving Electro.  The special effects transforming Max into a glowing blue, electrified being are well done.  As always, Spider-Man flying around on his webs is fun to watch.  Overall, the movie has a fun comic book tone with just enough sweet romance and sadness between Peter and Gwen to keep the whole thing from feeling like a mindless action flick.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is an entertaining addition to the Marvel world.  While not as strong as the first film, this sequel still holds its own.  The performances are all excellent.  Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have good chemistry together.  Both Paul Giamatti and Jamie Foxx seem to be having a good time playing their respective villains, and Dane DeHaan gives off a perfect chilling vibe as the unstable Harry Osborn.

With good action scenes, excellent special effects and strong performances, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is worth seeing on the big screen, especially if you enjoyed the first movie from 2012.


The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review By Tony

*** (out of 4)

Following a flashback scene of his father Richard (Campbell Scott) uploading a final message to a secret location, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 begins with Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) as Spider-Man stopping a truck driven by a Russian mobster (Paul Giamatti) stealing Oscorp plutonium vials, causing him to miss Gwen’s (Emma Stone) high school valedictory, showing up just in time to pick up his own diploma.

Meanwhile, on his deathbed Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper) passes on to his son Harry (Dane DeHaan) information about the genetic disease that will also kill Harry if he doesn’t get blood from his childhood friend, Spider-Man.

Disaster looms when Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), a brilliant but mentally unstable Oscorp electrical engineer, has a serious accident, turning him into a high voltage blue rage monster named Electro. Harry teams up with Electro, who has a grudge against Spider-Man, to get his blood, putting Peter and everyone he loves in danger.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a good sequel in this second franchise, with a good balance between action and Parker’s inner conflicts and interactions with those he loves. The more serious storyline doesn’t lack humorous touches, including campy performances from Giamatti and Marton Csokas as a mad German scientist. Production is as good as ever, backed up with an excellent score from Hans Zimmer in collaboration with Pharrell Williams and Johnny Marr.


Consensus: Although not quite as strong as previous franchise instalments, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a good sequel that consistently entertains with exciting action sequences and solid performances from both the heroes and villains. *** (out of 4)

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