The Amazing Spider-man 2 opens after the events of the first film. Peter Parker(Andrew Garfield) is going about his life as Spider-man, he’s graduating high school and he is making a relationship work with Gwen Stacy(Emma Stone).
The movie had a great set of actors in the film. As with the last film, Garfield and Stone worked well together in the film. The on screen chemistry they developed in the last film transferred onto this film successfully. Sally Field as Aunt May was also really good, although I feel like the role itself had, for the most part, more substance in the first film. Aunt May is shown a couple of times throughout the film but when she is there she makes it important. There were two newcomers in this film, Dane DeHann as Harry Osborn/Green Goblin and Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon/Electro. DeHann worked well with Garfield right off the bat and you can just tell that Chronicle’s Dane DeHann does great with a character like Harry Osborn. Foxx was good as Max Dillon, although there just wasn’t enough to the character to make it enjoyable enough. But more on that further down.
The visual effects are great. Once Foxx is fully electrified the powers look great and as a fan of the Ultimate run of Spider-man comics I really enjoyed seeing an Electro like that of the one form that universe. Harry’s Goblin in this film I will say is the best looking Goblin we have had in the films so far. For a lot of the Spider-man villains, for example Electro and Green Goblin, the comic book designs won’t fit the films as well. The Goblin deisgn we got in this film was great and it worked for the film.
With that stuff out of the way, the rest of what I have to say could have spoilers.
The problem with the film is that we have two villains. Two villains sounds like something that could work, sure, but I am yet to see that happen. We had Green Goblin and Electro both be introduced and developed throughout the film. The problem with this is as one character is seen and developed, the other suffered for screen time. It ruins the pacing of the film to go back and forth between characters and stories.
Harry Osborn was explored really well in the movie for the amount of screen time he got. You could understand why he was angry towards Peter and Spider-man and what his motivation was. He has a sense of desperation in wanting to have his life saved. Max Dillon on the other hand wasn’t explored as well and for all intents and purposes could have been any socially awkward nerdy type character, much like in Raimi’s Spider-man 3 Bryce Dallas Howard’s Gwen Stacy could have been for all intents and purposes any blonde girl from Peter’s class designed to get in the middle of his relationship with MJ. A character needs the chance to be made unique and important to the story of the film otherwise it feels like they are there just for the sake of being there. Max wasn’t a bad character and you could get the idea of what he is about fairly easily, I just got the feeling that he needed to be fleshed out a little more for the character to have reached his, forgive me, max potential.
That said, on the other side of the spectrum, Electro was handled way better in the film than Green Goblin. The scene between Spidey and Electro in Times Square is great. You feel for Electro and you can tell he means no harm, he is just being misunderstood because of his new found powers. As Max Dillon he wanted to be liked by people, but as Electro, as usual with characters who get super powers, once he got his powers there were people that wanted to just do tests on him and essentially he was being tortured which was the catalyst for his anger towards Spider-man, the one who put him in the Ravencroft Institute.
Green Goblin on the other hand shows up in the last 10 minutes or so of the movie after the battle with Electro just to fulfil a a major plot point from a key Spider-man story from back in the day. The fight with GG was over as fast as it started. I liked the Goblin they put together for this film and I really do wish that he gets more screen time in the next one, thinking of this film as the character’s introduction or origin story and setting up the Goblin’s relationship with Spider-man and hopefully making him more than just a plot device.
The film also featured Aleksei Sytsevich, the Rhino, played by Paul Giamatti. The character pops up at the start of the film without his Rhino mech suit as he hijacks a truck with plutonium in it. The introduction at the start was fun but no where near as good as his appearance at the end. The final scene of the film sees Aleksei in the full Rhino getup trashing the city. Spider-man has been gone for about 5 months and is nowhere to be seen. Earlier in the film Spider-man rescues a kid from some bullies and walks the kid home in a really nice moment. This same kid steals this final scene by dressing up in a Spider-man outfit and stepping out in front of the Rhino to try and stop him. Now, Spider-man to me has always had great moments with his younger fans both in real life and out and ASM2 had a moment that, for me, trumps both the scene in Spider-man 2 where the kids give Peter his mask back after he saves the train from going off the edge and the great bridge scene from the first Amazing Spider-man film. At the last second Spidey swings down and tells the kid he is the bravest kid he knows and sends the kid off to his mother who needs him to be there for her.
The Amazing Spider-man 2 is worth a watch, especially for fans of the series that want more of the story, it’s visually appealing and has it’s some really good emotional moments. Aside from a few character development and pacing issues that could easily be redeemed in the next film, it was done really well and ended nicely.