Sunday, August 31, 2014

Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Action, effects, characters, story
Cons: Story does bog down in the middle
The Bottom Line:
Spider-Man is back
As the new franchise heats up
Really drew me in

"You're Spider-man!"  "The Costume Give Me Away?"

I was of the opinion that we didn’t need a Spider-Man reboot because, even though the films went downhill, I had enjoyed the first two so much.  Still, I do like the character, so I always planned to see The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  That chance didn’t wind up happening until it hit Blu-Ray, but I enjoyed it.

Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is reveling in his life saving New York from one disaster after another.  In fact, as the film opens, he is stopping robbers who were stealing radioactive material on his high school graduation day.  Unfortunately, he is still haunted by the memory of his girlfriend Gwen Stacey’s dad warning him away from his daughter.  In fact, his desire to keep Gwen (Emma Stone) safe causes such a problem that he and Gwen break up.

Meanwhile, over as OsCorp, an employee named Max (Jamie Foxx) is a loner who becomes obsessed with Spider-Man after a run in with Peter in costume.  And Peter’s friend Harry (Dane DeHaan) is about to inherit the company when his father dies.  A freak accident and a quest for a cure will give Spider-Man two villains and help him learn more about his parent’s disappearance.  But can he defeat an electrically charged villain?

I was pretty much on board from the first scene, which featured great action and some very fun quips.  Unfortunately, the story did get bogged down in the middle, not too surprising since the film runs almost two and a half hours.  (And they cut out quite a number of scenes, too.)

Still, I did appreciate the character development made over the course of the film.  This film isn’t just about action but it shows the heart of Peter and how his life as a superhero affects his regular life.  There are some great scenes with Aunt May (Sally Field) that highlight this as well as the scenes with Gwen.  While the climax didn’t affect me quite as much as I thought it might while watching it, I felt it for a couple of hours afterward, so it was obviously very well done.

The acting was uniformly great.  Jamie Foxx was a definite standout in that department as he went through the greatest change, but everyone had their great moments.

The effects were wonderful as well.  I bought Spider-Man’s swinging through the city and all the various fights, but the highlight again as Electro.  The computer effects on him were amazing.

Considering how they left things, I’m definitely on board for the next movie in this rebooted franchise.  The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will please all the fans of this comic book hero.

This review is my final entry in the 2014 Funny Pages Write-Off.

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