At the movies: Amazing Spider-Man 2

amazing spider man 2

I finally got around to watching the Amazing Spider-Man 2, after avoiding any over the top hype, and funnily enough avoiding any spoilers - if you can even call them spoilers? I mean the trailers did a good enough job of telling us that Jamie Foxx was going to be Electro, and that Harry Osborne was going to become the Goblin in this movie, rather than later down the line. So what else was there to spoil really? Well, ladies and gents, read on if you dare because this review will be very spoiler heavy.

First of all, Spider-Man has always supposed to have a certain wit about him. He cracks witty one-liners in the middle of battle, but in an amusing and less annoying way than Deadpool (supposedly, but hey I might be biased) The movies that had Toby Maquire never came even close to capturing that humour in the slightest. The closest part was the “go! web, go!” bit….yeah, you know what I’m talking about. However, this movie did it - perfectly! Yes, I know that is quite a broad statement to make, but it felt genuine, it felt funny, and it flowed! Simple things delivered, and I found myself chuckling to myself a fair few times. Yes, it wasn’t as laugh out loud as something like 21 Jump Street, but it was enough to make me chuckle. Along the lines of Cap and Stark’s back and forth in Avengers. It was the simple dialogue and in my opinion the superb acting of Andrew Garfield that worked, take this section of dialogue for example:

Aunt May: What happened to your face? It’s filthy!

Peter Parker: I was cleaning….the chimney.

Aunt May: We don’t have a chimney.

Peter Parker: Whaaaat?

Now, in text form it doesn’t work very well, but acted out - I burst out laughing. Maybe that’s just my sense of humour and I should be punished for liking it. Who knows. However, the humour isn’t what carries this movie, the strength of the characters shines through, with Max Dillon being quite the focus, whilst in the background Harry Osborne has his thing going on.

Max is a typical genius. Ignored by the people around him, and essentially bullied by his peers, even so much as to have his ideas stolen from him by his own employers. Then one day Spider-Man happens to save his life, and his blueprints. In true Spidey fashion, he makes Max feel great and tells him that he isn’t a nobody, in fact he goes as far as calling Max his “eyes and ears” (sidenote: kinda funny after reading Superior Spider-Man) which sets about probably the craziest man crush you’ll ever see this side of a prison cell. Meanwhile, papa Osborne has popped his cloggs, and young Harry invests everything, and he’s kind of a tool to the people around him. Hey, he’s no James Franco, but he’s pulling it off. Peter finds out about the death of Osborne, and then out of nowhere we find out that both Harry and Peter were the best of friends before Harry was shipped off to boarding school.

You know, that friendship that was never mentioned…..ever….before this moment. You know what? I can accept it, because it’s supposed to happen, deal with it, move on. Maybe that is the fanboy in me taking control, but it is a bit of a mistake really, right? They could have just mentioned it in the first film. Something simple like May saying “Peter hasn’t been the same since they sent Harry away” anything, y’know?

Amongst all this we have Electro’s origin, which I’ll put my hand up and admit I knew nothing about, except it would obviously involve electricity. To me, it was cool, it was stylish, and it worked very well. It was the formula of another villain not being a bad guy, but being misunderstood, and being pushed to do things he didn’t want to do. The showdown with Spidey in Times Square was symbolic, what with all the screens showing Electro, forcing people to look at him, then turning all to Spider-Man, thus directing his hatred towards the wall crawler. Ultimately Spider-Man outwits him, with some very clever fight scenes, some nifty slow motion, and one or two slight bits of science.

In the mean time: well, without going too in depth, Harry falls victim to corporate douchebaggery after finding out he’s dying and the only cure is Spider-Mans blood. He asks Peter to find Spidey to give him some, and he shows up as Spider-Man to refuse - and we see Harry start to crack. Anywho, this leads to Harry cutting a deal with Electro who has been locked up in some twisted Oscorp cell - Spider-Man, for getting Harry into Oscorp. Electro fulfills his deal for the best part, and with some absolutely brilliant special effects and use of lighting - ultimately leading to Harry finding the venom from the spiders, one of which bit Peter way back in his origin. Well, as you’d expect, it doesn’t take too well and he starts transforming, climbing into a body armour and that nice little hand glider. I had to withhold a slight “squee” as it was clear we’d just seen the birth of the Goblin. I can’t say if he’s the green Goblin, or the Hob Goblin, but his laughter after the big fight between Electro and Spider-Man was perfect.

Oh yeah, Electro manages to suck all the energy from the city as he knows the plans, and for some reason so does Gwen Stacey. So she demands to go with Spidey to fight Electro, but he webs her to a car, like a boss. and swings away to proceed to get his ass handed to him. The fight scene was elaborate and very flashy, however I felt that it came off as too obviously CGI. I don’t have a problem with CGI, but I prefer it when movie makers blend it into the movie. The fight takes a turn for Pete’s favour when Gwen shows up and runs Electro over in the police car. It was a pretty bad ass entrance. With some need trickery, and just a little science the team of Peter and Gwen defeat Electro, for all intents and purpose seemingly KILLING him, as he explodes, and we see nothing of him again! However, just when it’s all hugs and kisses, Harry Osborne shows up….all disfigured, and mentally twisted. He sees Gwen, and Spider-Man, and somehow - like nobody ever has before - manages to put two and two together and calls Spider-Man out for being Peter Parker. The two argue, Harry feeling betrayed (I guess that sticks in both universes, huh?) and he zooms off with Gwen Stacey, forcing Spider-Man to chase after him.

Now… someone who knows that Gwen Stacey is destined to die, and destined to die at the hands of the Goblin, this was where my heart sank a little - because I knew it was going to happen in this movie (Although I did assume as much when she was on the bridge and stuck in traffic) Petey does his best to fight Harry, and save Gwen at the same time, and there’s a couple of false falls in there - I think deliberately for those expecting Gwens death. In all honesty, my heart was in my mouth, and the moment she fell, when the sound blurred and the scenery around her did a sort of motion blur, that’s when you knew it was coming, and in my opinion one of the greatest scenes of the current comic book movie scene - the death of Gwen Stacey. I had a lump in my throat, Andrew Garfield sold it, and I think perhaps the fact that both Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are such likable people, that maybe that helped this scene? Regardless, her death felt as important was it was supposed to - it scarred Peter, and her burial with the seasons changing montage was a nice touch.

However, it didn’t end there, which it really could have. It would have been a bit interesting to end on such a sombre note, but it doesn’t we cut to Ravencroft where Harry is alive and well, and the mysterious dude from the extra scene in ASM1 shows up and they start talking about a “team” which, come on, let’s not play around. We all know is the Sinister Six. Cut to Rhino complete in an epic mecha-armoured device wreaking havoc downtown, and eventually, after not going out since Gwen died, Spider-Man shows up to save the day. Not before a nice heart to heart with Aunt May, who always seems to cut to the emotions of Spider-Man, which I guess is her point. She reflects how Peter feels, with how she feels about Ben, and he realises he needs to move forward. Cue Spider-Man saving the day….and roll credits!

Overall, I enjoyed the movie a lot. I felt like it was a good story. It wasn’t groundbreaking or a “blockbuster” like we’re expecting from the likes of Days of Future Past, or like we had with The Avengers, but it was a really enjoyable movie that did a lot of fan service for Spider-Man fans, and it did enough to continue the series. Personally, I’d give it a huge thumbs up and recommend it to any comic book movie enthusiast. I know I can’t wait to re-watch it with my nephew!

Oh yeah, and what’s with the X-Men scene after the credits!? Fox and Sony working together!? Dammit! I want Spider-Man in the Avengers!

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