Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
I’m still reeling over how quickly Marvel decided to risk rebooting this franchise, considering all three films in Sam Raimi’s original trilogy were relatively-recent blockbusters. On the other hand, even though Spider-Man 3 was mega-huge, I've never met anyone who actually liked it.
Yet the gamble paid-off. 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man was surprisingly charming and fun. While far from Marvel Studios’ crowning achievement, it was pretty impressive for a film telling nearly the same origin story as Raimi’s version a scant decade earlier.
Like most inevitable superhero sequels, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 spends a great deal of time trying to top the first film by being bigger, longer & darker…more villains, more plot, more special effects, more spectacle and a more tortured Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), at odds with himself due to his relationship with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) and the promise he made to her dying father. In fact, trailers initially made this sequel look guilty of committing the same mistakes as Spider-Man 3…beating the audience into submission with sheer quantity over quality.
|"Pull my finger."|
Like the original film, a lot of attention is paid to the characters…perhaps too much at times; Peter and Gwen’s on-again-off-again dance eats up a lot of screen time and grows repetitive after awhile. Even though their tumultuous relationship is vital to the emotional impact of the climax, I was suitably surprised, yet curiously unmoved. For me, Peter’s relationship with Aunt May (Sally Field, outstanding in her precious few scenes) is far more interesting and poignant.
On the other hand, this film does a tremendous job establishing its two main villains, Electro and Green Goblin (Jamie Foxx and Dane DeHaan...the latter turns in the movie’s best performance). Like all great antagonists, they aren’t completely evil; only through tragic circumstances and misunderstandings regarding their friendship with Parker do they become villains. Throughout the movie, we always feel a small bit of empathy for them.
|Andrew Garfield has issues|
with his stunt double.
Still, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is good for what it is, a solid sequel that’ll please fans of the first movie, but won’t likely exceed anyone’s expectations. And, in keeping tradition with other recent Marvel movies, there are a few stray plot threads left unresolved in order to pave the way for a third film.
- The Wages of Heroism: Making of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (consists of several featurettes)
- Filmmakers’ Commentary
- Deleted Scenes with Commentary
- Music Video: Alicia Keys’ “It’s On Again”
- DVD and Digital HD Copy
(OUT OF 5)