Review of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) by Chris O on 09 Jun 2018
A film with heartbreaking performances and emotional moments.
We've always known that Spider-Man's most important battle has been within himself: the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker finds that a greater conflict lies ahead. It's great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield). For Peter Parker, there's no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone). But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: OsCorp.
Okay, I get it. Andrew Garfield is my favorite Spider-Man. But who cares? I think all 3 are great in their own way but Andrew Garfield is the best to me. He's easily the best actor and talent to have worn the Spider-Man costume. Tom Holland is great but he's a different version. Yes, maybe the writing of this franchise isn't perfect but on a third watch, this film still holds up really well and is actually pretty good.
One thing I love about this film is its chemistry amongst cast members. There were so many great moments between Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Sally Field. Obviously, a lot of that can be pinned on the previous real life relationship between Garfield and Stone but they were all so great together. The conversation always felt so real and the moments always felt so genuine. There were plenty of silly, happy moments and plenty of emotionally draining moments. I think it's an aspect of the film that got swept under the rug a bit, as it really makes the movie so genuine.
I think what I really like about this film is it shows the difficulty of balancing a life for Peter Parker. He wants to be with the person he loves, protect who he loves, but still do his job for the city. I think it shows a great fight to try and balance all that out and choose what he wants. Andrew Garfield shows us this character that is torn and being pulled in all different directions and he does it so well. I think these are some of the best stories we've gotten about Spider-Man and it certainly does it well.
Yes, I think this film is crowded. There's a lot of different subplots going on and a lot of different concepts being introduced. It could be solved with one simple problem though; take Rhino off the marketing. Doing something like that would completely declutter the film. The film isn't terribly crowded, it just has too much overreaching marketing around it. The film tries to create a franchise without capitalizing on the great aspects of this film. It has solid dialogue and great action scenes but it wants to compete with guys like Marvel and it loses that in hindsight.
In the end, I honestly really enjoy this film. It's fun and emotional, just a little messy and the end goal isn't clear. There's too much here but it definitely deserves more credit.
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