Thursday, May 8, 2014


By Alex Lavelle

Although Marvel jump-started the summer movie season in early April with the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, to the entire entertainment industry, the summer blockbuster stretch starts the first weekend of May. Marvel has, again, been known to dominate this time slot, especially in the past few years. Now, with the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Marvel has established a formidable one-two punch atop the box office that should carry for the next few weeks.

Following off the events of 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man origin story, Andrew Garfield continues to deliver a solid performance as both Peter Parker and the web-slinger. Not only does he provide a comedic side to Spider-Man, something rarely seen during Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man series, but also covers up his identity acting as the blundering Parker, as shown during select scenes with his Aunt May (Sally Fields). Overall, this movie delivers in the acting department, as all of the stars, not just Garfield, give incredible performances. Jamie Foxx’s portrayal of Max Dillon, aka, Electro, is especially powerful, as we see, to quote The Dark Knight, how “All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man to lunacy.” The chemistry between Andrew Garfield’s Parker and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) shines through the movie, as the real-life couple is able to play off each other’s words with ease.

Similarly, the action scenes are amazing, starting just about five minutes in, as we see Spider-Man in a freefall toward the streets of New York, only to sling a web, and shoot up to the skies, all while Hans Zimmer’s incredible soundtrack plays. Foxx’s Electro gets in on the fun too, as we see him, having just discovered his newfound powers, lay waste to Times Square, in what is, in this author’s opinion, the second best action scene in a comic book movie this year, just behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The final battle between the two, though, takes that power, and magnifies it tenfold, leaving fans on the edge of their seats.

Unfortunately, while the movie does receive incredible marks for the cast’s acting, the action scenes, and Zimmer’s soundtrack, the plot suffers from an overload of storylines akin to Spider-Man 3. On top of the Electro villain story, we are also given the origins of Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), and his friendship with Peter. While DeHaan again delivers a stunning portrayal, like in 2012’s Chronicle, his transformation into the secondary villain of the film could have been left out until Amazing Spider-Man 3. On top of all of that, there is the continuing will-they-won’t-they between Peter and Gwen, Peter uncovering the further truth about his father, and a scene that would have been much better suited for a thriller movie. Throw in the shocking ending of the film, and fans could understand why Mary-Jane Watson, who was supposed to be played by Shailene Woodley, was cut from the film.

Despite this, Amazing Spider-Man 2 delivers an incredible film, both through its incredible cast, and stellar action scenes. Sony had taken a bit of a gamble for not returning the rights to the film to Marvel, and thus allowing Spider-Man take his place among the Avengers. Yet this film proves that Sony had done the smart thing in keeping the rights to Spider-Man, allowing them to continue to build the universe of the web-slinger for years to come, and be a part of the Marvel superhero summer.

One last thing: while there isn’t an end credits scene directly from the movie (there is a preview for the new X-Men movie, featuring Jennifer Lawrence), you will want to stick around to watch the credits themselves, as they directly tease the future of the Spidey-verse.

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