…I regret nothing…
Following the origin story in the first film of the current run of Spider-Man movies, Peter Parker is soaring high, or swinging through rather beautifully rendered scenes, rather: He’s graduating high school, New York loves him, and Gwen Stacy loves him. Wait, didn’t they break up thanks to the demands of her dying father? Looks like Peter is ignoring Captain Stacy the best he can, but the memory of Captain Stacy is not ignoring him.
Showing up in Peter’s line of sight, Captain Stacy is the biggest antagonist to Spider-Man in the first part of the film. I guess we could lump in Aleksei Svtsevich with his car chase through the city streets, but I am choosing to ignore him for my sake, as well as Paul Giamatti’s. Seriously, what accent was he doing!? But I digress… Because Captain Stacy is always showing up, be prepared for a portion of the audience to be audibly groaning thanks to the will-they-or-won’t-they handling of the relationship; but calm down people, this isn’t ten seasons of Rachel and Ross torturing us, it’s one movie. So just fall into Emma Stone’s big eyes and be glad that Andrew Garfield doesn’t look like Tobey Maguire when he ugly cries.
While all of this relationship stuff is causing my love of these two actors to only grow deeper, Jamie Foxx is walking around being a huge weirdo obsessed with Spider-Man. Luckily he wasn’t as bad as I was expecting him to be. When photos of Foxx as Electro were first released, I will admit that I was definitely against it. The good news is that he wasn’t as bad as I expected him to be, the problem is that his origin story isn’t the strongest. Basically he goes from being a nerd stepped on by everyone to being this glowing blue guy who is overshadowed by Spider-Man thanks to his popularity. So down with the popular kids! Let’s electrocute everybody! But at least the electricity sure looks good.
All three villains come to be in this film thanks to the actions of Spider-Man, including his past best friend, Harry Osborn. If I was in charge I would have focused more on the creation of Green Goblin than Electro because his transition to hatred seems a little rushed, that and he’s just a more interesting character as one of Spider-Man’s biggest villains, but I would assume that the filmmakers didn’t want to be accused of being too similar to the first film of the last Spider-Man trilogy. Well, screw that! No matter how angry Chronicle makes me, I can’t deny how great Dane DeHaan is at being the villain. Just stretch that smile a little more and he quickly goes from adorable to extremely creepy, so fingers crossed for a much bigger part in the next sequel. And maybe they’ll be so focused on him that they’ll completely forget about the mistake that is Rhino. Seriously, his intro into the end of the film is basically like the Underminer digging into the end of The Incredibles, except without that Pixar charm. Instead Rhino is just awkwardly performed and designed.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 fails to surpass The Avengers at the top of my superhero film list, but there’s no denying that this is a great superhero film. Not only that, but it is a great Spider-Man film. You might not appreciate the distinction, but I do. I may have complained a lot about certain things looking back, but I came out of that theater with a big ol’ smile on my face. And I can’t wait to see it again.
Final Grade: B+ Follow @BewareOfTrees