Customer Reviews: The Amazing Spider-Man 2
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on August 11, 2016
There are two movies here, and they don't work well together. There's the romance between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy, which is great. The chemistry between them just crackles. Then there's the battle between Electro and Green Goblin, which isn't.

Jamie Foxx did a great job with what he was given, but what he was given isn't much. He plays a misunderstood and unappreciated engineer at Oscorp who falls into a vat of genetically engineered electric eels to become Electro. He feels misunderstood, so that somehow makes him angry enough to become a supervillain. His fights with Spiderman are pretty good, although the motivations doesn't always make sense, and he's way overpowered. In the comics, Electro is supposed to shoot lightning. Period. In this movie, Electro can shoot lightning, fly, move objects with his lightning bolts, dematerialize, and travel through electrical cables. But with all his power, Electro didn't really have anything to do with it, expect follow around Harry Osborn.

What happened to Peter's parents? Finally, the movies answered that question. But the answer is disappointing. Not much, it turns out.

Andrew Garfield did an amazing job as Peter Parker and Spiderman. I'm sorry to see him go, even though he was a bit too old (a teenager shouldn't have wrinkles around his eyes).

What they did to Green Goblin and Harry Osborn in this movie is baffling. In this movie, he has a genetic disorder that causes him and his father to have green skin and grow their nails into claws. Apparently. Harry tries to cure himself, and somehow decides the spider venom in Spiderman's blood will cure him. He gets angry and yells. Spiderman won't give him the blood for vague reasons, and Harry gets angry for good reason. Then Harry injects himself with spider venom, which somehow transforms him into a goblin, and climbs into a suit of armor conveniently nearby...and something like the Green Goblin emerges.

But that's a fail. If we hadn't already seen Green Goblin and known what he was supposed to look like and do, Osborn's transformation would have made no sense. He flies on a glider that sort of looks like a bat, but not really. He throws orange pumpkin bombs. But he's never actually called the Green Goblin. As a reboot, it was kind of a clever redesign to make his actual face change into something like the mask. But why did his hair turn into the goblin's hat? And his skin isn't really green. That's half the name, people. Besides that, he just shows up in the very end to fight Spiderman.

Neither Green Goblin or Electro actually has any kind of plan, so they don't make good villains. They just kind of wander around the movie. In the end, there's a big "to be continued" which leaves us going, "That was it?"

The subplots are even worse. Aunt May wants to be a nurse, for some reason. Peter finds out what his parents were doing, but it doesn't really add up to much, considering the build-up. Also, the amount of buildup for Rhino is criminal when he only shows up in the last few minutes, and we don't even get to see him fight Spiderman. I mean, come on, the fight was even teased in the commercials.

Really, the only reason this movie existed was to set up a cinematic universe that never ended up being made, making the whole movie kind of pointless. There's some good fight scenes and some romance, but it doesn't add up to anything good.
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on August 5, 2014
I will never understand the hatred this movie has accumulated, not because there are FAR worse superhero films out there, but because The Amazing Spider-man 2 is an honest-to-God outstanding exploration of the themes of abandonment and hope that has fantastic character arcs, stunning action sequences, and a great narrative that's surprisingly complex in its structure.

In this sequel to the also-underappreciated "The Amazing Spider-man," Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone return as Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy, respectively, and, once again, their chemistry lights up every scene with joy, honesty, and love (it doesn't hurt that they were actually dating in real life). Peter is having difficulties adjusting to his life of happiness with Gwen as his girlfriend given that he had promised to honor her dying father, Captain George Stacy (played by Dennis Leary), and his last request to keep her out of his life for fear that she would suffer the violence Peter attracts as Spider-man. Though Gwen believes that it's only her and Peter's decision to be together, Peter is conflicted morally and ethically about continuing their relationship, despite completely loving her. Already, the movie gives us a complex emotional core that isn't going to be simply solved with a bad-guy/good-guy fist fight (it's that complexity which I think most detractors of the film don't like).

Alongside the main (no pun intended) thread of the film, Harry Osborn (played outstandingly by Dane Dehaan), Peter's buddy from his childhood returns to New York to run his recently deceased father's business, despite his hatred for the company and for his father's strict, cold upbringing. Harry is dying of a rare genetic disease that will eventually kill him like it did his father and needs Spider-man's blood (for reasons that are well-explained in the film) to save him. This also brings in a fresh set of moral/ethical complications for Peter since the last time he had given someone the key to his genetics, he helped create a monster that terrorized the city. There's also the sub-plot of Peter's Aunt May (Sally Fields) who is struggling both with the finances of their living situation (that Peter tries to help with) and her fear that Peter's dedication to find out more about his parents means that she will be left behind.

Peter's narrative arc runs parallel with Harry's desperate search and Max Dillons' (Jamie Foxx) turn from rabid fanboy into supervillain. Mentally unstable and tragically pathetic, Max is a firm believer in the good of Spider-man ever since he was personally saved by the hero, giving him a delusion that he and Spidey are best friends. Due to an accident, Max is turned into a electricity-laden superpowered individual who views Spidey's attempts to stop him as a betrayal for his own personal glory (though this is a far more complicated matter in the film than how I'm explaining it). ALL of those story threads together AND Paul Giamatti delivering a fun, chewing-the-scenery performance as the Russian mobster Alexsi who actually becomes the important narrative bookends for the story that I won't go into here out of spoilers.

There are some elements that feel a little off, like the overly-villainous Dr. Kafka, the rather quick ending to Peter's search for his parents, and the underutilization of Felicity Jones as Felicia Hardy, but all of the choices (even the ones that don't entirely "click") are done for the sake of telling the story and character development. I had been unfortunately spoiled on a "big scene" in the film that's an emotional roller-coaster, but the film is so expertly written that, watching it, I felt as though I were experiencing it as freshly as someone who had never seen the film before.

This film (moreso than any other superhero film or Spidey movie) portrays Spider-man as the common man's hero. A guy not only willing to foil a robbery or save people from a car crash, but intrigued and happy to talk with the people on the street. The filmmakers show that it's more than his responsibility to protect the citizens of New York - it's his joy. It's also important to note that with the evolution of the series, the character of Peter Parker has become more confident and thoughtful without losing any of the charming every-man quality in the previous film. With more confidence growing up as a man, we also get a Spider-man who FINALLY nails the dramatic/comedic balance that the hero has been synonymous with over the years. Andrew Garfield performs Peter Parker with boundless charisma, enthusiasm, and effortless humor that, if not THE defining iteration of the character, is one of the best realized adaptations of the character in the history of the Spider-man franchise.

As clichéd and tired as this sounds, "The Amazing Spider-man 2" lives up to the adjective in its title by being emotional, complex, thrilling, mature, and thought-provoking in a way that we don't see in superhero films, all while showcasing the need for true optimism and hope even in the face of overwhelming despair.

To Marc Webb, the crew and cast of the film, the studio execs who took a risk on this material, and everyone who helped get this movie done and into theaters, I say, "Thank you." You've given me the Spider-man film that reminded me why Peter Parker is one of my favorite characters of all time, and why Spider-man is my favorite superhero.
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on November 23, 2014
I've heard the staggering complaints about this film, but I watched it anyway. After seeing Spider Man 3 more than five years ago, I figured nothing could be that disappointing. I'm glad I did, this was a decent hero flick, with some fun moments and new on-screen characters.

Is it perfect? Is it as good as the previous film? No, it's not. But the previous film was a big high point for me, and for a lot of viewers. Nobody expected much from Andrew Garfield, but he delivered perfectly as Peter Parker. People were skeptical about The Lizard on a big screen, but they made it work, and it worked well! The last film was honestly a big one to try and beat.

This film suffers from screenwriting. The actors all deliver exactly how they should, and while some of Electro's dialogue in particular leaves much to be desired, it's no fault of Jamie Foxx. It's just subparagraph dialogue in parts.

The biggest issue I see, is that they were so determined to set up the NEXT films, and the events for those, that they didn't spend any time tightening up and fine tuning the events and character development for THIS film. Electro had a lot of potential here, more than I would have thought based on his comic character. I was impressed (at times) by how well fleshed out he was. But then there were other times, where it felt like someone wrote "Electro is angry" and nobody bothered to write that any better or elaborate well. They just rushed that, and it really hurts the movie.

They wanted to introduce the Sinister Six, and that's a good move for the studio... On paper.

But when you spend most of your time alluding to what's coming in the future, you miss a lot of the point where you need to entertain your audience with what they're seeing now. The green goblin character, for example, seems to jump from non-existent all the way to full blown final nemesis battle in the span of five minutes. It was too much, too fast, with no build up.

These are some big complaints, but they're specifically script, and a little director related. But the talent on screen clearly makes the best that anyone could with it, and they save this from being another tragedy of a film. It's not a Grade A superhero flick, but it's not an instant bargain bin filler either. If you really like Spider Man, I would recommend this. If you're on the fence, at least give it a rent. You won't need to tell all your friends about how Amazing it was (I know, I'm sorry, it was there), but you won't remember it with the same disdain as some of the prior films. A decent successor, with some shortcomings is still a decent successor.
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on October 5, 2016
*My opinions after knowledge of Marvel changing Spider-Man again.*

When the first Amazing Spider-Man came out I thought it was great, Andrew Garfield did a great job. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was even better. The movie blew me away and the ending always makes me tear up. But any Spider-Man fan, I'd recommend this movie.
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on July 5, 2016
Says code expires 12/31/17 for those who want to know that. Great movie, love comic movies. Andrew Garfield is the best Spider - Man so far. This is action packed and not a sick bloodfest movie, so the whole family can enjoy.
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on September 4, 2014
Electro was the main bad guy in this, but was underdeveloped and glossed over as a character. Not because they introduce two other bad guys (and it really was just intros, not the overwhelming bad guy fest people complain about), but because too much time is spent on other equally underdeveloped plot points. Not sure if the studio got its fingers into this too much or what, but the writing here is awful and there was as much emotion in it as a piece of stale bread. Definitely not like the more unified vision shown in the first of this reboot series, but rather a bucket of mixed ideas slopped out onto the screen. A couple great, some decent, but most pretty bad. Even many of the effects looked so fake they take you right out of the fantasy. Still watchable, though. But mostly just to stay up to speed to know what's going on by the next film...which we hope finds its center.
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on September 5, 2014
If you like chick flicks combined with sci-fi superheroes and villain's you'll love this movie. I would say 2/3rd's of this movie, possibly a little more was about Peter and Gwen's relationship and Harry Osborne's and Peter's friendship. The most prolonged action sequence was the last 30 minutes of the movie. The CG was top notch and Spidey's acrobatics was a lot better than the Spiderman movies with Tobey McGuire. There are a few Easter Eggs in this, mainly the last 30 minutes and a mystery man with a black hood over his face.
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on January 10, 2015
I was not expecting to like this film so much.

While the Spiderman movies have always been watchable and even sometimes involving, I'd felt that they had lately gotten a little too angst-y for my tastes, too involved in expressing teenage issues and romance over the more enjoyable action angles. Let's face it: I wasn't paying $25 per ticket (and food) in order to see how Parker's love life was doing.

But I found this movie to be almost immediately entertaining and the action scenes were snappy and drove the story quite well. There were little glitches at times, but overall I found this to be a rich and exciting movie.

Like I said, I wasn't so sure at the start. I immediately cringed when I determined what passed for dialogue here...the movie aimed for what I call the "Shia LaBeouf" style of patter that dearly wants to feel it's being honest and realistic, bur really all it does is have the characters talk over each other's lines and mutter devalues dialogue to the point of my not caring at all. Here, though, Jamie Foxx's early depiction of Max Dillon was so purposely shy that he became a doormat for almost everyone, and his inability to articulate or project his dialogue displayed that very point.

But what made this film so enjoyable for me was its terrific visual style; this movie, more than any of its predecessors , revels in its titular characters' unique method of locomotion, and it is a remarkable thing to watch in this movie. This time around director Marc Webb (The Amazing Spider-Man,(500) Days Of Summer) used cinematographer Daniel Mindel (the two latest Star Trek movies) and the change is for the better...this film is A LOT more visually stunning than the last. Replete with crystalline, lucid photography and powerful moments of "trapped" motion, the scenes of Spidey looping his way through Manhattan have such crackling visual power and kinetic energy that it's almost impossible to do anything else but be dazzled by it. I really felt like I was swooping along with Spiderman, and it consistently makes for a gloriously fun ride.

In addition, there are other clever, unusual pluses in the film: for one thing, there is a playfulness within that strikes at unusual times. For example, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) wants so badly to talk to Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) that he often makes ridiculous mistakes: for instance, there's one throwaway moment when he is so eager to speak to Gwen that he uses his web to swoop down to speak to her still wearing his civvies. At another point he comes in close quarters with a cop blaring away on a megaphone, and after the man in blue speaks right into Spiderman's face our hero in turn shouts out his own next few lines, temporarily deaf.

And while I'm really not a fan of Jamie Foxx, I thought he did all right here. For me, Jamie Foxx movies often suffer because the actor tries too hard to eat up the scenes - like, say, Vin Diesel or Tom Cruise. He often has that "Golly, aren't I terrific?" quality -- but here I thought his role was very submerged. In fact, as I mentioned earlier his character was so mousy he almost disappeared.

A little sidebar, here, in fact: I've often felt our villains tell a lot about the concerns of society: Rodan and Godzilla speak to a nation frightened by nuclear power, for instance, or global terrorism within the DIE HARD franchise, or increased depersonalization in films like The Matrix. Here, Foxx's Dillon becomes Electro after a dispute with his bosses at work. In essence, one could argue he is bears a strong resemblance to those ripped from our own headlines. Certainly, we don't feel sympathy for those in our own society who fight with their managers, then go home, gather their weapons, and return to their workplace in order to shoot it out with anyone who stands in their way. Yet our comic book sympathy increases ESPECIALLY if that very same person has that same initial confrontation -- and then falls into a very conveniently placed vat of electric eels. Particularly because, in the latter case, you've got yourself a Super Villain.

The movie makes some odd choices...I think if we haven't overworked the Nazi mad doctor (even in comic strips) we've come awfully close, and Dr. Alex Kafka (?) and his over-sized black rubber gloves, though true to the comic, may be that one time too many.

But I think the award for The Most Misused Hollywood Star may be won here, as Paul Giamatti is all but invisible in this film. Granted, they're setting him us up for the NEXT film, but when will that come along? 2018? Here, I doubt most people even knew he was in the movie.

But here's a personal Cry Out to ALL MOVIES EVERYWHERE: could we stop, for all time, the trope that has our hero stop the bad guy, then turn our back on him before they are sure the criminal is down and completely out? It happens at the start of this movie, during a fight aboard a private jet in which our hero's parents are duking it out with a Bad Man who has sabotaged their plane. They overcome him, but then OF COURSE, our hero turns his back on the bad guy, who OF COURSE, comes back to life.. When, oh when, will Hollywood stop using this gimmick?
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on January 24, 2015
Great Special Effects, I like this girl better than Mary Jane, too bad she had to go. Well I guess it keeps with the comics and SpiderBoy has to grow into Spiderman. Best victim/villain back story I've seen in the series so far. Great great job Jamie!!!! Marvel Jamie needs to do another character somewhere, he was funny, sensitive, sad, fierce and mad in that very short role.
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on August 25, 2014
This movie is okay. The 3D effects are some of the best I have seen for sure. The story was great along with the effects. The reason for 3 stars is because the movie can be extremely corny at times as "Spidey" tries to be funny (his humor is horrible) and when swinging from webs has a tendency to sound absolutely ludicrous as he goes "Woo hoo" and yahoo along with other sophomoric stuff. Good entertainment for the 3D set... but I would wait until it goes on sale if I had to do it again.
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