It’s not very often you come out of a superhero movie talking about the acting. Sure you talk about the dazzling special effects or the heart pumping action, but when you leave the theater you’re not left thinking about the performances. That being said, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is an almost perfect movie thanks to its actors who were, well, amazing.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Directed By: Marc Webb
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Chris Cooper, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field, Felicity Jones, B.J.Novak, Colm Feore
**This review comes with a disclaimer: SPOILERS below, duh, so read at your own risk.**
You’ve been warned!!
This movie has a lot of great things going for it and it has a lot of memorable moments that will stick with you. It gets the emotional, vulnerable moments right and it gets the heart pumping action right. I love it when a movie gets you to feel something.
3 Amazing Things About The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Special Effects
The special effects in this movie were really killer, especially what they did with Electro. Sometimes special effects can be distracting and sometimes the way they are used in a “look how cool we are” way instead of furthering the story. While in some instances the special effects did do the above things, when it worked it really worked. Most of the time the special effects enhanced what was going on and created tension within the movie. And that has a lot to do with the…
Since The Matrix, the concept of slowing down time and going in super close has been used (and over used in many movies). It’s one of those concepts that can be really effective if used correctly. While Marc Webb may have used the effect one too many times there was one moment in particular where when it happened, it really worked. It was so smartly directed by Webb that I can’t even get that moment out of my mind. I was literally on the edge of my seat. Thinking a million different things, repeating “this can’t be happening” over and over in my head. It was as if things were going too slow and too fast all at the same time. And that’s a real feeling that exists. For Webb to be able to get that emotion out of an audience (okay, me) with a special effect I’ve seen time and time again is an incredible thing. And smart directing choices like this lead to a strong movie. He also knew just how good his actors were and was able to get some incredible performances out of them. Usually summer movies focus on the action, but with this movie I was completely overtaken by…
Seriously, the acting was SO. GOOD. MVPs were of course Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, Sally Field, and surprisingly Jamie Foxx. It’s no wonder Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield found love together. Their chemistry is electric. Even when they are fighting you can feel the passion, the tension, the love, and the spark that everyone searches to find in a partner. Separately, Garfield has the charisma of a rebel, cocky, bad-boy combined with an adorable nerd and Stone has that same spark she has in all her movies. The one that tells you she really loves what she does. Jamie Foxx was convincing as insecure man turned villain. He seemed to shed all his “Jamie Foxx”-ness (you know what I’m talking about) and really embrace the character. I like all the unsettling details about him as well like the bare feet. I don’t know what it is about bare feet, but whenever you see them in a movie it means something bad is about to happen. There is one scene in particular that brought tears to my eyes between Andrew Garfield and Sally Field. It’s a “can’t miss”, have-to-watch, incredibly heartbreaking moment. And it’s amazing.
3 Not So Amazing Things About The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Multiple Villians
Spider-Man 3 with Tobey Maguire had this problem as well. Too many villians. Electro, Green Goblin, The Shadow Man, The Rhino…it’s all just too much. At least Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man dared to fight them all. (Seriously, watch Spider-Man 3, Tobey Maguire just cries the entire movie. He doesn’t really defeat any villain. They all just defeat themselves.) I understand why there needed to be three because going back, which villain would you remove? They all need to be there. Especially the Green Goblin (but can we talk about Dane DeHaan’s look? Yikes. I may be partial to William Dafoe’s version.) The multiple villains were just too much too fast. It made the movie feel like it had…
The final moments of the movie definitely had a “The Incredibles” feel ending on a huge cliffhanger. But I was expecting something like that. But he fights Electro, then there’s a happy moment, then he fights the Green Goblin, then there’s a sad moment. Then he movies on with his life, and there’s a…cliff hanger. Dealing with a huge emotional rollercoaster just moments before, the final ending seemed almost unnecessary. It was unsatisfying and it left me wanting (not in a good way). The better ending, the riskier ending, would have been to end it with the big emotional, gut wrenching, heartbreaking…
Death of the Beloved Character
**MAJOR SPOILER, SPOILER, SPOILER**
We know it happens. You know it happens. It happens. Gwen Stacey dies. And the way it happens is utterly tragic. But with the loss of Gwen a smart, capable, witty character, we also have the loss of Emma Stone and the chemistry between her and Garfield. I was sure she would make it at least one more movie, but I guess if they want to introduce Mary Jane Watson, it wouldn’t be fair to do it simultaneously with Gwen’s death. We’ll need that time to get over her death. It’s just hard to believe we see any more of that amazing chemistry between her and Garfield at least in a Spider-Man capacity. (Can Gwen Stacey come back as a villain? Like maybe the Green Goblin raises her from the dead and she comes back as a zombie villain? That’s comic booky right? Marvel has zombies.)
I really enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man 2 a lot, and if you’re into superhero movies you’ll really enjoy it too. While the ending may leave you wanting, this is a must see movie for the performances alone. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone do not disappoint.