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Sunday, May 25, 2014
There have been so many reboots and sequels to the Spider-Man story as of late that I had completely forgotten what happened in the first Amazing Spider-Man. Luckily, there is enough rehashing of the first movie in this sequel to remind me of what I saw and liked about the first movie. The short review of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is to go see it. The long review will talk about how perfect this movie is as a form of entertainment.

Let’s get this out of the way first – I really like Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man. I like him so much better than Tobey Maguire. I know Garfield is British, but his comedic timing and physical comedy are perfect. His representation of the Spider-Man character is exactly as Stan Lee had presented it in comic books for years.

Another thing I do want to say about Marvel movies is that I am glad Stan Lee is finally getting the chance to revel in the spotlight he so richly deserves. The guy is a genius, and he was shunned for most of the 1970’s and 1980’s. He makes his usual cameo in this movie and, as always, his cameo is very funny. Thank God for Stan Lee, and thank you Marvel for giving the man the recognition he deserves.

I liked Spider-Man 2 with Tobey Maguire. I thought that Spider-Man 2 was far and away the best hero movie of 2004. But back in 2004, Spider-Man did not have to compete with the Avengers. While The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is good, it is not quite the caliber of Captain America 2. That being said, let’s look at the pros and cons of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

The movie starts off with a fast-paced action scene that is filled with comedy and fun. While we have seen these kinds of action scenes a million times before in Marvel movies, it is Andrew Garfield who makes this scene so much fun to watch. His comedic timing is immaculate and the action in this opening scene is easy to follow. If you have ever seen any of the Marvel movies of late, you know how hard it can be to keep up with the action. In this movie, everything is paced extremely well and very easy to watch.

Jamie Foxx plays his character, Electro, to perfection. We care about Max when he is a nerdy tech guy that his boss steps on, and we are rooting for Electro when he tries to stop the police from shooting at him. Eventually, enough bullets pointed in Electro’s direction flip on his angry switch and all hell breaks loose. The character of Electro is done extremely well both by Foxx, and by director Marc Webb.

Every single one of the important relationships in this movie are set up and presented so well that I actually cared about every one of them. The relationship between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy tends to drag on a little in spots, but Garfield’s sense of timing manages to salvage each scene.

Dane DeHaan plays the Green Goblin convincingly. We can see the downward spiral of Harry Osborn that eventually pushes him to take the risks that turn him into the Goblin. We understand why the Goblin is angry and we understand where all of the Goblin’s toys come from.

But for everything this movie does well, it also tends to do a few things very poorly. As with any of the previous Spider-Man movies, there are just too many bad guys in this movie. There was so much more that Webb could have done with Electro, but he had to spread the movie around to a myriad of other bad guys, which watered down Electro’s impact.

The movie is also about 30 minutes too long. I love the Spider-Man movies (except for the cesspool known as Spider-Man 3), but they always seem to go on and on and on. Tell the story, wrap up the story, and then end it. The Spider-Man movies always seem to feel like they need to be epic and this one is no different.

There were some holes in logic that took something away from the movie for me. I won’t reveal them because I don’t want to give the movie away, but I will say that Spider-Man’s biggest rival finds out that Spider-Man is Peter Parker . . . and nothing ever becomes of it. It is just left there and it bugged the hell out of me.

Do not bother waiting around for any scene after the credits. There is no scene after the credits, which was annoying because every Marvel movie has a scene after the credits and I was really peeved to have to sit through the credits and get no scene at the end. The only thing that happens during the credits is a teaser for the new X-Men movie, which is forgettable and not worth the wait (The teaser isn’t worth the wait. I don’t know about the X-Men movie yet.)

All in all, this movie is well worth the price of admission and will be a part of my blu-ray library when it comes out. Despite its extended play and the tendency for scenes to drag on, this is a movie I could easily watch over and over again.

Rating: 4 out of 5

George N Root III is a drive-in movie fanatic and Marvel comics fan. He can be reached at Go to the drive-in and make it your summer habit!

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