Spider-Man 2 creates mixed feelings

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Spider Man 2 Review from Bellevue Video Yearbook on Youtube.
Video by Sam Bradbury and Lexy Burroughs

Disclaimer: This is a review written by a fan of Spider-Man. No, not just of the movies. The source material, the comics. Bits and pieces of bias due to this fact may seep into the review from time to time, but I’ll try my best to contain it. In other words, bear with me; I’m a fanboy.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” Sony’s follow-up to the excellent 2012 reboot of the Spider-Man franchise, is a tremendous film… at times. Fortunately, the main cast (Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield) are back, better than ever and are ultimately what save the movie. Unfortunately, the film’s got some big flaws that keep me from liking it as much as the first one.

This installment in the franchise features several villains, focusing primarily on Jamie Foxx’s Electro. He is my most prevalent problem with the film. Jamie Foxx is a great actor who has received acclaim for many of his roles. I’ve always liked his style because of his natural, charismatic camera presence. In “Amazing Spider-Man 2,” he’s given a tooth-gap, a strange-looking combover and an even stranger man-crush on Spidey.

The presence and charisma Foxx does so well is gone here. What we end up with is a pretty typical villain that has a few neat-looking abilities, but no original traits. While I don’t expect a revolution in the villain department of comic book movies, I do expect a character that is deeper than a stereotype. Electro features some impressive and highly convincing SFX as far as makeup and CGI goes, but his character before and after his accident lacks compelling traits.

Also, Dane Dehaan’s Harry Osborn performance wasn’t what I was expecting either. His dialogue and demeanor throughout the first half of the film is stiff and rather uninvolved while his CGI Green Goblin counterpart in the final half of the movie feels like ground we’ve already covered.

The disappointment I had in Electro, however, didn’t diminish the high quality of the two main performances. Garfield portrays a perfect Peter Parker. He’s remarkably and naturally sharp in dialogue and pulls off the funny web-head expertly.

The excellent quality of Peter’s scenes and the funny moments during his time in the mask convince me that this movie, while it doesn’t offer the most inventive interpretations of the original villains, is the wall-crawler’s greatest depiction.

In “The Amazing Spider-Man,” the natural chemistry between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy was the strongest component of that movie, so, naturally, that is present here.

That’s part of the reason I’m so split on this film. The scenes that feature Garfield and Stone are the greatest ones the film has to offer. The dialogue is sharp, and there are plenty of humorous and special moments between the two. I found myself laughing often throughout the movie, calling to mind the good times I’ve had reading the original comics that had many light-hearted and heavily dramatic times.

This leads me to love this movie… and hate it.

7/10

 Mike Sullivan
Reporter