Directed By: Mar Webb
Written By: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Sally Field
PG-13 2 h 22 min – Action | Adventure | Fantasy
Here’s the second installment of the much needed reboot of the Spider Man franchise. Peter Parker (Garfield) continues his heroic day to day as Spider Man, swinging around through the city making criminals wish they’d stayed in school. Fighting crime is only half his battle, as he’s more in love with his girl, Gwen Stacy (Stone) than ever before. The first film concluded with Peter promising Gwen’s father that he would break it off to spare Gwen from potential danger should his identity become known. When has that promise ever been kept? The guilt catches up from time to time, causing Peter to eventually decide to respect the promise despite Gwen’s desire to stay together. As if that wasn’t enough going against them, Gwen is accepted to Oxford and will be leaving for England.
As Peter works through the “coming of age” on and off again relationship with Gwen, evil starts brewing at Oscorp, the company his father worked for prior to his disappearance. Spider Man saves a lonely pipsqueak Oscorp employee named Max (Foxx) who’s desperate for someone’s attention. Spider Man casually tells Max that he needs Max and that Max is his “eyes and ears out there” giving Max a false sense of friendship. On Max’s birthday he’s kicked around by his co-workers and forced to work after hours leading to a careless accident involving Oscorp’s experiments with electricity. As a result Max realizes he’s able to channel electricity and manipulate it like a Sith Lord. He stumbles out to Times Square and makes one helluva scene which catches Spider Man’s attention.
Spider Man shows up to make it all better and Max quickly realizes that to Spider Man, he’s just like any other dude. Slowly and haphazardly Max transforms from victim to villain and bam! Electro is born. Meanwhile, Peter’s old friend Harry (DeHaan) is back in town after being shipped off to boarding school by his father Norman Oscorp (CEO of Oscorp). At his father’s passing, Harry finds out he’s got an “incurable” illness passed down to him from Dad and he becomes desperate for a solution. As if that wasn’t enough on the kid the board at Oscorp set him up and took control of the company just left to him. Poisoned by the idea that Spider Man’s blood was the only cure and a polite refusal by Spidey to give it to him leads Harry to share a common reality with Electro, Spider Man must die.
Director Marc Webb really killed it on this one. The cinematography was absolutely perfect. So often action flicks get all excitable and you can’t even tell what’s what in a fight because it all moves to fast. The utilization of slow motion allows us to really get up close and personal with the fight scenes, and it was refreshing! The love between Peter and Gwen was equally frustrating as it was dear. It brought me back to those days and frustrated the hell out of me, mostly because deep down as cheesy as it got (hence the not perfect rating) I was really pullin’ for these kids! The villains were absolutely perfect and turned out just the way I wanted them. When Electro embraces who he was as a villain, I was pumped beyond belief. I also thought that the reimagining of the Green Goblin was a huge success as DeHaan is a super creepy kid perfectly fit to play a goblin. The fight scenes were epic and extremely entertaining and flowed well, packing punch yet making sense too. The last fifteen minutes of the movie had my jaw dropped and overall I had a blast. Cheesy? Sure, at times. Still, it’s one of my favorite of the Marvel sequels as I thought it was MUCH more mature of a film than The Amazing Spider Man. As I left the theater I touched the railing and felt the shock of some static electricity. I’m not going to lie, for a minute I felt like I was about to become way cooler than I already am.