Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) has graduated from high school and while in spandex, his smart-ass persona comes out along with stunning aerial flying across New York kicking ass and taking names. Meanwhile, he’s also struggling with the on/off romance of Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) while figuring out the mystery of his parents’ murder and what it has to do with Oscorp and reconnects with Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan). A lot on his plate.
Max Dillon/Electro (Jamie Foxx) frustrated with being at the bottom of the unpopular corporate totem pole is rescued and given a few inspired words from our web-slinger. Even on his birthday, he’s so lonely that he believes Spider-Man will wish him Happy Birthday. I wouldn’t start renting out hotel ballrooms just yet. Suddenly, after a spectacular but freak accident, Dillon turns into Electro, a superhuman being splashed in blue that needs electricity to live and has nothing but vengeance and desperation of being seen on his mind.
Garfield and Stone just continue showing that their chemistry beats the living daylights out of Tobey Maguire/Kristen Dunst. At least they were smart to not to go Days of Our Lives on us when they were struggling with their relationship. Ugh, still haunts me watching Maguire blubbering as Dunst dumps him in Central Park. When they are around each other, it feels real and also humorous. Garfield continues to embody and prove he’s the man to play a true Spider-Man, the way that Stan Lee introduced him back in the 1960’s. He’s smart alecky, funny, and at the same time spoils any villain’s schemes but also when Parker, he throws us into an emotional twister of struggle, anger and embracing change within his life. Stone gives Stacy, a makeover of independence and strength that was a breath of fresh air that alone made the romance just as watchable especially when the playbook changes in the final minutes. You may get choked up, just a warning.
Foxx makes Dillon into a detached soul away that can’t embrace reality that he’s just a low level employee and shows his versatility as he does an 180 as Electro which is where the strength of the film is within. It looks like director Marc Webb brought emotions within his cast, Electro just by the sound of his voice, you can hear his anger through grinding teeth and obsession over power. Webb and his SFX team put out some spectacular, well-choreographed action sequences that kept me entertained and even chuckling in excitement as I chomped away on my popcorn witnessing the incredible aerial sequences of Spidey swinging through New York. Screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman make sure that the writing is chock full of philosophical quotes and cheesy comic book dialogue.
Like Iron Man 3, director/screenwriter Shane Black wanted to make the film he wanted and not LISTEN to the fans especially when geeks, comic book purists living in their mom’s basement had a heart attack over what Black did to the Mandarin. Webb has seriously infuriated them and I applaud him for it because a comic book film is meant for one thing and only one thing…eye candy entertainment.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 continues Marvel’s onslaught of successful comic book franchises by bringing humanity to his characters, keeping Garfield’s Peter Parker/Spider-Man balanced between light-hearted chuckles and struggling through real life loss but keeping the aspect of fantasy within his exciting CGI-layered action sequences and the setup ending for Amazing Spider-Man 3 already has me marking my calendar.