Friday, May 2, 2014

The Amazing Spider Man 2 --- Movie Ryview

Last night, I saw The Amazing Spider Man 2 at the Alamo Drafthouse in an early showing.

Read my ryview of Alamo Drafthouse here.

I will avoid spoilers, but obviously I will be discussing the movie so if you want to go in with a clean slate please exercise caution.



The Amazing Spider Man 2 had quite a bit of hype. It was supposed to a universe expanding, climactic experience where all Spider Man fans and comic book fans alike will marvel (heh...marvel) at the grandiose vision on the screen. Yesterday, I saw numerous negative reviews, some comparing it to the ill advised Batman and Robin, while others were more kind and simply said that the movie was mediocre but it had it's moments (a frequent positive that reviewers noted was the on screen chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone). I thought the movie was somewhere in between the two visions, it was neither the best super hero movie I've ever seen, nor the worst.


I would like to point out that I am a comic book fan. I'm a big fan of the X-men franchise, but I like Marvel quite a bit in general. Spider Man has never been my favorite, but he is still fairly enjoyable in most media because of one thing: his wisecracking. He stands along in the Marvel Pantheon as being someone who is very intelligent (there are quite a few of those) AND hilarious (mostly just him and Deadpool). But in the original Spider Man trilogy of a decade ago, that did not really come across well. Tobey Maquire's Peter Parker was mostly just a brooding, angsty man (basically Batman on downers). It wasn't entertaining and it wasn't true to the character. And in this entry, Andrew Garfield's interpretation is very full of wisecracks. He captures the fun of Spiderman. And not only does that ring true for fans of the comics, but it makes for a very fun movie experience for the wider audience.

I also thought that the actors all did a good job. I loved Dane Dehaan as Harry Osborne, he portrayed the character in a direction that I really appreciated. Garfield and Stone still delivered top notch performances, and I agree with the reviews I saw relating to their chemistry; they were fantastic on screen together. Jamie Foxx performed well, although his star power seemed to throw me off a little bit. My girlfriend had trouble picturing Jamie Foxx as the nerd he's portrayed as, and I'd tend to agree. He did a good job acting the part, but I just didn't feel like he was the right fit.

As far as the characterization of Electro in general, I really enjoyed that he was basically Dubstep Man when he was on screen. The soundtrack complimented him very well. And the fanfare that accompanied Spider Man for much of the movie was equally as enjoyable, keeping action sequences light in a movie that threatened to darken after pretty much every scene.

Skrillex in his natural state...

The plot was complex, but not in a cumbersome way. Everything was tied together in very sensible, believable way. I saw some reviewers say it was too complicated, but I did not get that impression. It was an intelligent movie with several layers, and I thought the script and direction handled that very well. It didn't feel rushed, nothing felt tacked on, it all felt like a very well put together movie, which is sometimes rare for the superhero genre.

My complaints? I do think that Gwen Stacy's character was still more or less "Peter's Girlfriend." Her character didn't really seem to exist except with Peter. By contrast, Harry Osborne had a few adventures without Peter present and his character was well developed. Gwen was really only there for Peter's benefit, not really securing much character time on her own, and I thought that hurt the movie a bit. As I mentioned, this was no fault of Emma Stone's, I thought she did a fantastic job.

I highly recommend seeing it, and I think it's fun for a wide array of viewers. It's a fun, emotional movie that kept me thoroughly entertained the entire time.

9/10*

*For reference, I'd place this in the same category as X-men: First Class and Iron Man as far as solid, entertaining superhero movies.

Until next time,

Ryan



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