The Amazing Spider-man 2 (2014) – Movie Review

This is the second instalment of Spider-man starring Andrew Garfield in the lead after Toby Maguire made the Marvel character such a huge success. This one features a four-pronged plot – Peter and Gwen Stacy’s romance, Peter’s search for the reason his dad left him, the story of Max Dillon/Electro and Harry Osborn.

While all the plots carried equal weight in the entire movie, it seemed that the idea was to lure in the younger audience with the chemistry between the two leads, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. The two young stars played their role well and seemed inexplicably attracted to each other all the time, all a little too cheesy for me, but for fans of these two stars, they are getting a real treat here.

On the superhero side of the story, Jamie Foxx plays Max Dillon, a pushover who gets bullied at work. A chance encounter with Spider-man makes him think that the superhero is his friend. Then, a freak accident turns him into Electro. When he runs amok in the streets of New York, Spider-man stops him, which turns him into his enemy.

Then, there is Peter trying to solve the mystery of why his father abandoned him when he was 12 years old to be raised by his aunt. This led to the discovery of his father’s work as a scientist for Oscorp on the self-healing properties of spiders. When he finds out that Oscorp is using his work to create weapons, he decides to destroy his research and goes on the run but got killed in the end.

In comes Harry Osborn (played by Dane Dehaan) who is Peter’s friend. Harry’s father just died of illness, leaving him to manage Oscorp. He is also inflicted with the hereditary disease which is killing him fast. Then, he discovers that Spider-man’s blood could be cure and seeks Peter’s help to find the wall crawler. When Spider-man rejects his call for help for fear that his blood may kill his friend or turn him into a monster, they become enemies. Eventually, Harry finds the spider venom and takes it only to turn into Green Hornet.

So, there you have it, basic plots of the movie. Despite so much going on, the movie somehow lack depth to me compared to the previous Spider-man series with Toby Maguire. Perhaps it’s the overzealous charm of Andrew Garfield which does not fit right into what I pictured Peter Parker to be or maybe the oversimplified drive for both the villains to take revenge on Spider-man.

But superhero movies are never strong in plots. All the other aspects of the movie – special effects, acting and set design – are up to the mark. There are many close-up shots of Spider-man swinging from building to building with additional acrobatic stunts to the tee. The car chases, car crashes, explosions, all no doubt shot on blue screen, are action-packed and fast-paced to keep you at the edge of your seat.

Despite the emotional climax at the end with the death of a key character (I think you can guess who), the movie left me wanting more on the storytelling side. All in all, it is still a decent superhero movie. I give it 7 stars out of 10.

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